Speed in any sport is a game-changer. In soccer, it can make a huge difference when opening up the game and gaining that edge on either side of the ball. Teams are always looking to add speed, especially if it stands out in a sea of professionals.
To be one of the fastest soccer players in the world, it takes a special type of talent. The question is, how can speed accurately be judged? It is impossible to tell who would win in a race, but these 10 players all deserves mention right now.
Rafa is one of the more underrated players in the game as far as speed is concerned. Many do not consider him to be one of the fastest in the world, but whether he is playing for Benfica or the Portuguese national team, he always seems to find ways to gain separation. It has allowed him to control certain aspects of the game throughout his career, and even at 27, he is still keeping up with younger players with less mileage on their legs.
The FIFA 21 game certainly still views him as one of the fastest in the world, as he has 94 pace. That puts him as one of the fastest in the game, and real game numbers show that he can sprint with the best of them also. Other European players might get more recognition, but he has made the most of his opportunities at certain times.
9. Ismaila Sarr
At this point, Ismaila Sarr is known more for his speed than his actual play. While he has not been terrible for Watford, he finds himself stuck in the Championship division of professional soccer in England. Although he has had some shining moments for the Senegalese national team, many hope that he will turn the corner and be a better player overall at some point.
The 22 years old has plenty of size, so he definitely has the opportunity to be one of the better players in the game if he puts it all together. It takes more than just speed to be great at the professional level, and he is figuring that out as time goes on.
8. Vinicius Jr.
There have been some fast Brazilian soccer players in the country’s history, but some say that Vinicius Jr might be the fastest ever. That is high praise for the 20-year-old who plays for Real Madrid on the club side, but his speed has already been put on display quite a bit.
He is still learning the game, and some are wondering if he will ever tap into all of his potential, but the speed is undeniable. Not only can he reach top-end speeds, but he can change direction quickly and throw defenders off. At times, he appears almost impossible to guard with one defender.
7. Sadio Mane
Has Sadio Mane lost a step? The Senegalese star is a key piece for Liverpool and is now 28 years old, but he still seems to be at the top of his game in all aspects. Even if he might be slightly slower than he was just a few years ago, his overall knowledge of the game has improved so that he can make smarter decisions overall.
Since joining Liverpool in 2016, Mane has developed into a very strong all-around player. He was known early on as someone who had the physical tools but lacked discipline, but now he uses his speed to dominate games in certain stretches. It is pretty easy for people to see his speed on full display whenever he is on the pitch. It is what makes him one of the bigger stars in the game today
6. Erling Haaland
The reputation of Erling Haaland has really taken off in the last couple of years. He is turning into one of the best goal scorers in the world, and at 20 years old, his best soccer is still to come.
While it takes more than speed for him to be one of the top players in the world, many are surprised to see that he reached a top speed that is one of the five fastest times in 2020. With a sprint at 36.04 km/h, he matched the top speed of Kylian Mbappe. It does not seem like he is that level of fast, but he almost always beats his man to the ball.
5. Adama Traore
Adama Traore is the least known of the three players who receive the highest speed rating in FIFA 21. Sharing the honors with Mbappe and Davies, his speed has unlocked a lot of potential, while frustrating others hoping for more out of him.
His speed and strength is very hard to deal with for any team, but he is still trying to figure out some of the cerebral parts of the game. If the 24-year-old can ever unlock that aspect, there is no telling what he can accomplish.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Can someone as old as Cristiano Ronaldo still be considered one of the fastest in the world? He might not be able to make a ton of sprints each and every game, but his top speed is still very admirable. He has shown on multiple occasions that he can beat just about anyone on the pitch to the ball, and he had one of the ten fastest times in 2020 across soccer.
Eventually, he will drop off this list, but a healthy Ronaldo is still a huge issue for any team to handle. He was arguably the fastest during his physical peak, but now he has the brains to pick and choose when he pulls off sprints.
3. Kylian Mbappe
- Top Speed: 22.4 mph / 36 km/h
The overall speed and skill of Kylian Mbappe is well documented already in his young career. He is considered one of the best in the game right now, and his top-end speed certainly puts him in contention as the fastest on the planet in the game of soccer.
Not only do the statistics show that he can get up to over 36 km/h in a sprint, but what he does at top-end speed is unrivaled in a game right now. Nothing is seemingly slowing him down at this point in his career, as many are already comparing him to some of the all-time greats.
2. Achraf Hakimi
- Top Speed: 22.5 mph / 36.2 km/h
There is a lot of debate right now between Hakimi and Davies as far as the fastest young players are concerned. Both are outstanding players, but their top-end speed numbers are virtually identical. Davies just barely topped Hakimi in top speed in 2020, but some say that Hakimi does more with his speed at this point.
Hakimi has turned into a huge weapon for not only Milan, but the Morocco national team thanks to his speed. He is able to not only reach a very fast speed with sprints, but he reaches top speed quickly with outstanding acceleration.
1. Alphonso Davies
- Top Speed: 36.5 km/h / 22.7 mph
Alphonso Davies is not only the youngest on this list, but also the fastest. Whether he is playing for Bayern Munich or the Canadian national team, the speed of Alphonso Davies is very well documented. Only 20 years old, he might actually get a little faster as time goes on.
He is one of three players to receive the fastest pace rating on FIFA 2021, and statistics show that he reached the fastest speed in a match in 2020. Moving at 36.51 km/h, he is a blur in the open field. The scary part is that he is still a few years away from truly developing into the top-level player many are expecting.