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Injury rate and prevention in elite football: let us first search within our own hearts
  1. Martin Buchheit1,
  2. Cristiano Eirale2,
  3. Ben Michael Simpson1,
  4. Mathieu Lacome1
  1. 1 Performance Department, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Saint-Germain-En-Laye, France
  2. 2 Sport Medicine Department, Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Buchheit, Performance Department, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Saint-Germain-en-Laye 78100, France; mbuchheit{at}; mb{at}

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Research and discussions about injury rates and their prevention in elite football is one of the hottest topics in the medical and sport science literature. Over the past years, there has been an explosion of the number of publications, including surveys,1 observational, retrospective or prospective2 studies, training interventions and various types of expert opinions and commentaries.3 This array of information are likely useful to improve our understanding of what the best practices may be and, in turn, increase our ability to better prepare, manage and treat players. However, a recent survey has shown that 83% of UEFA clubs do not follow evidenced-based prevention programmes.1 It was also shown that hamstring injuries kept increasing over the last 13 years.2 Taken together, those two papers may suggest that the majority of elite club practitioners likely disregard research findings1 and may therefore be the one to be blamed for those increased injury rates.2

Making supporting staff and coaches responsible for those injuries is easy, especially when considering their perceived typical personality traits (ie, so-called type 2,4 high egos and little open-mindedness and willingness to learn—‘why could they be bothered applying the new study findings?’). While this may be true sometimes, the reality is that …

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  • Contributors MB wrote the paper and performed analysis. CE provided constructive comments on draft. BMS provided constructive comments on draft. ML provided constructive comments on draft and help on data analysis.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.