How many miles do soccer players run in a game?

  • Soccer players run more than athletes in any other sport
  • Midfielders often cover the most distance on the pitch
  • Certain tactics can increase or decrease the amount of miles players run in 90 minutes
Here's how many miles soccer players run in a game.
Here's how many miles soccer players run in a game. / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

Soccer players cover an unparalleled distance each game, and the amount of miles they run in 90 minutes is nothing short of impressive.

It is no secret that soccer players are almost always in a constant state of motion. Whether they are going for goal or trying to get back on defense, they cover a total distance in a single match that most people would balk at.

In fact, players on the most successful teams in Europe, like Real Madrid and Manchester City, must often play multiple matches in one week as they balance league matches, domestic cups, and the Champions League.

Even if you think you know just how many miles a soccer player typically runs in a single game, the actual number still might surprise you.

Federico Valverde
Real Madrid CF v Real Betis - LaLiga EA Sports / Angel Martinez/GettyImages

How many miles do soccer players run in a game?

On average, a soccer player runs about seven miles per game. Those at the top of the sport can expect to run the equivalent of a 10K race every match day.

Of course, the total distance a player covers each match fluctuates based on position, opposition, and tactics. For example, a center back will typically not run as much as an attacking midfielder tasked with constantly moving the ball up the pitch.

Also, if a team sits back and defends for 90 minutes, then the players inevitably will not run as much; instead, they are pinned in their own half and might only break free for a few counter attacks.

A player's total distance relies on how many minutes they play as well. Someone who gets subbed off the field in the 60th minute does not have nearly as many miles as their teammate who plays the entire game. Plus, a substitute coming on in the dying minutes of the second half just might spend more time warming up on the sideline than in the thick of the action.

If a game goes into extra time, or has an usually high amount of stoppage time, then players will record more than the averaged seven miles per game.