How Much Does A Soccer Player Run in a Game?

Table of Contents

You’re sitting in front of your TV, and you’re watching the most awaited English Premier League match. Your favorite team is running around the soccer field, passing and defending the ball, trying to score goals. Running a 90-minute game is quite intense, right?

Have you ever wondered how much a soccer player has to run during a game?

Well, we have, and we’re going to tell you all about it today. 

On average, a soccer player runs between 7-10 miles. That is 11-16 km in a game. This average varies from player to player. It also depends on game tactics, the condition of the pitch, and the weather. 

Let’s explore how much soccer players run during a game. We’ll also explain the distance they cover and how that data is tracked. So, the next time you watch a soccer game with your friends, you’ll know the distance each player is covering. 

How Much Does A Soccer Player Run in a Game?

Each player’s distance can never be the same, even though they have the same time per game. This is because the role of each player in the game is different. 

Let’s see how much each soccer player runs according to their role. 


The wingers function both in the midfield of a team and the attack. They don’t spend a lot of time helping their defenders but are seen as a threat to the opposite team’s goal. 

The wingers cover less distance than the rest of the midfielders but cover more distance than the defenders. On average, a winger runs around 5-6 miles in a match, but this depends mainly on how their team performs and how much they attack. 


Next up is the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper aims to stop the opponent from scoring a goal in their area. You must have seen the rectangular penalty area, right? That area is roughly 18 yards away from the goal. 

So, you aren’t wrong if you think that the goalkeeper doesn’t cover much distance in a game. Although the goalkeepers have a more active role in their team’s attack, they still don’t cover much distance. This is because their job is to stay within the rectangular area, which is not so large. 

So, on average, a goalkeeper runs 2 miles in a 90-minute match. 


Midfielders are the link between the attackers and the defenders. Their role is to enter the opposing team’s area and play defense when the opposite team has the soccer ball. 

Many soccer lovers know that this is a difficult position, and the distance a midfielder covers can vary.  A midfielder typically covers a distance of around 7 miles per game. 


Fullbacks are defensive players. They stand on either side of the center-backs. A fullback’s job requires running up and down the sidelines. The distance that fullbacks cover depends on the tactics their coach has them use.

Defensive fullbacks can cover the same distance as a center-back, which is 5-6 miles. Attacking fullbacks may cover more distance. On average, they can cover 7 or more miles per game.

Center Backs

The center-back defends the central areas on the field in front of the goal. They are responsible for making tackles, blocking shots, interceptions, clearances, and more. 

Just like the goalkeeper, the center-backs don’t run a lot because they act as the anchor of the defense. You can expect a center-back to cover a distance of 5 miles in a match. However, this distance depends on the opposition’s attack. 

If they’re playing against a stronger team, the distance covered can increase because it will be harder to score a goal. 


As the name suggests, the striker is responsible for scoring goals to win the match. You can imagine that strikers spend most of their time on the opposite end of the field to score their goals. 

The distance strikers cover depends on the team’s tactics and ball possession. 

Let’s consider an example here. Suppose a team player is constantly playing long balls toward the attackers. In that case, the strikers will have to run a lot. As a result, the distance covered will increase. However, on average, a striker runs 5-6 miles in a tough match. 

Factors That Affect Distance Covered

Many factors affect the amount of distance a player covers in a match, including possession, fitness levels, approach, and conditions. 

The first factor is possession.

Teams that have possession of the ball have to cover less distance in comparison to the opposite team. Pretty obvious, right? This is because the ball does the work while the opposing team spends time covering the ground to get the ball back. 

The second factor is fitness levels. Players that are more fit, can usually perform better. Teams with fit players are considered more effective and can win the ball back quickly. 

The third factor is the approach. The approach must be considered when calculating the distance a soccer player runs. At times, teams let the opponent possess the ball, and only press when the ball comes in their half. This enables them to cover less distance than the others.

The fourth and last factor is conditions. Although this doesn’t make much of a difference, teams that play in hotter climates find it more difficult to cover distance than those that play in colder climates. 

Importance of Endurance for Players

One thing that truly sets soccer players apart is their endurance, which is an essential factor in their performance. The more endurance a team possesses, the more distance they can cover. 

Let’s consider the size of a soccer field. The average size of a soccer field is 105 X 68 meters. In higher-level matches, like the Fifa World Cup, the size of the soccer field can be even greater. 

Covering that much distance requires a lot of stamina, and the soccer player needs to be fit for that. If a player is fit, they can maintain a higher level of performance throughout the match. They are able to power through a game even when the other players are worn out.

Endurance also plays a major role in recovery. Soccer players usually have short breaks in matches, and most of the time, they have multiple games lined up together.

Players with better endurance can pull back up and perform well in multiple matches in a row. This minimizes the chances of injuries caused by tiredness. 

Tracking Player Performance Through Data

Let’s consider the average size of a football field. The size is around 105*68 meters. So, on average, the players have over 11000 meters of pitch where they play. 

Now, you must be wondering how this is calculated. Calculating how much a soccer player runs may seem labor-intensive and time-consuming. Luckily, the advancement of technology has made this process easy. 

Many different tracking technologies are used to calculate the distance each soccer player covers in a match. However, this may vary depending on the league or competition.

The distance covered is usually calculated using tiny radio transmitters that send signals that are placed in the player’s jerseys, boots, soccer balls, or even around the pitch. The transmitter then calculates the ball speed, passes, step count, etc.

The data collected with these transmitters’ is used to improve the player’s performance. The coaches use it to understand the player’s contributions in a match.

They also use it to identify each player’s strengths and weaknesses. Based on that, the coaches then suggest improvement accordingly. 

Implications for Training Programs

Once the data is gathered through transmitters, coaches can design specialized training programs. All of these training programs are then tailored to each player’s role. 

Soccer players’ training programs are often customized to enhance the physical factors necessary for each soccer player. Let’s suppose wingers need to practice for speed and agility. This will help them play offensive duties in a better way. 

On the other hand, midfielders are trained for a mix of tactical drills and endurance so they can support attacking and defensive responsibilities. 

Let’s say the data is gathered and assessed, and the team that was controlling possession covered more distance than was necessary.

After finding out this information, the coaches can prioritize possession-based training. This will help the players focus on efficiently keeping the ball, and minimize their physical exertion.

Improving the training programs is just as important as improving the team members’ performance. This can be done by calculating the distance covered by each member. This helps tailor training programs for effective performance. 

Soccer Players Who Have Covered The Most Distance 

Now, let’s find out which soccer players have covered the most distance. 

First up on our list is Bernardo Silva. He set an incredible mark with Manchester City when he covered a distance of 8.4 miles. This was against Tottenham Hotspurs in 2018. He also covered 8.5 miles against Liverpool. 

Next up on our list is David Beckham. During the decisive WC qualifier between England and Greece, Beckham covered a total of 10 miles. 

Marcelo Brozovic later broke this record in 2018 in the Russia World Cup where he ran a total of 10.12 miles. During this match, Brozovic had extra time, whereas Beckham covered that distance in a 90-minute match.


The distance covered by each soccer player varies depending on their role. Some players cover less distance in a match, whereas the others cover more. 

We hope you now understand the distance that each player covers in a match. Next time, when you’re watching a game with your friends, don’t forget to share this information with them. Show them that you’re a soccer pro, and have fun enjoying soccer with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *