Football is a game of twists and turns, requiring players to be agile and flexible. This means that soccer players need to have a minimal amount of fat, resulting in a low body mass index. Soccer players are thin due to the intense physical training they do as part of their daily routine. This includes cardiovascular exercise and other forms of aerobic activity that help them stay lean.
All sports strive to maximize the power-to-weight ratio, which is why soccer players prefer slenderness over volume. The average soccer player won't purposely try to increase their muscle mass, but being physical and winning balls is a strategy. This is why soccer players are able to turn and turn with and without the ball much more easily during games. Soccer players may not have extra muscles that show they are extremely strong, but most of them have powerful legs.
Soccer players also burn a lot of calories through their training sessions, more than the amount they eat while eating over the course of a week. Kylian Mbappe is one of the most promising young players in the game right now and, although he is short, he is a little more stocky than the players of the past. This shows that even though soccer players need to be lean, they still need to be strong enough to fight for position and hit players with the ball. Ultimate is very similar to soccer in terms of fitness requirements, as Ultimate requires more straight-line runs and less endurance.
Players get away with shoulder barges, which are allowed in soccer as long as no arm is raised to push the opponent away, so a lean athlete will probably have a harder time retaining possession and keeping the ball than a muscular player. The physicality of football is definitely at an all-time high, as athletes, in general, are getting bigger, faster and stronger. There are times when the game can start to drag on, but players always find a way to overcome difficult moments and play at a high level.