10 Fastest Soccer Players Ever In the Soccer World

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Like other sports, soccer requires both physical strength and technical prowess, but another thing that can make or break a player’s performance is no other than speed. 

In this article, let’s feature the fastest soccer players in history.  Check out the list and see if your favorite soccer player made it to the roster!

10 Fastest Soccer Players Ever

Whatever his role is on the field, a player should be able to keep up with his rivals, whether it is to chase the ball or to secure the best position. 

And, when it comes to speed, the names below are currently the best in the game.

1. Frank Ribery – 30.7 KM/H

With his amazing speed and the ability to trick his opponents, Ribery has built an awesome career as a notorious wide player. He’s clocked in at 30.7 km/h, which makes it hard for other players to chase and cut his fast movements. His good ball control also makes it even easier for him to cut through the defense line.

Ribery started his soccer career in France, where he spent four years with four different clubs. His performance captured the attention of Europe’s elite club Bayern Munich. Because of his undeniable skills, he was able to score 11 goals within his first season. This earned him a €26m contract with FC Hollywood.

During his career, Ribery raked in numerous awards, including many Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year awards. Currently, Ribery plays for Salernitana; he’s appointed as the captain. Unfortunately, fans have noticed his rather declining performance, which is mainly due to his recurring knee injury.

2. Lionel Messi – 32.5 KM/H

Lionel Messi bagged the title “the world’s best men’s player of the year” seven times. It’s no surprise that he made it to the list. He is clocked in at 32.5 km/h, which translates to around 20 m/h.

Many believe that Messi’s speed is mainly attributed to his height and body weight, giving him a low center of gravity and allowing him to do quick dashes and maneuvers. This makes it extra challenging for defending players to follow his movements and grab the ball from him.

Besides his speed, Messi’s bright career is also made possible by his excellent field intelligence. Many coaches and players alike are mesmerized by his ability to find a unique position that is not easily guessed by defenders.

His speed and clever movements make many people regard him as the best dribbler in the soccer world. Even so, Messi has come to his late thirties now, which is why we may not be able to see him in his top performance again.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – 33.6 KM/H

No doubt, Ronaldo is one of the fastest soccer players. Besides his powerful kick, his exceptional leg strength also gives him the ability to do amazing sprints and headings.

To prove his sprint ability, Ronaldo even competed with Angel David RodrĂ­guez. RodrĂ­guez is a Spanish runner who can run 100 meters in just 10 seconds. While the soccer player did not win this race, he proved that he has a tenacious physical ability.

With this kind of physical prowess, it is hardly surprising that Ronaldo has served numerous elite clubs around the globe. By far, he has 32 trophies and numerous personal awards throughout his career.

4. Gareth Bale – 34.7 KM/H

Despite his terrible misfortunes with Real Madrid, stats don’t lie, and we should not deny that Gareth Bale is one of the fastest soccer players there are. He is clocked in at 36.9 km/h.

Since the start of his career at Southampton, we can see that this player has a stunning ability to run while dribbling a ball. In fact, this ability brought him the title of World’s Most Expensive Player in 2013. This happened when Carlo Ancelotti recruited him to El Real.

Bale’s career with Real Madrid lasted until September 2020, when he was loaned to Tottenham Hotspurs. During his season with The Lilywhites, he made his 200th career goal and a hat-trick in a match against Sheffield United.

5. Theo Walcott – 35 KM/H

With his ability to run as fast as 35 km/k, the Arsenal star has made a lot of his peers frustrated. He is not only amazingly hard to pursue, but he also has the ability to make tricky plays, even when he is not in his top condition.

We can see how good this right-winger is when he scored a hat-trick in a World Cup match against Croatia. Moreover, the way he plays with his club teammates shows first-class control and field understanding.

He demonstrated his brilliant skills from a very young age. When he was just fourteen, he recorded an 11.52 record in a 100 m sprint test. Later, at his peak, he was able to crush that distance in just 10.6 seconds. 

6. Antonio Valencia – 35.1 KM/H

Antonio Valencia has to be on the list with his blazing speed on the soccer field. Every time you see him play, you will immediately see why many think that he is a rare breed of player that has the ability to combine speed and strength in his strategies.

Despite being a fullback, he was able to beat many strikers in a race to get the ball. In fact, he would often use his incredible speed to run the field’s byline and cut through the opponent’s defensive line. Honestly, only a fool will try to cut his way when he is at his top sprinting speed.

While some commentators say that he lost a bit of his speed after ankle surgery in 2015, he was able to make his 200th league appearance for Manchester United. During his final professional years, he played with the Mexican club Querétaro, from which he retired in 2021.

7. Erling Haaland – 36.04 KM/H

If you’ve been in the Premier League for the past several years, you would know that Erling Haaland has been talked about so much. He ticks most of the boxes to become a world-star player, especially when we take a look at his goal-scoring statistics.

But, besides his goal-scoring abilities, there is one thing that impresses a lot of fans and his peers: his speed. Despite his gigantic figure (he is 194 cm tall), he is able to clock in at 36.04 km/h, making it hard for other players to keep up with his trail and beat his gameplay strategy.

Before he played with Europe’s elite clubs, he spent his early professional years with Norway’s local club Bryne. During this time, he was spotted by Solskjaer, a former teammate of Haaland’s father. Seeing Haaland’s potential, the Molde FK coach decided to recruit him in 2017.

As for now, Haaland plays for Dortmund. He scored his first hat-trick for the club in his first match, where he was called in in the 56th minute after the club was trailing 3 – 1 to Augsburg. When asked about his thought during an interview after the match, he simply answered, “I came here to score goals!”

8. Kylian Mbappe – 36.08 KM/H

Dubbed “The Parisian Prince” by many, Kylian Mbappe has a spectacular top speed record of 36.08 km/h. With his nifty speed on the field, he was able to become a top scorer in Qatar’s World Cup, in which he scored five goals out of four games.

The French forward is even regarded as the speed demon. He often glides through the defensive line and marauds after flicking the ball in the opposite direction. This ability has helped him to make a lot of contributions to his team and become a top figure in the game.

In 2022, Mbappe was able to get the runner-up position for FIFA’s Best Men Player. On top of that, the left winger has won the Player of the Year award from Ligue 1, not one, not two, but four times. And later, in 2023, TIME magazine included him on the 100 most influential people list.

9. Alphonso Davies – 36.51 KM/H

Clocking in at 36.5km/h, Alphonso Davies recorded a brand-new top speed record for a Bayern Munich team member. For this reason, his teammate Thomas MĂĽller gave him the nickname “Meep Meep.”

His audacious run and assist are among the best characteristics he has. As a matter of fact, those qualities have brought him the title of the youngest Bayern man to make 100 Bundesliga matches. He even went on to become the very first Canadian to ever lift the Champions League trophy.

He has now become a Bayern staple. He also played an integral role in getting his national team to join the World Cup in 2022. Throughout the championship, he scored five goals and made eight assists. His hard work has ensured that Canada will be back at the next World Cup.

10. Arjen Robben – 37 KM/H

According to FIFA’s official records, Arjen Robben is the record holder for the world’s fastest soccer player. He made this record during a match against Spain.

Nonetheless, Robben is known not only for his speed but also for his long-range shots and ball control as well. That being said, it comes naturally that many soccer journalists and observers regarded him as one of the greatest wingers of his generation.

Interestingly, when you put him against other players on this list, you will probably be shocked by how senior Robben is. His career started with the Eredivisie club Groningen in the year 2000.

After several years of playing for Eredivisie and Premier League clubs, he moved to Bayern Munich. His fans consider this to be the peak year of his soccer career. Overall, he bagged around 20 trophies over the course of his career in Germany.

The Takeaway

Having superior speed is a great advantage for soccer players. It can easily get them through defenders, quickly take the ball back to the offensive play, or help them cut out any potential attacks from the opponent. 

The top soccer players know how to put their fast movements to use on the field. We can clearly see how being fast has helped the big names above beat their games and come out on top.  

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