some people say that soccer is the sport that is played by those who are not good enough to play one of the 5 'major' american sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and golf). i say that those people got it backwards.
technology has been divised to determine the distance run in a single professional soccer game by any given player. watching the champions league on espn 2 is the only time i have seen this stat broadcast duting a game. so, the best midfielders run about 10,000 meters a game, about 60 games a year, about 12 or thirteen years to a career. you can calculate how much they run. its a lot. meanwhile, possibly the best professional football player to live, emmet smith, ran for 18,355 yards in his entire career. that is covered by a pro soccer player in less than 2 games.
marathon runners train for years at a time for one marathon. over 26 miles, 42195 meters, thats how far they have to run. going back to my statistics above, a pro soccer player will cover that in just over 4 games, about two weeks. to run a marathon every two weeks, they are the best athletes in the world. case closed