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Preventing injuries in professional football: thinking bigger and working together
  1. Jan Ekstrand1,2,3
  1. 1Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  2. 2UEFA Injury Study Lead Expert, Linköping, Sweden
  3. 3Football Research Group, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jan Ekstrand, Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Hertig Karlsgatan 13B, Linköping S-582 21, Sweden; jan.ekstrand{at}telia.com

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Avoiding injuries ensures high player availability and allows coaches to have the most complete squad possible available for training and to select their best squad for matches. In the UEFA Champions League (UCL), the unavailability of players to compete in matches due to injury averages 14% but varies between 5% and 20%.1 Lower injury rates have been linked with team success in national and international matches.2

Top players are expensive to sign (transfer fees) and they have large salaries. It has been estimated that an injured player in the starting 11 of a UCL team will cost the club around €500 000 to €600 000 a month or around between €17 000 and €20 000 a day.3 Since the average number of absence days in a UCL team with a squad of 25–28 players is around 1100 days a season, the average cost to the club due to injuries is around €20 …

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