- New findings released by FIFPRO and Football Benchmark illustrate the workload demands of 1,800 elite men’s and women’s players
- Bruno Fernandes racked up the most minutes (6,666) of any player from 15 September 2022 to 15 September 2023
- The latest round of match and travel data – updated to 15 September 2023 – can be accessed via the Player Workload Monitoring tool
Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes has played a staggering 29,486 minutes since the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup, according to new findings released by FIFPRO and Football Benchmark.
Fernandes, who has played over 900 minutes so far this season, has also racked up the most minutes (6,666) of any men’s player from 15 September 2022 to 15 September 2023. He is followed by Gustavo Gomez (Palmeiras/Paraguay) and Mohamed El Shenaway (Al Ahly/Egypt) in second and third, respectively.
No women’s player has made more appearances since 16 July 2018 than Barcelona midfielder Aitana Bonmati (242). The Spain star has also played the most back-to-back matches in the women’s game during that same period (140).
The latest round of workload data can be accessed via the Player Workload Monitoring tool, a digital platform tracking the health and workload status of professional footballers around the world. The database covers 1,800 elite footballers: 1,500 men’s players and 300 women’s players.
The findings show Rodrygo (Real Madrid/Brazil) played the most back-to-back matches (54) from 15 September 2022 to 15 September 2023, followed by Everton Soares (Flamengo/Brazil) with 52 and Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan/Argentina) with 51. Everton Soares also played the most back-to-back matches since 16 July 2018 (234).
Meanwhile, Bonmati’s international team-mate Misa (Real Madrid/Spain) has played the most minutes (4,722) in the women’s game for the period 15 September 2022 to 15 September 2023, while Stina Blackstenius (Arsenal/Sweden) has played the most back-to-back matches (35).
"The health and safety of players is of paramount importance," said FIFPRO President David Aganzo last month. "Intense workload remains one of the most important issues for players in top-tier competitions.
"While the calendar continues to be expanded, there are just not enough safeguards to protect players’ well-being, performance, and career longevity."
Congested calendar raises mental health concerns for players
The latest data from the Player Workload Monitoring tool comes four months after FIFPRO and Football Benchmark released their end-of-season report Extreme Calendar Congestion: The Adverse Effects on Player Health & Wellbeing.
It illustrates the overlapping competition schedules and elevated individual workload demands, warning of the impact on the health of professional players.
While the risks of injury and deteriorating performance are widely known, the report also illustrates dangers to career longevity, mental health, and personal lives.