ISSN: 1899-1955
Human Movement
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abstract:
Original paper

Players’ participation in team possessions of the 2014 FIFA® World Cup semi-finalists

Cauan de Almeida
1
,
Rodrigo Santos
2
,
Lucas Mantovani
2
,
Israel Teoldo
3

1.
América Futebol Clube, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
2.
Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil
3.
Centre of Research and Studies in Soccer, Department of Physical Education, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil
Hum Mov. 2022; 23(1):44–49
Online publish date: 2021/07/25
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Purpose
In soccer, teammates are required to behave in a synchronized fashion to generate an effective unity. The study aim was to compare the number of players participating in team possessions of the 4 semi-finalists of the 2014 FIFA® World Cup.

Methods
The sample of this observational study comprised 2372 team possessions of the 2014 FIFA® World Cup semifinalists (Germany, Argentina, the Netherlands, and Brazil). Descriptive analysis was performed, and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test was applied. The Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests served to verify the overall and specific effects of the number of players participating in team possessions. Effect sizes were reported as Pearson’s r. The significance level was set at p < 0.05. The SPSS software version 22 was used for statistical procedures.

Results
The tournament winners (Germany) displayed significantly higher means of the number of players per possession than the Netherlands and Brazil (U = 144.797; p < 0.001; small effect; and U = 158.501; p < 0.001; small effect, respectively), as did the runners-up, Argentina (U = 140.253; p = 0.012; negligible effect; and U = 154.226; p < 0.001; small effect, respectively). The Netherlands had a significantly higher mean number of players participating in team possessions than Brazil (U = 160.467; p = 0.014; negligible effect).

Conclusions
The teams who reached the tournament final circulated the ball by using more players than those eliminated in the semi-finals. Future studies should verify the potential utilization of the number of players as an indicator of competitive success.

keywords:

soccer, world cup, team possessions, number of players

 
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