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Football is the most popular sport in the world and the FIFA World Cup™ is arriving to Qatar in just three months.


Football medicine and science have undergone a very rapid progression in the last decade, as we strive to prepare players for the rigorous demands of the modern football. 


The increased physical demands of elite players are in accordance with an increase in the total number of games played per season at clubs and national teams. There has been a growing emphasis on work-rate depending on the level of performance, positioner role, and style of play incorporated by teams. 


We can say that the FIFA World Cup™ spectacle is exclusively High-Performance.

The modern professional football players need to be physically and mentally prepared for the matches played at a higher tempo and more frequently than ever before.


The question that I asked myself was who were these people working behind the scenes to physically prepare these athletes? What kind of scientific support models, informed planning, and execution of training do they need?


With that question in mind, I asked my prestigious colleagues, Prof Marco Cardinale PhD, Director of Department of Sport Science in Aspetar, and Prof Warren Gregson PhD, MBA, Head of Physiology and R&D Aspire Academy & Qatar FA, to be the Guest Editors of the targeted topic on Sport Science in Football.


Prof Cardinale and Prof Gregson assembled a team of experts from Aspire Academy Performance Centre and Aspetar, as well as the authors from all corners of the globe, to clarify every aspect of this complex physical preparation of high-level football players. 


In addition to all these excellent papers from Sport Science in football, I also included a supplement section at the end with four very interesting papers from Sport Surgery, Sport Cardiology, and Sport Medicine, to complete this 4th targeted topic on Sport Medicine in Football, that the Aspetar Sport Medicine Journal has published in the past two years as our contribution to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.


As the Editor in Chief of the Aspetar Sport Medicine Journal it was my privilege to interview the famous football Coach Bora Milutinovic for this issue.


Bora is an outstanding personality of the international “Football Family”. After all those years, he is still the finest world ambassador of his sport, because for him the football is a “way of life”. Passionate by the game, honest, modest, friendly, knowledgeable, successful, are just some of Bora’s characteristics that propelled him to become a world celebrity, loved by so many people.

I would like to thank our Guest Editors, Prof Cardinale and Prof Gregson, as well as to all the authors for their generous contribution and hard work which made this issue possible.


To all our readers I wish to enjoy FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar.


Nebojsa Popovic MD PhD




Header image by G Travels (Cropped)


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From the Editor

Volume 11
Targeted Topic - Sports Science in Football
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