Next Article in Journal
A Three-Dimensional Movement Analysis of the Spike in Fistball
Next Article in Special Issue
Relationships and Predictive Capabilities of Jump Assessments to Soccer-Specific Field Test Performance in Division I Collegiate Players
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Goal Format in Small-Sided Soccer Games: Technical Actions and Offensive Scenarios of Prepubescent Players
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sports 2016, 4(4), 54;

Identification of Defensive Performance Factors in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Department of Science of Physical Activity and Sport, Catholic University of Valencia San Vte Mártir, 46900 Valencia, Spain
Department of Physical and Sport Education, University of A Coruña, 15000 A Coruña, Spain
Department of Methodology of Behavioral Sciences, University of Barcelona, 08000 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Science of Physical Activity and Sport, Pontifical University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Filipe Manuel Clemente
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 21 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance in Soccer)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [227 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]


The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of defensive play in elite football, to identify variables associated with the direct recovery of ball possession, and to propose a model for predicting the success of defensive transitions. We analyzed 804 transitions in the final stages of the Fedération Internationale Football Association (FIFA) World Cup 2010, and investigated the following variables using univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses: duration of defensive transition, possession loss zone, position of players at the start and end of the defensive transitions, defensive organization, general defensive approach, time of the match, position of defense, zone in which the offensive transition ends, match status, and outcome of the defensive transition. We found that the defensive transitions started most frequently in the middle offensive zone (48.9%), with an organized defense set-up (98.8%), and were unsuccessful on 57.2% of occasions. The bivariate analysis showed that the variable most strongly associated with direct recovery of the possession of the ball (p = 0.018) is the area in which the ball is lost, and the multivariate analysis showed that the duration of the defensive transition can be used as a performance indicator, with transitions lasting between 0 and 15 s associated with a higher likelihood of directly recovering the ball. This work has allowed us to identify a pattern of tactical-strategic behavior with major probabilities of success in the defensive transitions. These results will be able to be used by coaches to improve the performance of their teams in this type of situation in the game. View Full-Text
Keywords: elite soccer; defensive phase; observational methodology; performance analysis elite soccer; defensive phase; observational methodology; performance analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Casal, C.A.; Andujar, M.Á.; Losada, J.L.; Ardá, T.; Maneiro, R. Identification of Defensive Performance Factors in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. Sports 2016, 4, 54.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sports EISSN 2075-4663 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top