footballers lose pace

Why Do Footballers Lose Pace? – Analysis

It’s ironic that we’ll be saying some harsh words right at the start of this exciting article. That is, doesn’t it all come down to running in football? And time is of the essence. Even the fans prefer pacy and electric players because they are more entertaining to watch. But here’s the harsh reality: footballers lose speed!

We despise seeing our favorite players get older each year; it’s a sad sight! But it is true. Footballers lose their speed as they get older due to physical decline. In today’s article, we’ll look at the reasons for this sad reality. Let’s get started!

What is Pace in Football(soccer)?

It is common knowledge that as we age, we become slower. Footballers suffer from the same problem; they lose speed. Modern football is built around speed.

”For all of football’s tactical and technical innovation, pace remains the great leveller.”


pace; a ‘must-have’ for footballers these days:

Football as a sport is becoming increasingly complex and demanding. And in today’s football, one of the most important factors is speed. It includes the speed of the run, the speed of movement, the speed of decision-making, and the speed with which the technique is applied.

Because of the high rhythm of the game, which is a feature of modern football, coaches are looking for players with these characteristics. Without the ball, the pace represents the maximum acceleration that a football player can achieve and sustain over a given distance.

relation between strength, endurance & pace:

Pace is one of the most important factors for any football player these days. All players must be fast in order to meet the demands of a modern football player. Whatever their position and role in the team. When it comes to younger football players, this stage of development is crucial. As with age and injuries, the speed and pace are gradually reduced.

This emphasizes the significance of ongoing efforts to improve strength and endurance. As a result, players are less likely to sustain injuries, and their muscles and joints are stronger and more durable. This is especially important for them as they get older. Footballers lose speed as they age. So, at this age, additional strength training and exercises are essential.

Why is Pace Important for Footballers?

footballers lose pace; importance

Football intelligence is closely related to movement speed. The player must recognize the intention of the teammate during play, where to play the ball, when to exploit an empty space, and when to appear in a specific area. Historically, speed has been associated with attackers and wingers. Modern football requires fast players who can play all positions on the field.

Today’s football relies heavily on quick decisions and passing the ball to teammates. If you want to be successful in competitive matches.

In football, speed is more important than in other sports. It represents much more than simply running during a workout or a game. It is critical that all players move quickly with the ball at their feet. This is particularly true for attackers, midfielders, wingers, and defenders.

Running with The Ball | Ball Control at Speed

Another important characteristic of every player is the speed with which they move with the ball, also known as technique. Slow ball reactions and decision-making are not tolerated in football. Because doing so slows down the entire team’s actions. And the opponent is given the opportunity to set up his defense more easily or to exploit the space in attack more efficiently.

The pace of the players with the ball determines how effective the action is during a game. As well as the speed with which the players move without the ball. Before receiving the ball, the player must know what to do with it. He must consider all of the options available to him.

The pace is Key in Counter-Attacks

Pace with and without the ball is essential for the successful completion of an attack in football. To keep the ball moving quickly during the attack, players must dribble at full speed and move without the ball. When it comes to counterattacks, speed is especially important.

Pace without the ball is extremely important. Attackers and wingers must be able to move well without the ball in order to be effective. You must know how to get away from the opposing player and use the empty space to jeopardize the opponent’s goal. Without these characteristics, you will be unable to prevent the opponent’s goal. Pace is important for both offensive and defensive players.

requirements of modern football:

While traditional football seeks high-defensive players, modern football seeks fast defensive players. Defensive players must be quick enough to catch up to opposing attackers and prevent them from scoring.

A football player must have sufficient speed and endurance to respond to all play requests during the game. Although it is largely dependent on physical abilities, the player should constantly strive to improve their speed of movement and reaction. During a game, it is associated with strength, agility, and explosiveness.

How to Prevent Loss of Pace

Working on improving pace is an important aspect of football coaching from a young age, as footballers lose speed over time. The pace can be increased the most between the ages of 11 and 12, as well as between the ages of 15 and 16.

The pace is divided into two parts: a starting speed that characterizes a run of up to 20 meters and a general speed that develops over a distance of 40 to 60 meters. It is critical for football players to be able to move quickly and with flexibility in their legs.

footballers lose pace; pravention methods

training sessions:

Every child must do these exercises on a regular basis from the time they begin playing football. It is recommended that all coaches work on developing and improving coordination in training sessions. Skipping ladders, cones, groins, and hoops all help to improve the work of the legs, which is critical during a football game. These types of drills may assist football players in losing pace at a slower rate over time.

recovery is ‘key’:

Many games and excessive training reduce the consumption of players’ legs, and the pace slows over time. Players have a busy schedule with a lot of training and match obligations, so it is critical that they get enough rest in between games and training.

A football player must constantly work on his aerobic endurance because it affects the durability of his speed and agility. Rest and sleep are critical because the body requires enough energy to respond to all of the increasing demands.

The Importance of Pace/Speed Training

Footballers lose speed over time, so improving physical capabilities is critical. With increased strength, a football player can run farther and feel more balanced on the field. Every football coach must work hard to keep and develop his players’ speed.

Running technique exercises, coordination, strength, endurance practice, and explosiveness exercises are all factors that can greatly affect speed and should be worked on a regular basis. Appropriate exercises may help football players maintain their speed.

When do Footballers Start to Lose their Pace?

When you make your first team debut, your legs are fresh, and you feel like you can run with the same intensity throughout the game. The younger player is eager to prove himself and gives it his all every time he steps onto the field. In his twenties, the footballer can still play the majority of the game at the highest level, but he believes that this was not the case at the start of his senior career.

Furthermore, the football player believes that his muscles, knees, and joints are wearing out with each passing year. A football player in his thirties prefers to play with the ball in his feet and maintain his position on the field rather than roaming around.

can a footballer still be effective after losing pace?

There is already a lot of muscle consumption at the end of his career, so the player is much slower than before. Because the legs have worn out significantly, footballers in those years rely much more on their technical skills than on their speed.

These are the so-called football masters. Due to their slower speed, such players are forced to play positions that require less movement and running as they age. Francesco Totti, for example, resurrected his career as a trekker at the age of 38.

How Footballers Adapt to Loss of Pace

When football players lose their speed, they rely on their years of experience. Intelligence and game reading, combined with a proper field placement, allow them to compensate for their lack of speed. Andrea Pirlo and John Terry are two examples of players who used this to rejuvenate their careers in their later years.

Injuries have a big impact on the footballers’ loss of pace and the slowing down of their movements. The loss of speed undoubtedly affects the players who have relied on it the most throughout their careers. That is why it is critical to work on strength and endurance training on a regular basis.

why the loss of pace doesn’t affect some footballers?

Players like Javier Zanetti and Daniele De Rossi are less affected by the loss of pace because their main game attributes are strength and endurance. The importance of speed, however, is best demonstrated by Arjen Robben.

For many years, he used the same well-known feint, and yet he always managed to beat his opponents. His speed, dribbling speed, and movement allowed him to always pass around his opponents with his signature dribbling, which often resulted in a goal.

Footballers who Lost their Pace Due to Injuries

footballers who lost pace

Fernando Torres

One such example is Spanish footballer Fernando Torres, who was one of the fastest players of his generation. His best years in football were spent with Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. However, the injuries gradually reduced his speed and, thus, his ability to achieve his goals.

Radamel Falcao

Radamel Falcao was a goal machine when he was healthy. He brought numerous trophies to the clubs where he played, including Porto and Atletico Madrid. However, his injuries caused him to become much slower, and he struggled for a long time to return to his previous level.

Alexandre Pato

Alexandre Pato was a young Brazilian star who arrived in Milan at the age of 18. He scored goals with ease at the start of his career in Italy, and a bright future seemed to be ahead of him. However, serious injuries slowed this player’s development and kept him off the field for an extended period of time.

Injuries caused him to lose pace and speed over time, which was why he was able to easily escape opposing defensive players.


Robinho, the quick-footed Brazilian, handled the ball so quickly that he left fans all over the world breathless. His speed was impressive. However, due to numerous injuries, he was reduced to a shadow of the player who was once regarded as a true magician on the field.

He attempted to resurrect his career, but the loss of pace, which many footballers experience throughout their careers, had an effect. Unfortunately for all of these fantastic players, much more was expected of them, but injuries took their toll.


With all being said, a lot of details regarding the ‘pace’ in football are covered in today’s article. We hope you now have an answer to the question posed at the beginning of this article: why do football players lose pace?

The main causes that cannot be avoided are natural aging of the human body and muscle wear out over time. However, specific training can undoubtedly slow the process. Few footballers are also astute enough to transition from being pacy to being static creators as they near the end of their careers.

That’s all for today; it’s time to say our goodbyes! If you want to read more, go to our soccer section and browse through hundreds of soccer articles. Keep an eye out!

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