When you see that most teams play once a week, you can see how people to the conclusion that they don’t play much.
Bar that one 90 minute session, I am sure some people think that footballers are just on holiday and having breaks.
However, that is not really the case in the footballing game, as players are constantly playing football.
This is not only to improve themselves but to get ready for upcoming fixtures their team may have.
So how often do soccer players play, and how many days are they playing soccer?
Today I will be discussing this topic and giving you the answers to these questions.
How Often Do Soccer Players Play?
Soccer Players at a professional level will play at least 5 days a week, as long as they are not injured.
5 days for training, 1 day in a match and 1-day rest.
Now, this schedule is normal for most professional clubs, however, it can change depending on how often a soccer team plays in a week.
What dictates how often exactly a player plays is a number of factors.
As while players will typically be playing every week, there are reasons why some will play less and others more.
Has Injuries Or Is Injury Prone
If a player has recently picked up an injury, whether from a game or a training session, they, therefore, won’t be playing soccer.
Instead, they will be going through rehab in order to recover and build up strength to get back on the pitch.
Clubs, especially at the top level will have excellent facilities with medical staff.
So while a player isn’t playing with his teammates in training, they could be in the facilities receiving treatment or in the gym, working with staff.
Now a player doesn’t have to be injured to play less either, has there are players that are so prone to getting injured that the best advice is for them to play fewer days.
One player who had this issue was ex-Tottenham defender Ledley King.
Who because he had so many knee and groin problems, would sometimes not train at all, just to protect himself for matches at the weekend.
So players like him will be lucky to play once a week instead of the multiple times a normal professional soccer player would.
Another that dictates how often soccer players play, is on how good they are.
The best players as you would guess play most weeks without fail.
However, for the youngsters or fringe players, their game time will be more limited.
Simply because they aren’t making frequent appearances in matches.
So while a professional team will have a squad of players that all trains in the week.
Most of them won’t get minutes for the first team on game day, with only a maximum of 14 players allowed to be used.
The Quality Of The Team
How good the team a soccer player plays for can also have a bearing on how much they play.
As for some teams, they play more than others as they are involved in more competitions.
If we take the premier league as an example, some clubs will be in the Champions League and Europa League.
While others will only need to worry about the premier league schedule.
So for those who are involved in continental cups, the soccer players are playing more frequently.
Then those clubs who don’t have those extra fixtures.
The Age Of The Player
Those who are getting older, and towards the age of retirement will play much less.
As when players get older, the time it takes to recover from games and training increases.
To the point where playing consecutive days in a week, becomes a little bit trickier than it used to be.
When it comes to games, a lot of clubs will manage their older players as they come to the retirement stage, by saving them for important games.
Players like Messi and Ronaldo are well into their thirties, however, are exceptions.
As at 36 and 34 respectively, the pair are two players who will still play 90 minutes every game.
Playing as many as players half their age in the squads.
Do Soccer Players Play Every day?
The idea of playing soccer every day, would likely to appeal to any aspiring footballer.
However, doing so can be counterproductive, so therefore teams will have one and sometimes two days rest depending on the team’s schedule.
Now a playing schedule will consist of four sessions:
- Recovery Session – This is light jogging and stretching
- Game Days – Where a player plays a match for their club
- Training Practice – This incorporating different soccer drills, to help improve players
- Light Training – This is performed on the day of a game, like it suggests this is low intensity, with a game coming up
A typical training day will see a soccer player, do either training practice, where they are working on areas of their game.
The coaches will come up with drills, to help them with passing, shooting and dribbling, etc
If they’re not doing a high-intensity training day, then they will do what is known as a recovery session.
This is all with the aim to keep players joints moving and keep them active.
They won’t be doing lots of work on these days.
Instead doing some stretching, a bit of ball work and low-intensity drills.
A soccer players playing schedule is designed to keep them fit and help them improve, while not putting them at risk of getting injured.
While many people would think that clubs should be playing all the time in order for clubs to pay footballers the amount they do.
It wouldn’t be a great idea, for them to be doing high-intensity training every day of the week.
Now depending on a team playing scedule, they will have 4-5 training sessions a week.
Half being recovery based and the other being just standard training.
So while most clubs still have their players train 5 times a week, they won’t just be playing football constantly along all of those days.
How Many Hours Do Footballers Play A Day?
A days work for a footballer sees them either getting prepared for a match or training.
However, the number of hours the footballers will play in a day will depend on what is sceduled.
On a day of a match, they will either play no football or do a short 1-hour session in the lead up to a game.
This is so players are fully rested and ready to go, when the game kicks off.
Its because of this that you will be surprised to hear, a lot of players will chill in hotel rooms or at their homes before making their way to the match.
How much time your typical player plays in that match will depend on the manager.
As many players in soccer travel with a team to a game, however, apart from doing the warm-up drills.
Before the game, possibly during half-time, and even as the game plays, some won’t even get any minutes.
While for others, they could end up doing both warming up and playing the full 90.
Unlike match days, all players will be involved and playing football in training sessions.
A training session will likely last around 1-2 hours.
The day will be split into 2 sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
So, for example, they could have a 2-hour session of playing soccer in the morning.
Followed by an afternoon session in the gym.
It can also work vice-versa.
How Many Games Do Soccer Players Play A Week?
Soccer players will play either one, two or no games at all in a week.
This depends on various factors such as:
- Whether a player is injured
- If they are out of favour with the manager
- Aren’t good enough to play
- How many competitions the team is involved with
Starting with injuries, this can be a big factor in how many games a player plays.
Injuries, having had them unfortunately many times in my career, can sometimes put you out for weeks, even months.
So depending on the severity of an injury a player picks up, they could either still be fit enough to play a game in a week.
Or not be fit to be selected for a number of months, as they try to recover.
Falling Out Of Favour
This is something that happens a lot in soccer, and that is players falling out of favour.
If a player is putting in too many under-par performances, the coach might start limiting their minutes.
So while a player could play every week in one month.
The next month could see them dropped from the squad.
In the game of soccer players,when given the chance have to make the most of it
Has especially at the top level it can be brutal, with players being switched out of sides quite regulary.
When this happens a player can go from playing every week to not playing at all.
Or not be fit to be selected for a number of months, as they try to recover.
How Good The Player Is
The next factor is on how good the player is.
If they are the star player, then the coach will want to play them every week.
However, if they aren’t good enough to get into the 18, then a soccer player could end up playing no games a week.
Now the good thing about most professional football clubs, is they do have a second team.
This is normally a reserve/u23 team, however, players over that age can play in it.
So you will sometimes see professional footballers get runs out for these second teams as opposed to the first teams.
Especially if they are fringe players, getting back from injury or the club wants to get them minutes.
So there you have it, that is my guide on how often soccer players play.
If you want to learn about how frequently soccer teams in general play, you can check out this interesting post I wrote here.
Finally if you do have any questions be sure to let me know down below 🙂