The Fast and the Furious

We take a look at six of the fastest feet in the business, not only are these players built for speed they’re also built for skill.

6) Cristiano Ronaldo

At number six in the speed chart is the worlds second best player, Cristiano Ronaldo. Although he’s a genius at putting the ball into the back of the net. However, the Portuguese skipper has once again lost out to Messi. Although I’m sure Lionel snatching the Ballon D’or from his grasp meant far more than the speed chart. Cristiano’s speed isn’t given as much credit as it is due. This is because of all the other incredible attributes Ronaldo has, his game is flawless and even without his lightening pace I’m positive that he’d still be regarded as one of the best wingers in football history.

5) Eric Aubameyang

Dortmund’s man of the moment is turning heads all around Europe. For the past two seasons he’s been in fine form for the Bundesliga side, even in their extremely disappointing 14/15 campaign under former manager Klopp. A real player shows his class even when his team are struggling. Eric certainly showed this when scoring 16 goals during a season in which Dortmund flirted with relegation. Aubameyang is feared in Germany for his blistering pace which has proven so vital in his playing career. He doesn’t quite have the traits of former Dortmund star, Lewandowski but Eric would certainly beat him in a race. Surely it’s only a matter of time until Gabon international is playing for Barca, Bayern or Madrid.

4) Jordi Alba

Defenders are rarely associated with pace but Barcelona left full back is an exception. After joining the Catalan giants in the summer of 2012 he announced himself on the world stage scoring in the the final of the Euro’s against Italy. It was also the same week he signed for Barca, not a bad seven days for a young lad. A crucial reason why Guardiola signed the young Spaniard was due to his phenomenal pace. Of course wasn’t the only reason why Barca snatched him from Valencia, he obviously is a world class defender too.

3) Gareth Bale

Bales has long been regarded as one of the top players in the world, not too bad for a 26 year old. Not everyone knows that Bale did lots of cross country as a young boy in Cardiff which explains his incredible endurance but not his bullet speed. During his early days in Southampton he played left back for the Saints and after the move to White Hart Lane he was still stuck in defence. At the time Spurs didn’t have a reputation for playing open attacking football. This meant Bale couldn’t show off his attacking talents and terrifying pace. But once Harry Redknapp moved Bale up the pitch, thats where he took off literally! He was a different class under Redknapp and progressed into a complete player when Villa Boas took over. Bale got a dream move to Real Madrid and is currently speeding down the Spanish wings weekly, making La Liga full backs looking like some Preston North End youth players.

2) Theo Walcott

The young English winger has been around professional football from just 16 years of age and is known for one thing…speed. Theo can outrun any defender he plays against. making him a valued asset at Arsenal. He can play on either wing which is where Wenger usually deploys him, despite the fact that Theo insists he can also play as a centre-forward or striker. He has a point, he can definitely score goals and more than certainly can outpace nearly any player in the Premier League. Which bring us onto the who I believe the fastest player in Europe is.

1) Antonio Valencia

It’s a massive step up from Wigan to Manchester United, even though the two clubs are close in distance, the football couldn’t be further apart. Valencia joined Manchester United in 2009 and quickly established himself as a vital part of Sir Alex’s squad.

In Antonio’s first season he was superb, beating players and banging in perfect crosses from the right wing. He’d usually left the opposition twenty-yards behind him, looking like they were in a slow motion replay. Unfortunately Valencia suffered a broken leg in 2010 the injury did slowed him down a little from those blistering early days. However, he still remains the quickest player of his generation.

But that just shows how much his pace helped his game, he could play anywhere on the field simply due to him being like an outcast from Cool Runnings.

By Jake Eddison

Freelance Writer