Professional soccer games are held in large stadiums that are located far away from each other. This forces soccer players to travel long distances whenever they have matches far away from their home stadium. But how often do these soccer players travel?
The amount of traveling soccer players need depends on which country the players are competing in. In some countries, the soccer stadiums are very far away from each other which forces the players to travel at least twice a month, while in other countries, less traveling is required.
Usually, the big soccer clubs around the world have their own stadiums. So, to make the competition fair between these clubs, soccer leagues make sure to divide the number of league games played on each of these stadiums evenly.
In other words, roughly half of the official matches that a soccer club plays will have to be on stadiums other than its own, and these matches are called “away matches”
In large countries, the soccer clubs and their players will usually have to travel whenever they have an away match in a stadium that’s far away from their own stadium.
Since soccer clubs will usually play somewhere between 2~4 away matches per month (and sometimes more), you’ll see these clubs and their players traveling a lot each month.
Do soccer players travel on all away matches?
Not necessarily. An away match only means that the game will not be held in the stadium of the club that the player plays for.
There are many soccer clubs that are based inside the same city and usually none of the players of these clubs have to travel when they compete against each other
Some of these matches are called derbies. A derby is a match held between 2 well known rival teams that originate from the same city. For example, a match between Manchester United and Manchester City in England is a derby match because both of these teams are located in Manchester City.
Obviously, the players of each team will not have to travel long distances to reach the other team’s stadium.
So, an away match does not always force soccer players to travel long distances.
How do soccer players travel to away games?
Most of the time, soccer players travel with their club instead of traveling individually. Each soccer club has a gathering place. Players of a team will gather and travel together along with the team’s coach and several other members of the club.
The transportation method chosen usually depends on the destination. The main goal when picking a transportation method is to keep the players as comfortable as possible and to not exhaust their bodies to the point that they won’t be physically ready for the next game
You’ll see soccer teams traveling with Buses all the time. Most of the big soccer clubs around the world have their own travel buses and they equip these buses with anything that can reduce the negative effects of long travel on the players.
However, buses won’t get you everywhere around the world as fast as you need them to, so in many cases, soccer players will have to travel on trains or planes to reach their destination on time.
Does a lot of travel affect the players?
A study on some professional soccer players in Australia was made to see if regular travel is affecting the soccer players in terms of injuries, training loads, and recoveries.
The study has concluded that traveling a lot does not significantly affect soccer players when it comes to many aspects.
The study concluded that traveling a lot does affect the training load of the players though. Soccer players get more time to train when they have home matches than when they have away matches, and this makes total sense as you can easily tell.
The travel time takes away some of the precious training time that soccer players require before every match, but other than that, traveling does not significantly affect soccer players according to the study.
However, one thing that is not mentioned is the time the players have to spend away from their families due to the regular traveling routines in their lives.
Mental toughness is extremely important in soccer and sometimes when soccer players spend so much time away from their families, they might lose some of the motivation and the mental toughness that’s required to win a game, especially if the game is against a better opponent.
While many people might claim that it’s only a few days of travel and that it won’t affect the players a lot, one can’t deny the small consequences that a person faces when they have to leave their families for a few days on a regular basis.
Soccer players travel on a regular basis. In countries where soccer stadiums are far away from each other, the players might have to travel at least twice a month to be able to compete against other clubs in the major soccer competition of the country.