Size matters in football

March 3rd, 2009 - 3:20 pm ICT by ANI  

London, March 3 (ANI): Scientists have claimed that football sides are more successful if their best players are taller and leaner.

According to a report in Telegraph, professors at Wolverhampton University in the UK reckon the best top-flight sides have bigger and leaner stars and are statistically less likely to win trophies with smaller players.

Their research claims that size matters because professional footballers are getting taller and slightly leaner, with a small but significant rise in BMI (Body Mass Index) over four decades.

Professor Alan Nevill, from the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure - who studied nearly 900 players from four decades of English top flight football, said, We looked at heights and weights and ages of professional footballers spanning over 40 years and looked at how heights and weights have developed, and sure enough, players are getting taller and leaner.

The height to weight ratio is also changing, which was the key indicator for successful teams. “The top six teams in the league appear to have more of these taller, leaner players, in comparison to the teams below them, he said.

These results suggest that football coaches and talent scouts should pay attention to the body shape when selecting potential players for their squads, he added.

Prof. Nevill put the trend of increasing numbers of gangly stars down to their ability to lose heat from their bodies and close opponents down more quickly.

Apart from the fact that taller players will be more successful at heading the ball both defensively and in attack, they will be able to close down or limit opposition players ability to pass and distribute the ball, he said.

Furthermore, taller, thinner people are able to dissipate heat more rapidly than shorter, heavier people, who overheat more quickly because of their smaller surface area, he added. (ANI)

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