Football player

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Football against poverty 2014 - Marta.jpg
A women's association football player

A football player or footballer is a sport person who plays one of the different types of football. The main types of football are association football, American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby league and rugby union.

Football Group of related team sports

Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears. Sports commonly called football in certain places include association football ; gridiron football ; Australian rules football; rugby football ; and Gaelic football. These different variations of football are known as football codes.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

American football Team field sport

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

Contents

It has been estimated that there are 250 million association football players in the world, [1] and many play the other forms of football.

Career

Jean-Pierre Papin has described football as a "universal language". [2] Footballers across the world and at almost any level may regularly attract large crowds of spectators, and players are the focal points of widespread social phenomena such as association football culture.

Jean-Pierre Papin French association football player and manager

Jean-Pierre Roger Guillaume Papin is a French former professional footballer who played as a forward, and who was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1991.

Association football culture

Association football culture refers to the cultural aspects surrounding the game of association football. As the sport is global, the culture of the game is diverse, with varying degrees of overlap and distinctiveness in each country. In many countries, football has ingrained itself into the national culture, and parts of life may revolve around it. Many countries have daily football newspapers, as well as football magazines. Football players, especially in the top levels of the game, have become role models for people.

Footballers generally begin as amateurs and the best players progress to become professional players. Normally they start at a youth team (any local team) and from there, based on skill and talent, scouts offer contracts. Once signed, some learn to play better football and a few advance to the senior or professional teams.

Wages

Wages in some top men's leagues are significantly higher than other jobs. Players in the Premier League earn average wages of about $1 million per year. [3] In the wealthiest clubs in European football leagues, some players earn an average wage up to $6 to $8 million per year. [4] The best players of those clubs can earn up to $70 million per year. [5]

Premier League Association football league in England

The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).

However, only a fraction of men's professional football players are paid at this level. Wages may be much more moderate in other divisions and leagues, and a significant number[ clarification needed ] of players are semi-professional. For example, the average annual salary for footballers in Major League Soccer (which started in 2009) for the 2013 season was $148,693, with significant variations depending on player position (goalkeepers for example earned $85,296, whereas forwards earned $251,805 [6] ).

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The 2013 Major League Soccer season was the 101st season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer in the United States and Canada, the 35th with a national first-division league, and the 18th season of Major League Soccer. The season featured 19 total clubs.

Popularity and average salaries in women's leagues are far lower. For example, players in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) (which started in 2012) earn $15,000 to $40,000 per year as of January 2017. [7]

National Womens Soccer League professional soccer league, highest level of womens soccer in the United States

The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) is a professional women's soccer league, run by the United States Soccer Federation. At the top of the United States league system, it represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The NWSL was established in 2012 as a successor to Women's Professional Soccer (2007–2012), which was itself the successor to Women's United Soccer Association (2001–2003). The league began play in 2013 with eight teams, four of which were former members of Women's Professional Soccer. With the addition of two expansion teams in Houston and Orlando and the loss of Boston Breakers, it now has nine teams throughout the United States.

Post-retirement

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Arild Stavrum is a retired football player who post-retirement has worked as a football manager and novelist
Sweden - Denmark, 8 April 2015 (16899782868).jpg
Pia Sundhage is a retired football player who post-retirement has worked as the football manager for the United States and Sweden national teams.

A minority of retired footballers continue working full-time within football, for instance as football managers. A 1979 study reported that former first-team ballplayers were over-represented as top ranking executives in their companies and had greater income mobility than second teamers and reserves. [8] However, some experience chronic health issues, see below.

Skills

Psychological aspects of performance

Research shows that association football players that take less than 200ms after the referee blows their whistle for a penalty kick are significantly more likely to miss scoring than those that take over a second. [9] [10]

Health issues

Cristiano Ronaldo 20120609.jpg
Cristiano Ronaldo, an example of a "lean and muscular" men's association football player
Faith Ikidi.jpg ]]
Faith Ikidi, an example of a "lean and muscular" women's association football player

An Irish 2002 study of association and Gaelic football players characterised players as "lean and muscular with a reasonably high level of capacity in all areas of physical performance". [11] The opposite is the case for American football, where obesity could be the cause of grave health problems. [12]

A 2000 study documented injuries sustained by Czech [association] football players at all levels: [13]

Trauma was the cause of 81.5% of the injuries and overuse was the cause of 18.5%. Joint sprains predominated (30%), followed by fractures (16%), muscle strains (15%), ligament ruptures (12%), meniscal tears and contusions (8%), and other injuries. Injuries to the knee were most prevalent (29%), followed by injuries to the ankle (19%) and spine (9%). More injuries occurred during games (59%) than in practice.

[14] Patellar tendinitis (knee pain) is considered an overused injury that also happens to other athletes of virtually every sport. It is a common problem that football players develop and can usually be treated by a quadriceps strengthening program. Jumping activities place particularly high strains on the tendon and with repetitive jumping, tearing and injury of the tendon can occur. The chronic injury and healing response results in inflammation and localized pain. [15]

Although levels of depression and pain in retired football players are on par with the societal average, [16] some players suffer from post-retirement chronic injuries. Head injuries are a particular concern.

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy or lifespan of an American football NFL player has been reported to be extremely low, only 53 to 59 years depending on playing position. [17] However, a 2012 study reported that retired NFL players have a lower death rate than men in the general population. [18] An oft-cited life expectancy of 58 years has been claimed by Sports Illustrated to be based on a myth. [19] According to a 2007 study, which also claims that little supporting data is available, retired American football players had "long and fulfilling careers with no apparent long-term detrimental effects on physical or mental health scores despite a high prevalence of arthritis". [20] One explanation is that "life expectancy" is ambiguous: it may in some contexts refer to the expected age of death of a player, and in other contexts to the expected remaining number of life years.

As for association football, a 2011 German study found that German national team players live 1.9 years less than the general male population. [21]

Football players participating in international matches for Germany have reduced longevity compared to the general population. This disadvantage was the larger, the earlier the international football player started his international career. This finding is in line with the current knowledge of life expectancy in major athletes, especially those from other team sports

A 1983 study of rugby players found that the life expectancy of All Blacks is the same as for the general population. [22]

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Abby Wambach, a retired player known for scoring header goals.
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Heading of the ball in association football can increase the risk of chronic brain damage

American football players are prone to head injuries such as concussion. In later life, this increases the risk of dementia [23] and Alzheimer's. [24] Professional American football players self-reporting concussions are at greater risk for having depressive episodes later in life compared with those retired players self-reporting no concussions. [25] [26]

Probably due to the repeated trauma associated with heading balls, professional association football has been suggested to increase the incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [27] In a 1987 study of former Norwegian association football national team players, one third of the players were found to have central cerebral atrophy, i.e. brain damage. [28] A 1999 study connected soccer to chronic traumatic head injury (CTHI): [29]

[P]articipation in amateur association football in general and concussion specifically is associated with impaired performance in memory and planning functions. Due to the worldwide popularity of soccer, these observations may have important public health implications

Knee

Anterior cruciate ligaments are particularly vulnerable in most types of football due to injuries that can be sustained during tackles.

Hip

An increased incidence of osteoarthritis in the hip joint has been found in retired football players. [30]

Muscles

A 2012 study of association football injuries found that 19% of all injuries were muscle injuries, of which 54% affected the thigh muscles. [31]

Sleep and psychological functioning

In a 2009 study, association football was found to be associated with favourable sleep patterns and psychological functioning in adolescent male football players. [32]

The rate of suicide among NFL vets has been found to be 59% lower than in the general population. [19]

FIFA response

In 2012, FIFA released a paper intended to identify key risk factors for association football players. [33]

Lists of players

See also

Related Research Articles

Sports injury

Sports injuries are injuries that occur during sport, athletic activities, or exercising. In the United States, there are approximately 30 million teenagers and children combined who participate in some form of organized sport. Of those, about three million athletes age 14 years and under experience a sports injury annually. According to a study performed at Stanford University, 21 percent of the injuries observed in elite college athletes caused the athlete to miss at least one day of sport, and approximately 77 percent of these injuries involved the lower leg, ankle, or foot. In addition to those sport injuries, the leading cause of death related to sports injuries is traumatic head or neck occurrences. When an athlete complains of pain or an injury, the key to a diagnosis is to obtain a detailed history and examination. An example of a format used to guide an examination and treatment plan is a S.O.A.P note or, subjective, objective, assessment, plan. Another important aspect of sport injury is prevention, which helps to reduce potential sport injuries. It is important to establish sport-specific dynamic warm-ups, stretching, and exercises that can help prevent injuries common to each individual sport. Creating an injury prevention program also includes education on hydration, nutrition, monitoring team members “at risk”, monitoring at-risk behaviors, and improving technique. Season analysis reviews, preseason screenings, and pre-participation examinations are also essential in recognizing pre-existing conditions or previous injuries that could cause further illness or injury. One technique that can be used in the process of preseason screening is the functional movement screen. The functional movement screen can assess movement patterns in athletes in order to find players who are at risk of certain injuries. In addition, prevention for adolescent athletes should be considered and may need to be applied differently than adult athletes. Lastly, following various research about sport injury, it is shown that levels of anxiety, stress, and depression are elevated when an athlete experiences an injury depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, also known as Tommy John surgery (TJS), is a surgical graft procedure where the ulnar collateral ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with either a tendon from elsewhere in the patient's body, or tendon from donated tissue of a cadaver. The procedure is common among collegiate and professional athletes in several sports, particularly in baseball.

Concussion type of traumatic brain injury

Concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is typically defined as a head injury that temporarily affects brain functioning. Symptoms may include headaches, trouble with thinking, memory or concentration, nausea, blurry vision, sleep disturbances or mood changes. Some symptoms may begin immediately, while others may appear days after the injury. Fewer than 10% of sports-related concussions among children are associated with loss of consciousness. It is not unusual for symptoms to last up to four weeks.

FieldTurf

FieldTurf is a brand of artificial turf playing surface. It is manufactured and installed by FieldTurf Tarkett, a division of French company Tarkett Inc. FieldTurf is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and its primary manufacturing facility is located in Calhoun, Georgia, United States. With a design intended to more accurately replicate real grass, the new product gained rapid popularity in the late 1990s, and changed the industry.

Health issues in American football

Health issues in American football comprise a large number of health risks associated with participating in the sport. Injuries are relatively common in American football, due to its nature as a full-contact game. Injuries occur during both practice and games. Several factors can affect the frequency of injuries: epidemiological studies have shown older players can be at a greater risk, while equipment and experienced coaches can reduce the risk of injury. Common injuries include strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, and concussions. Concussions have become a concern, as they increase the risk of mental illnesses like dementia and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In individual leagues like the National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a public injury report is published containing all injured players on a team, their injury and the game-day status of each player.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. It is unclear if the risk of suicide is altered.

Fred Willis is a retired American football running back who played six seasons in the National Football League for the Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Oilers.

Second-impact syndrome (SIS) occurs when the brain swells rapidly, and catastrophically, after a person suffers a second concussion before symptoms from an earlier one have subsided. This second blow may occur minutes, days or weeks after an initial concussion, and even the mildest grade of concussion can lead to SIS. The condition is often fatal, and almost everyone who is not killed is severely disabled. The cause of SIS is uncertain, but it is thought that the brain's arterioles lose their ability to regulate their diameter, and therefore lose control over cerebral blood flow, causing massive cerebral edema.

Concussion grading systems are sets of criteria used in sports medicine to determine the severity, or grade, of a concussion, the mildest form of traumatic brain injury. At least 16 such systems exist, and there is little agreement among professionals about which is the best to use. Several of the systems use loss of consciousness and amnesia as the primary determinants of the severity of the concussion.

Health issues in youth sports

The health issues of youth sports are concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of young people between the ages of 6 and 18 who participate in an organized sport. Given that these athletes are physically and mentally underdeveloped, they are particularly susceptible to heat illness, eating disorders and injury; sufficiently severe conditions can result in death. Awareness and prevention are key factors in preventing many health issues in youth sports.

Prevention of mild traumatic brain injury involves taking general measures to prevent traumatic brain injury, such as wearing seat belts and using airbags in cars. Older people are encouraged to try to prevent falls, for example by keeping floors free of clutter and wearing thin, flat, shoes with hard soles that do not interfere with balance.

Bennet Omalu Nigerian-American pathologist

Bennet Ifeakandu Omalu is a Nigerian-American physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players while working at the Allegheny County Coroner's Office in Pittsburgh. He later became the chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, California, and is a professor at the University of California, Davis, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Concussions and other types of repetitive play-related head blows in American football have been shown to be the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has led to player deaths and other debilitating symptoms after retirement, including memory loss, depression, anxiety, headaches, and sleep disturbances.

Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury, are a frequent concern for those playing sports, from children and teenagers to professional athletes. Repeated concussions are a known cause of various neurological disorders, most notably chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which in professional athletes has led to premature retirement, erratic behavior and even suicide. Because concussions cannot be seen on X-rays or CT scans, attempts to prevent concussions have been difficult.

A sports-related traumatic brain injury is a serious accident which may lead to significant morbidity or mortality. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in sports are usually a result of physical contact with another person or stationary object, these sports may include boxing, football, field/ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, rugby, soccer, wrestling, auto racing, cycling, equestrian, roller blading, skateboarding, skiing, or snowboarding.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt or penetration to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. Most TBIs are caused by falls, jumps, motor vehicle traffic crashes, being struck by a person or a blunt object, and assault. Student athletes may be put at risk in school sports, creating concern about concussions and brain injury. A concussion can be caused by

Concussions in Australian sport

Head injuries in sports of any level are the most dangerous and sickening kind of injuries that can occur in sport, and are becoming more common in Australian sport. Concussions are the most common side effect of a head injury and are defined as "temporary unconsciousness or confusion and other symptoms caused by a blow to the head." A concussion also falls under the category of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Especially in contact sports like Australian rules football and Rugby issues with concussions are prevalent, and methods to deal with, prevent and treat concussions are continuously being updated and researched to deal with the issue. Concussions pose a serious threat to the patients’ mental and physical health, as well as their playing career, and can result in lasting brain damage especially if left untreated. The signs that a player may have a concussion are: loss of consciousness or non-responsiveness, balance problems, a dazed, blank or vacant look and/or confusion and unawareness of their surroundings. Of course the signs are relevant only after the player experiences a blow to the head.

Concussions in rugby union

Concussions in England's professional rugby union are the most common injury received. Concussion can occur where an individual experiences an impact to the head. Commonly occurring in high contact sporting activities; American football, boxing, and rugby. It can also occur in recreational activities like horse riding, jumping, cycling, and skiing. The reason being that it doesn't have to be something to strike you in the proximity of your brain, but can also be caused by rapid change of movement, giving the skull not enough time to move with your body, causing your brain to press against your skull. With rugby being such a contact and fast moving sport, it is no wonder why there is concussion and other head injuries occurring. With the development of equipment and training methods, these will help benefit the players on the field know what could happen and how they can help with preventing it.

Joseph Maroon is an American neurosurgeon, author, and triathlon athlete. He is the professor and vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and is the current Medical Director of WWE. He is particularly known for his work studying concussions and concussion prevention as well as his hypothesis on the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Most documented cases of Chronic traumatic encephalopathy have occurred in athletes involved in contact sports such as boxing, American football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby and soccer. Other risk factors include being in the military, prior domestic violence, and repeated banging of the head. The exact amount of trauma required for the condition to occur is unknown. Below is a list of notable cases of CTE in sports,

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