The aim of this study was to evaluate and organize systematically the available literature on skill-related performance in young and adult male soccer players, in an attempt to identify the most common topics, ascertain the weaknesses and elucidate the main contributions of the scientific papers on this issue. A systematic review of Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Knowledge database was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The following keywords were used: football and soccer, each one associated with the terms: technical analysis, technical performance, technical activity, technical skill, technical demands, technical profiles, technical characteristics, technical actions, technical scores, technical ability, motor skills and skill acquisition. From the 2830 papers, only 60 were reviewed, of which 75% were published in the last five years (i.e., 2011-2015) and 53.3% were performed with professional or seniors players (above the U-20 category). Regarding the 41 papers that analyzed the skill-related performance in the match, 48.8% evaluated the performance in small-sided and conditioned games. Considering 27 papers that used validated instruments, 88.9% evaluated the technical actions outside the match context (e.g. dribbling, shooting tests). Future research should pay attention to the definition/classification of the skill-related variables under investigation in match context and propose tests for measured skill-related performance in soccer, considering the representativeness task design allies the players' possibilities of action to the situation of the match.
Key words: ecological approach; technical performance; representative design; team sports