Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Goal scoring in elite male football: A systematic review

José Maria Pratas, Anna Volossovitch, Ana Isabel Carita



The aim of this paper is to review the available literature on goal scoring in elite male football leagues. A systematic search of two electronic databases (SPORTDiscus with Full Text and ISI Web Knowledge All Databases) was conducted and of the 610 studies initially identified, 19 were fully analysed. Studies that fitted all the inclusion criteria were organised according to the research approach adopted (static or dynamic). The majority of these studies were conducted in accordance with the static approach (n=15), where the data were collected without considering dynamic of performance during matches and were analysed using standard statistical methods for data analysis. They focused predominantly on a description of key performance indicators (technical and tactical). Meanwhile, in a few studies the dynamic approach (n=4) was adopted, where performance variables were recorded taking into account the chronological and sequential order in which they occurred. Different advanced analysis techniques for assessing performance evolution over time during the match were used in this second group of studies. The strengths and limitations of both approaches in terms of providing the meaningful information for coaches are discussed in the present study. 


Game analysis; Team sport; Tactics; Performance indicators; Soccer


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