Analysis of goalkeepers’ game performances at the 2016 European Football Championships

Background: Despite a substantial body of literature on the physical and technical demands of outfield players in football, there is little information regarding the performance of goalkeepers.

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyse the game performance profiles of goalkeepers at the 2016 European Football Championships.

Methods: A total of 30 goalkeepers from 15 games played during the 2016 European Football Championships were analysed using the InStat® video tracking system.

Results: The results showed that goalkeepers covered a mean total distance of 4819 m, ranging from 4036 m to 6640 m. Overall, 68% of distance travelled was attributed to walking, whereas 0.8% was due to high-intensity activities. The goalkeepers of teams that lost matches covered significantly (p < 0.05) longer distances while sprinting than those of teams that drew or won the matches. Goalkeepers of teams that drew significantly (p < 0.05) had a greater number of passes than those goalkeepers of teams that won or lost.

Conclusion: The current results have implications for soccer coaches to structure training sessions and tactical strategies for goalkeepers. The ability of goalkeepers to meet the physical and technical demands of a match could directly influence the successful execution of skills and the outcome of the competition.