Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of players worldwide. It’s so popular that more people play it than any other sport. Yet, despite its popularity, soccer also has a reputation as one of the most dangerous sports out there — one that can leave you with broken bones, sprained ligaments, and even concussions, depending on what position you play.
Soccer is not generally considered to be a contact sport, and many soccer injuries come down to improper warm-ups and preparation before partaking in the rigorous sport. However, these types of injuries must still be noted.
There are many opportunities for opposing players to inflict bodily harm on the field, especially considering the studs on the bottom of soft ground soccer cleats!
It is also important to note that your soccer career can end as quickly as it began with some widespread, well-known soccer injuries – all of which I will detail in this post.
So, is the game of soccer actually more dangerous than football?
A survey of sporting injuries in the United Kingdom revealed that soccer players suffer more head injuries than rugby players, but football players experience more head injuries than both.
Read on to learn more.
According to the Bleacher Report, Soccer is the 6th most dangerous sport in the world, that is, after:
… with boxing being at the top of the list for quite obvious reasons.
Soccer and Football Players Injured Every Year
Is soccer more dangerous than football? The two sports are quite intense that the injury statistics are quite alarming.
Worldwide, there are over 14 million soccer players in the playing ages of 12-18. In this number, the injuries affect 100,000-120,000 players annually.
On the other hand, there are around 10 million players in football, and the injuries can affect almost 300000 per year.
A look at the stats shows that football players are more prone to injuries than soccer players. The physicality involved in football can explain the prevalence of injuries, and it is more common to hear that a football player had their career cut due to serious injury in the pitch.
Dangers of Soccer
Despite having a lower number of associated in-pitch trauma, soccer is quite dangerous, more so if the player is not resilient when playing. Most of the dangers target the limbs, as they are the primary tools of trade in soccer.
For example, if the player does not frequently exercise to achieve a decent muscle tone, they can get foot injuries during a game.
Foot muscles are the most prone, with hamstring, Achilles, and tendon trauma being standard. There can also be breakage of limbs, which can take the player off the field and practice for weeks or months.
Knee issues are also common and can result in severe conditions like staph infections if not checked in time.
List of Common Soccer Injuries
Besides the injuries mentioned above, below are other injuries that soccer players face.
- Kneecap bursitis.
- Ankle sprains
- Knee sprains.
- Pulled groin.
- Torn meniscus.
As mentioned before, most of them come due to overstraining the muscles when playing or training.
The Safety Measures That Can Be Taken to Prevent Soccer Injuries
Some of the measures to take to prevent soccer-associated trauma include consistent training. The training should not go overboard to strain the muscles and other organs; instead, it should help in toning for resiliency when the player is on the field.
Other measures include having safety gear, like shin guards and mouth guards, to curb any damages.
In case of any injury to a player, they should take time off for rehabilitation to prevent the issue from getting more serious.
Dangers of Football
Football is one of the most physical sports, involving speed and tackles, which often go out of hand, leaving the players with serious injuries. The tackling may lead to falls, which can be severe and leave one with broken bones or trauma to organs.
Research from prominent sports medics shows that football players stand a high risk of head concussions that have severe effects like risks of brain damage.
The brain damage may show in the form of dementia or Alzheimer’s in the future.
List of Common Football Injuries
Sprains and dislocations are the most common football injuries, and they may come due to falls and tackles. Running can also bring about sprains, mostly of the ankle and knee.
Football players also experience hip and back issues, which may again come from the tackling, mainly if they were in the wrong position on the pitch.
Here is a list of other injuries that football players are more prone to:
- Staph infections and bursitis.
- Torn tendons and ligaments.
- Bruises and abrasions.
- Concussions can lead to imbalance and dizziness.
- Hamstring and rotator cuff strains.
As you can see from the list of injuries, the lower body is more prone. However, upper body injuries can be more devastating, especially if there is a force directed to the head.
Safety Measures That Can Be Taken to Prevent Football Injuries
To prevent football injuries, the first thing to ensure is that players have protective gear. The gear includes helmets, shoulder pads, mouth guards, shin guards, compression shorts, and gloves. They should be hardy enough to prevent injury and not to hurt attacking players.
The nature of the gameplay makes it quite hard for some measures to go through, though they help reduce the prevalence of injuries.
Affected players should keep off the pitch and undergo a rehabilitation program to ensure that they are alright and heal properly before returning to the field.
From this piece, we can see that football is relatively more dangerous than soccer, though each player should be keen enough to avert avoidable injuries and correctly wear any protective gear available to them.