Football (soccer) is the most played sport worldwide, practiced by more than 300 million people . It is a high-impact contact sport, and with the increasing competitive level, it often results in sports-related damage of the knee structures, including articular cartilage injuries [2–4]. These articular cartilage injuries can also be caused by forceful and repetitive mechanical stresses on the knee joint during the football practice [5–8].
When the cartilage damage reaches the subchondral bone, it often results in knee complaints ,
including pain, swelling, catching, and locking [3, 10, 11]. Nonetheless, articular cartilage injuries
may be present in asymptomatic athletes which, if not treated properly, may lead to an early onset of knee osteoarthritis [12–14].