Enjoy the third article of a special GMF series looking at the five fastest players in Europe for a variety of different positions.
Speed is an essential asset for a top footballer these days, particularly for a wide player. With so many lightning-fast wingers to choose from, I decided to split the fastest wide-men into two separate articles based on their preferred side of the pitch.
Every effort has been made to back up my choices, but this list is sure to be controversial. Have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the page - maybe even share your own top five!
Anyway, let’s get underway; here is my list of the five quickest right-wingers in European football:
Theo Walcott | Arsenal
It doesn’t take a football expert to distinguish his superior speed from other footballers, and few can deny Theo Walcott a place among the quickest footballers in Europe.
According to mirrorfootball.co.uk, the lightning fast Gunner has clocked an astonishing 10.6 seconds over 100m. It’s likely this stunning achievement ties in with his passion for athletics as a youngster.
Walcott’s superb run and cross to Emmanuel Adebayor in the 2008 Champions League was one of the most memorable moments where his top-class speed came in handy. Here’s of the amazing run and assist.
Aaron Lennon | Tottenham
Although his lack of height may hinder his speed over longer distances, Aaron Lennon can embarrass his marker in seconds with his instant acceleration.
As reported by the Telegraph, Tottenham teammate Kyle Walker tips the diminutive winger to trump himself, Gareth Bale, Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe in short bursts of speed, but perhaps not a full 100m sprint.
“’Azza’ has got 50m in him, and then his little legs won't carry him any more”, said Walker.
Lennon has burned many top defenders in his Premier League career. Check out this compilation of the Spurs winger’s blinding speed.
Jonathan Biabiany | Parma
Although a way off becoming a household name, if Jonathan Biabiany can develop the rest of his game to compliment his tremendous pace, he could book himself a place on big stage in the future.
The rapid Parma wide-man has allegedly run 100m in 11.3 seconds, and although there is no official evidence of this, the following video suggests such an impressive time is not beyond him.
Watch the Frenchman show off his incredible speed in this video as he runs onto a hopeful through ball against Inter.
Ryo Miyaichi | Arsenal
Upon his arrival at the Emirates Stadium in 2011, Ryo Miyaichi quickly made a name for himself as one of the fastest players in England after the media and fans began comparing his speed to teammate Theo Walcott.
The Arsenal man has supposedly been recorded running the 100m in 10.84 seconds. Whether this is accurate or not is unknown, but this short clip suggests the 20-year-old is perhaps capable of such high speed.
The Japanese speedster displays an unbelievable burst of pace as he races from his own penalty area to the halfway line in just a few seconds.
Arjen Robben | Bayern Munich
Many players lose a yard or two of pace after an injury, but not Arjen Robben. Irrespective of his long-term injury problems, 'the glass man' is still a brilliant player and defenders are always mindful of his searing pace.
The 29-year-old is an unplayable attacking threat on his day, combining ridiculous speed with empathic close control. Although passing the ball is not usually his first thought, he can usually find a way past his markers by himself.
Here’s a video of the Bayern wizard at his brilliant albeit selfish best. Watch as three players fail to catch him as he knocks the ball into space before cutting inside and producing a tidy finish.
Other notable contenders:
Jakub Blaszczykowski | Borussia Dortmund
Jonathan Pitroipa | Stade Rennais
Jody Lukoki | Ajax
There are so many athletic wingers in the game today. Can you think of any speed merchants we might have left out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Follow me on Twitter: @LukeKarlik
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