Updated: 2 days ago
Football has always been about athleticism. Players prepare physically and mentally for matches and avoid distractions that hinders their performance. A player must possess a strong physicality to challenge the opposition and most importantly, pace, to assist the team in playing fast football.
Having the quickest players enables the team to transition quickly and expose opponents during counter-attacks. A quick player can outpace stagnant defenders.
Pacy players have aided the clubs dynamically over the years. Their intensity during the game is unrivalled as they provide an extra hand in counter-attacks or while tracking back, they are the first to pick up the loose ball.
Bearing this in mind, we look at the top 10 fastest footballers in 2022.
10. Micky van de Ven – 35.87 km/h
The 21-year-old has been a revelation in the Bundesliga, becoming a key player at such a young age. Van de Ven is well-known for his excellent ball reading and quick tackles to break-up plays. He is now one of the fastest players in the league, behind Alphonso Davies.
Van de Ven has many years ahead of him, but the youngster has gradually matured and is now Wolfsburg‘s first choice, thanks to his large stature and quick pace. The 21-year-old is one of the fastest players in the German top flight, according to stats provided by the Bundesliga.
9. Ousmane Dembele – 35.9 km/h
Dembele is a nightmare for defenders on either wing, as he can float past any defender thanks to his incredible pace. When dribbling or shooting, the 25-year-old uses both feet. Aside from his speed, he beats defenders with smart body feints as well.
He has grown into a notable player under Xavi, now acting as a playmaker. With his quickness and ability to split defences with his immaculate through balls, the former Dortmund player has become a reliable player under Xavi and a pertinent headache for defenders.
8. Alphonso Davies – 35.97 km/h
A terrific defender with great ball control, his run against Barcelona cemented his place on the list of Europe’s fastest players. Davies is always willing to take on defenders one-on-one with lunging runs in the box and provide assists; once he accelerates, he can cover ground very easily.
Davies is one of the few full-backs who can beat defenders one-on-one and then accelerate at ease to cover his backline. He is physically strong and allows his body to maintain balance while taking big lunges; his defensive attributes are excellent as well. He can break down an opposition build-up play and stop a counter-attack.
- Advertisement -
7. Sheraldo Becker – 35.97 km/h
The Union Berlin winger is the Bundesliga’s fastest player, tied with Bayern Munich full-back Alphonso Davies. He, like Davies, makes off-the-ball runs to give his team extra space; he also makes in-between runs to avoid being caught offside.
While Becker has not received as much attention as Davies, he is a magnificent player when given space. Once he accelerates, defenders find it very difficult to match his speed.
6. Erling Haaland- 36 km/h
For Manchester City, the Norwegian has been the final piece of the jigsaw. Haaland is a complete bully for defenders – outpacing them and physically dominating them. His life at Manchester City was expected to be difficult, but the 22-year-old has lived up to the hype by scoring ten goals in just six games.
He is one of the best players on counter-attacks as his blazing speed allows him to outrun and brush past defenders. With age on his side, the towering striker will only get better.
5. Kylian Mbappe 36.08 km/h
Mbappe’s burst of pace up front has been crucial to PSG‘s success; he is one of the fastest players in the Ligue 1 and causes difficulties for defenders. Once he picks up speed, he is difficult to catch.
The 23-year-old is known for playing with defenders on his shoulders, and his breakneck speed allows him to beat offside traps with late runs. Furthermore, the Frenchman can cover a lot of ground with his blazing speed and stamina, which aids him to clock high speeds in the dying moments of matches. No defenders can catch him if he’s unmarked and has plenty of space.
4. Achraf Hakimi – 36.48 km/h
Hakimi has developed into one of the best full-backs in the French league, utilising his speed and intelligence both offensively and defensively. His development since leaving Real Madrid has been encouraging, and his willingness to make daring runs has made him a fan-favorite at PSG.
The 23-year-old is a dangerous player during counter-attacks, and has the ability to carry the ball forward. He offers ball-playing options and is physically strong. His speed allows him to combine well with forwards and make late runs into the box.
- Advertisement -
3. Mohamed Salah – 36.6 km/h
Since joining Liverpool in 2017, the 30-year-old has established himself as one of the greatest players in Liverpool’s history. Salah’s position on the right wing is untouchable, and no player has been capable of taking his position.
Since joining the Reds, he has been a phenomenon, scoring 32 goals in his first season – a record that still stands. His lightning speed on the right wing has made a huge difference in Liverpool’s game; he can beat defenders with darting runs and dribbles. His quick feet allows him to outmaneuver defenders in tight spaces, and it also helps him to overtake defenders in challenging situations.
2. Adama Traore – 36.6 km/h
Traore’s move to Barcelona hasn’t helped his career a lot, but it goes without saying that he’s an absolute monster on the ball. His intimidating physicality makes defenders anxious. The Spaniard has been blessed with buffed-up physic and great speed. That allows him to go past defenders, and once he does that, no defender can stop him.
He mostly plays on the wing, where he can cut inside, make a pass, or drive the ball in the box. He is always confident on the ball, which makes him a reliable player.
1. Antonio Rudiger- 36.7 km/h
Rudiger prospered under Thomas Tuchel before joining Real Madrid, establishing himself as one of Europe’s best centre-backs. He is tall and an aggressive defender. His stature is sometimes enough to induce fear in forwards.
Another valuable quality that the former Chelsea defender embodies is speed; he is now Europe’s fastest player. The best thing about Rudiger is his quick tackles, which makes him a great threat to opponents. According to Opta, the former Chelsea defender clogged up the highest speed in the Premier League in 2022.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia