The (un)importance of anthropometry in football

Special topics

The following homepage update will display some thoughts underpinned with scientific knowledge about the (un)importance of anthropometry in football.

I have decided to dedicate a little bit of time to elaborate on the topic, after being in different (football) environments seeing different sizes and shapes of footballer, but also (and especially) due to talking to US college coaches with regards to recruitment of new players and the need of being able to play “physically” or “being able to rise up to the challenge”. 

Besides the need to define terminology here, to me playing physically could mean:
Being able to perform to a high (physical) standard for the duration of the match (90 or 120 minutes) or in other words, players are fast, strong, having a high aerobic and anaerobic endurance to cover great distances and are able to recover quickly from intense periods in the match.

However, as it seems my interpretation is not always shared by coaches and/or the coaches link different abilities/attributes with “playing physically” (possibly) meaning being physically “present” – resulting in recruiting players that are 1.90 m tall (around 6’3 feet) and build like American Football players. Obviously I am exaggerating now, however, I hope it helps to make the point.

So my question was always – Are you looking for footballers or for athletes that are tall, strong, fast and know the rules of soccer/football? Obviously the response was, “we want tall, strong, fast footballers!” – which is a good point, however also lead to great discussion of “small” (< 1.80 meters or 5’10 feet) football players.

As it seems there are a good questions to ask:
Is anthropometry an important attribute of football players?

If it is, then for who?


Please click HERE to read the homepage update or visit: Special topics - Anthropmetry


The Training Manager -