22 Fastest Players in World Football Right Now

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJuly 16, 2011

22 Fastest Players in World Football Right Now

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    Speed is an invaluable asset to a footballer, as it can temporarily compensate other skill sets which may not be as developed.

    Look at players like David Odonkor and Dennis Rommedahl, whose professional careers have only been legitimised by pace—age has caught up with both players, as both are currently free agents.

    This article will list the 22 fastest players in world football, so it’s just based on pace alone, not dribbling ability.

22. Cha Du-Ri

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    • Age: 30
    • Club: Celtic
    • Nationality: South Korean

    Cha Du-Ri has been clocked at an official time of 11.2 seconds for 100 metres, which seems a tad too quick for him. Though he is a very pacey player.

    Unlike his legendary father Cha Bum-Kun, Du-Ri lacks the quality and technique, to ever become anywhere near the player his father was.

    Nonetheless Du-Ri makes up for his technical deficiencies with whole hearted efforts, and even though his defending can be suspect at times, his pace comes in handy.

21. Ignazio Abate

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    • Age: 24
    • Club: A.C. Milan
    • Nationality: Italian

    Ignazio Abate’s best asset is pace, and for a while, it seemed it was his only asset.

    Seemingly destined for an exit, this season under A.C. Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri, Abate has developed in leaps and bounds.

    He actually looks like a decent full back now.

20. Obafemi Martins

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    • Age: 26
    • Club: Rubin Kazan
    • Nationality: Nigerian

    Obafemi Martins reportedly boasts 10.6 seconds for the 100 metres, which I’m very sceptical of.

    If the time is legitimate, it’s very impressive, and he would have done so during his Inter Milan days.

    Unfortunately Martins’ career has been in free-fall for a while now.

19. Marvin Chávez

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    • Age:  27
    • Club: FC Dallas (on loan from Marathón)
    • Nationality: Honduran

    Nicknamed el hijo del viento, which translates to the son of the wind, Marvin Chávez’s electric pace and all-round athleticism have been an invaluable benefit to FC Dallas.

    His incisive runs are entertaining to watch, and he ranks up there with some of the quickest players in the league.

18. Antonio Valencia

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Manchester United
    • Nationality: Ecuadorian

    I’m surprised some people believe Chicharito is the fastest player at Manchester United, basing their claim on a flawed FIFA study which had Konstantinos Katsouranis faster than Jesús Navas.

    For me, Antonio Valencia is the fastest player at Manchester United, because he just beats full backs with such ease by simply accelerating.

    Question is will persistent injuries diminish his pace?

17. Joffre Guerrón

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    • Age: 26
    • Club: Atlético Paranaense           
    • Nationality: Ecuadorian

    Joffre Guerrón is nicknamed dinamita, which needs no translation, because it’s his dynamite pace which has garnered him such attention.

    Guerrón is like David Odonkor, he’s a one trick pony, and failed to cut it at Getafe.

    One can make the claim that racial discrimination affected his performances, but he just didn’t look the same player people thought he was.

16. Jonathan Biabiany

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    • Age: 23
    • Club: Sampdoria
    • Nationality: French

    I thought it was odd for Inter Milan to have bought back Jonathan Biabiany in a deal including McDonald Mariga, only to then include Biabiany in a deal to sign Giampaolo Pazzini a year later.

    Biabiany is perhaps the second fastest player in Serie A, and I think he has quality. May not have been as fast as a young Bernard Mendy, but he definitely will turn out to be a better footballer than Mendy.

    I would have thought playing in Serie B would have been beneficial to Biabiany, but his agent has managed to put together a deal, where he will be signed on loan to Parma.

15. Alberto Medina

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    • Age: 28
    • Club: Guadalajara
    • Nationality: Mexican

    The case of Alberto Medina is similar to Mohamed Aboutrika, both players should be playing Europe, yet a combinations of circumstances of being the star player, has resulted in both players staying in their country.

    Medina is a very a flamboyant, nimble, creative player who can beat players with acceleration, yet enjoys humiliating defenders in a style reminiscent of Ricardo Quaresma.

14. Robbie Findley

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Nottingham Forest
    • Nationality: American

    When I first watched Robbie Findley for the United States national team, I noticed him, because he was so fast.

    Yet as I watched more games with him, it dawned on me, that he wasn’t particularly the most productive player with the ball.

    However he is so fast that you have to take a gamble on him, because one thing he can do with ease, is beat whoever is marking him.

    If Findley can develop his crossing or become a more productive player, he’ll make it in the English Premier League.

13. Gaël Clichy

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Manchester City
    • Nationality: French

    Perhaps it’s fitting that Gaël Clichy comes after Robbie Findley, because Findley looks like an efficient player compared to Clichy.

    Clichy has to be the fastest defender in Europe, then you factor in his ability to keep the ball close to him, and he is so dangerous when he launches into one of his marauding runs.

    The problem is, he also has to be one of the most inefficient footballers in Europe, because he just wastes so much possession when’s in the opposing half.

    Defensively, he can go missing, but he’s so fast that hardly any players in world football could consistently beat him one on one.

12. Dominic Oduro

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Chicago Fire
    • Nationality: Ghanaian

    I think everytime I’ve watched Dominic Oduro, he’s fluffed at least one good opportunity to score. 

    Oduro is electric when it comes to just running past players, but he’s a liability on the field, because you have to convert when the opportunity arises.

    Why not just permanently play Oduro as a winger?

11. Nedum Onuoha

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    • Age: 24
    • Club: Manchester City
    • Nationality: English

    At 14-years-of-age, Nedum Onuoha ran the 100 metres at 11.09 seconds, beating Great Britain sprinter Craig Pickering who recorded a personal best of 10.08 seconds in 2009.

    One wonders what Onuoha’s time would have been if he has continued sprinting.

    I like Onuoha, he’s a hard working player, with a good attitude, whereas you look at someone like Jérôme Boateng, who had an awful attitude.

    Yet it’s more probable that Onuoha will not be a Manchester City player by the end of the transfer window, as he seeks more first team football.

10. Dane Richards

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    • Age: 27
    • Club: New York Red Bulls             
    • Nationality: Jamaican

    When you think of the New York Red Bulls, you want to watch Thierry Henry, track the progress of prodigious Juan Agudelo, see if Joel Lindpere can continue his good form, and be entertained by the dazzling pace of Dane Richards.

    When Richards is on the field, you get the sense that he’ll do something, the San Jose Earthquakes found that out the hard way a year or so ago.  

9. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    • Age: 26
    • Club: Real Madrid
    • Nationality: Portuguese

    Cristiano Ronaldo is a technician who happens to also be a physical specimen.

    If only he had the heart of a Carlos Tévez, you’d just imagine how many interceptions and tackles that Ronaldo could make, which would see him as a complete of a forward as Samuel Eto'o.

    Unfortunately for Real Madrid manager José Mourinho, Ronaldo wants nothing to do with defending.

    Ronaldo used to indulge in pointless stationary step overs, which would see him occasionally hacked, yet he’s now transitioned his game into a simpler one.

    Get the ball, beat the defender, and shoot as many times as humanly possible.

    If not for Lionel Messi, Ronaldo would be the undisputed best player in the world.

8. Gareth Bale

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    • Age: 22
    • Club: Tottenham Hotspur
    • Nationality: Welsh

    I’ll never forget Gareth Bale’s two part performance against Inter Milan, because it has to rank as one of the best individual performances in the past decade.

    Sure Maicon was unhappy because he was denied a move to Real Madrid, perhaps was a touch unfit, but Bale went past him as he wasn’t even there.

    I feel sorry for Bale, he has so much to offer, but his body isn’t holding up.

7. Gabriel Agbonlahor

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    • Age: 24
    • Club: Aston Villa
    • Nationality: English

    I’d grown accustomed to watching Gabriel Agbonlahor scorch the opposing team on the counter attack, yet this season, it was somewhat odd watching him play on the wings.

    It makes sense because if given space, Agbonlahor would be a nightmare for opposing full backs.

    Though this season, I’d like to see Agbonlahor be Darren Bent’s permanent strike partner, because those two could work great in tandem.

6. Albert Crusat

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    • Age: 29
    • Club: Almería
    • Nationality: Spanish

    An explosive dynamic player, Albert Crusat is a pleasure to watch, yet even with his contributions, Almería were relegated.

    Crusat not only has natural pace, but when coupled with superb dribbling ability, he really does put in some first rate performances.

    His partner in crime Pablo Piatti was sold to Valencia, so it will be interesting to see where Crusat ends up.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if he stayed loyal to Almería, as they resurrected his career when he was seemingly down and out, and now they need him to help them back into La Liga.

5. Edgar Álvarez

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    • Age: 31
    • Club: Bari
    • Nationality: Honduran

    There is no doubt in my mind that Edgar Álvarez is the fastest Serie A player.

    I always chuckle when the Bari players hoof the ball up into space expecting Álvarez to outrun whoever is chasing him, and then launch an attack from there.

    He’s looked class when I’ve seen him, so it’s a mystery as to why he failed at Roma.

4. Aaron Lennon

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    • Age: 24
    • Club: Tottenham Hotspur            
    • Nationality: English

    If Aaron Lennon was Australian, he’d probably have 70 caps by now, but he’s only played 19 times for the English senior team.

    Lennon has been a standout winger in the English Premier League for the past five seasons now, and he’ll continue to be a great winger as long as he produces.

3. Theo Walcott

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    • Age: 22
    • Club: Arsenal
    • Nationality: English

    Theo Walcott is such a frustrating player to watch, because he isn’t a one trick pony, you know his technique is good enough for him to succeed even without his pace.

    Yes, his pace has made him who he is, but that hat-trick against Croatia was world class finishing, that run against Liverpool was excellent ball control and awareness.

    Though so often he goes missing on the wings, I say play him as a forward.

    Sky Sports reported Walcott stating, “"I think a lot of people forget I'm not a winger. I see myself as a striker […] I was signed as a striker - I want to play up front. I think I have done my trade out on the wing”.

    Also Walcott never ran the 100 metres in 10.3 seconds, he ran it in 11.52 seconds.

2. Luton Shelton

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Vålerengens IF
    • Nationality: Jamaican

    Just to put things into perspective regarding how fast Luton Shelton is.

    IMScouting reported Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger stating, “Theo [Walcott] has the record over 40 metres. I think it’s 4.72 seconds or something like that. Thierry [Henry] was very fast as well, 4.82secs”.

    According to Mads Gudim Burheim at Dagbladet.no, Shelton ran the 40 metres in 4.47 seconds.

    Shelton’s pace impressed Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola in a pre-season game.

    Aftenposten reported Guardiola saying, “Luton Shelton was extremely fast […] He is from Jamaica, so maybe he is the son of Usain Bolt”.

1. Marvell Wynne

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    • Age: 25
    • Club: Colorado Rapids
    • Nationality: American

    Colorado Rapids has pure pace up front and back in defence with Omar Cummings at forward and Marvell Wynne at right back.

    Wynne ran an incredible 10.39 seconds in the 100 metres when he was a senior at Poway High School.

    One wonders why Wynne didn’t pursue a career in track and field.


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