After four weeks of well-placed headers and acrobatic kicks and whatever was going on with Ronaldo's hair, the World Cup finally draws to a close today. But while you're holding your breath during the Germany-Argentina nail-biter, take a moment to appreciate the most astonishing feat that happens during these 90 minutes: How far these guys are running.
A year ago we compared how far athletes of different sports ran during the course of a given game/match/joust. The full breakdown is below, but the most remarkable figure comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from soccer:
Obviously, there is some variation depending on the position they play—midfielders run the most; the goalie not so much—but it's not uncommon for a player to average seven miles per game. Seven! SportVU has tracked players running as much as 9.5 miles in a game.
So the next time you're lamenting the lack of scoring, just think of it this way. You're watching 22 grown men run a combined 154 miles in a mere 90 minutes, with individual players running well over 60 miles through the course of the tournament. And looking good doing it.
Photo credit: Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths