Cristiano Ronaldo. Gareth Bale. Arjen Robben. All players considered to be the fastest in world football. But neither of these speedsters is top of FIFA’s list.
No, in fact, according to the world governing body’s latest stats, only one of the aforementioned players makes the top three.
FIFA measured the top speeds of players across all major leagues during matches in recent months and five Premier League players made It into the top ten.
And the big surprise from the findings was that Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia is the fastest player in the world.
The 29-year-old, who joined United in 2009, is an out-and-out winger but has been forced to play out of position – usually in defence – for much of this season due to injuries to Louis van Gaal’s side.
The Ecuadorian clocked an incredible speed of 35.1 kilometres per hour this season, and is just marginally ahead of a player who, if reports are to be believed, could be lining up alongside him next season – Gareth Bale.
Tottenham’s on-loan winger Aaron Lennon is third in the list, pipping Cristiano Ronaldo to a top-three spot, but the Portuguese, alongside Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, makes the top five.
Here is the list and speeds in full:
10. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – 30.1 km/h
9. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) – 30.4 km/h
8. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) – 30.7 km/h
7. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) – 31.2 km/h
6. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 32.5 km/h
5. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – 32.7 km/h
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 33.6 km/h
3. Aaron Lennon (Tottenham, on loan at Everton) – 33.8 km/h
2. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) – 34.7 km/h.
1. Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) – 35.1 km/h
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