How Far Do Soccer Players Run During A Match?

As it does every four years, the world has turned its adoring eyes to fútbol. But while you’re marvelling at the well-placed headers and acrobatic kicks and whatever’s going on with Ronaldo’s hair, take a moment to appreciate the most astonishing feat that happens during these 90 minutes: How far these guys are running.

A year ago we compared how far athletes of different sports ran during the course of a given game/match/joust. The full breakdown is below, but the most remarkable figure comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from soccer:

Obviously, there is some variation depending on the position they play — midfielders run the most; the goalie not so much — but it’s not uncommon for a player to average seven miles per game (11.2km). Seven! SportVU has tracked players running as much as 9.5 miles (15.28km) in a game.

So the next time you’re lamenting the lack of scoring, just think of it this way. You’re watching 22 grown men run a combined 247 kilometres in a mere 90 minutes. And looking good doing it.

Photo credit: Getty Images