FROM OUR GUEST EDITORS
We are now only a few months away from the 2022 FIFA World Cup here in the state of Qatar. The eyes of the world will be upon us, and football interest is now at its peak in the lead up to the biggest sporting event in the world. For this reason, the editorial team of the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal took the opportunity to offer a unique special issue covering many aspects of football science. As guest editors of this special issue we have worked with experts here in Qatar and around the world to provide unique insights into many scientific aspects of modern football.
The special issue starts with two key articles on how Football science has been instrumental in developing football in Qatar. The vision, training methodology and infrastructure implemented to develop players have been detailed together with the details of how young players benefit from scientific support in Aspire Academy.
We have an excellent article on the current approach to prepare modern football players for domestic and international fixtures as well as congested periods of the season written by Dr Drs Tony Strudwick, Richard Hawkins and Paul Balsom, true experts in player preparation.
Drs Naomi Datson and Katrine Okholm Kryger have written an excellent paper on performance considerations in women’s football highlighting also the need to keep in mind that many female players are in ‘dual careers’ and special care is needed when planning training.
Technology is evolving in the World of Football, we have addressed this with Nicolas Evans, the Head of Football Research and Standards at FIFA and Profs Marco Cardinale and Warren Gregson, providing an historical context as well as insights regarding how football stakeholders can innovate in order future proof their technology infrastructure
A Norwegian/British collaboration between Dr Daren Lorentsen and Prof Drust provides excellent insights on training load monitoring and technology implementation. This article is followed by an expert piece from Prof John Newell and Drs Lorenzo Lolli and Kenny McMillan on how data can be transformed into action when appropriate data reduction and visualisation strategies are implemented.
Further insights on the scientific preparation of football players are provided by Drs Marcus Hannon, Andreas Kasper and Prof Graham Close in an overview of the nutritional considerations that come with tournament football. Profs Warren Gregson and Glyn Howatson and Dr Robin Thorpe subsequently present a recovery strategy framework for the elite player. These two aspects are fundamental for guaranteeing high performance levels during tournaments and/or congested fixtures and so we hope this information might help teams getting ready for the World Cup in Qatar.
We hope the readers find this special issue of interest, football performance is evolving thanks to the modernisation of how the players are prepared and developed and we have tried to provide some new insights various aspects of scientific support to football players. We can keep improving player’s health and performance if we embrace the appropriate use of scientific knowledge and medical advancements as well as relevant platforms to share knowledge and learn. Innovation in football will continue and clubs, federations and organizations open to innovative approaches are likely to gain competitive advantage in the years to come.
In the meantime, we eagerly await the next few months, to see who will be crowned World Champion on the 18th of December in the Lusail Stadium.
Prof Marco Cardinale PhD
Executive Director of Research and Scientific Support
Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital
Prof Warren Gregson PhD, MBA
Head of Physiology & R&D
Aspire Academy & Qatar FA