Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is the fastest player in the world with the ball at his feet, according to a new study.
Bale came second in the survey behind Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia last season, but this time round the FIFA-backed report – carried out by Mexican club Pachuca – claims Bale is quickest, the Welshman reaching a top speed of 36.9km/h – or 22.9mph.
Second on the list is Mexico’s Jurgen Damm – a 22-year-old who has the ability to outpace almost all of the world’s best players, and who has been a transfer target for Manchester United and Chelsea in recent times.
Bale hit top gear with his superb goal at Mestalla in last year’s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, running 59.1 metres in 7.04 seconds, and it has even impressed the world’s quickest man Usain Bolt.
“I reckon Bale is probably the fastest footballer in the world right now but I could help him with his career if he wants me to,” commented the Jamaican.
Bale’s team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo is fifth on the list at 33.6km/h (20.9mph) while Barcelona man Lionel Messi sits seventh with 32.5km/h (20.2mph).
The only defender to make the top 10 on is Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, who clocks in at 30.6km/h.
22.9mph? Pretty impressive from Bale. And no doubt very useful for outrunning all those angry fans calling for his head.
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) 36.9 km / h
Jürgen Damm (Pachuca) 35.23 Km / h.
Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) 35.1 km / h.
Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur) 33.8 km / h.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 33.6 km / h.
Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 32.7 km / h.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 32.5 km / h.
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 31.2 km / h.
Frank Ribery (Bayern Munich) 30.7 km / h
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) 30.6 km / h.