Performance analysis in sport is used to investigate the performance of teams and players across differentsports. Research within this area, especially when focussing on the determinants of success, has grown rapidly in thelast few years. During this time, the role of a new concept, ‘situational variables’ has emerged. This term includes thedifferent game and situational conditions that may influence performance at a behavioural level. Given that soccer isdominated by strategic factors, it is reasonable to suggest that situational variables of match status (i.e. whether theteam is winning, losing or drawing), quality of opposition (strong or weak), and match location (i.e. playing at home oraway) may somehow influence the teams´ and players´ activities. These situational variables need to be analyzed indepth to understand their influence in team sports. The aim of this article was to examine the independent andinteractive effects of situational variables on physical performance in elite soccer. The view that professional soccerplayers regulate their physical efforts according to the specific demands of individual matches and periods of the game isoffered. In support of this argument results from recent studies are presented. Implications of this perspective for matchanalyst and coaches for evaluating performance are also considered.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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