Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

How Fast Is Lionel Messi? Unveiling the Secrets of Messi’s Pace!

Messi Speed

Lionel Messi, a name synonymous with soccer greatness, possesses a multitude of skills that have contributed to his immense success on the field. One of these skills is his exceptional speed, which has earned him a reputation as one of the fastest players in the sport. In fact, many regard him as one of the all-time greats.

However, determining the exact speed of Messi in comparison to other players during a match can be challenging. Thankfully, advancements in technology have made it possible to measure and shed light on this debate.

Lionel Messi’s Top Speed

During his prime, Lionel Messi was capable of reaching top speeds of just over 20 MPH. It’s important to note that these bursts of speed are typically short-lived, as soccer players generally don’t engage in long sprints throughout a match. Nevertheless, his prime speed places him among the 15 fastest soccer players in the history of the game.

Lionel Messi’s Speed vs. Quickness

In the realm of sports, differentiating between speed and quickness can sometimes be tricky. While Messi is known for his impressive sprint times, he is equally renowned for his quickness. Unlike some players who excel in either speed or quickness, Messi possesses both attributes.

His ability to swiftly change direction and navigate through defenses is attributed to his low center of gravity. He has effortlessly maneuvered through openings that seem impossible to others. Highlight reels often showcase Messi’s quickness rather than his pure speed.

Lionel Messi’s Speed With and Without the Ball

Messi Dribbling

Imagine Usain Bolt participating in a soccer match, sprinting across the field. Without a doubt, he would be the fastest player on the pitch. However, if we give him a ball to dribble while running, his speed would diminish significantly.

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The best soccer players not only possess exceptional speed without the ball but also exhibit the ability to dribble at high speeds. Messi’s extraordinary dribbling skills contribute to the perception of him being faster than he actually is from a raw speed perspective. While he may not outrun every player on the field, he can certainly compete with anyone when sprinting with the ball at his feet. Many pundits consider Messi to be the best pure dribbler in the history of soccer.

Does Messi Have Any Speed Disadvantages?

If we were to identify a potential speed disadvantage for Lionel Messi, it would be his height. Standing at a modest 5’7″, he is considered short even by soccer standards. Some believe that he may be an inch or two shorter than his listed height.

Being shorter means having shorter legs, which limits the distance Messi can cover with each stride. However, his short legs allow him to reach top speed faster. It’s important to note that long runs may be limited to some extent due to his stature.

Another factor that affects Messi’s speed is his age. As he enters his late 30s, it’s natural for his speed to decrease. Even during his prime, Messi was not widely regarded as the fastest player in the sport. The wear and tear on his legs, coupled with minor injuries, have slightly diminished his speed over time.

FIFA’s Perspective on Messi’s Speed

Messi FIFA Rating

As Messi ages, his speed rating in FIFA 23 has decreased to 85. Although his current speed rating may not be at the top tier, he remains one of the most dangerous players in the game. His skill ratings, including dribbling, ball control, and finishing, remain exceptionally high, often reaching 95 or above. Additionally, he possesses great acceleration and agility, which sometimes make him appear faster than he actually is.

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Messi has been a beloved figure in the FIFA gaming community throughout the years. Various cards highlighting different stages of his career have been released. So, even if his current-day card reflects a decline in speed, each year, there are still a few Ultimate Team cards featuring Messi at his prime.

The Fastest Soccer Players Ever

Comparing the speed of players from different eras can be challenging due to the lack of technological advancements in the past. While there are individuals who were undoubtedly extremely fast, accurately measuring their speed is difficult.

When it comes to modern players, the likes of Arjen Robben, Alphonso Davies, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Theo Walcott have all been contenders for the title of the “fastest soccer player ever.”

Robben holds the record for the fastest speed ever recorded in a professional match, reaching an impressive 23 mph during the 2014 World Cup against Spain.

Among currently active players, Alphonso Davies holds the title of the fastest soccer player in the world, reaching a top speed of 22.7 mph while playing for Bayern Munich.

How Does Messi Compare to Professional Sprinting?

While Lionel Messi showcases impressive speed on the soccer field, professional sprinters operate at an entirely different level. These sprinters achieve incredible speeds through specialized training and the use of track surfaces and spiked shoes for optimal traction.

Usain Bolt, widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time, can reach a top speed of approximately 27.8 MPH. In comparison, Messi, like any other soccer player, would appear comparatively slower.

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Messi’s Speed: A Game-Changing Factor

Without his world-class speed, Lionel Messi would not be considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time. His exceptional speed has played a pivotal role in his ability to excel at the highest level of professional soccer.

While speed is just one of Messi’s many remarkable physical attributes, it has undoubtedly made a significant difference throughout his career. Speed is a crucial skill for creating opportunities and making a lasting impact on fans and the game itself.


Q: Who is considered the fastest soccer player ever?

A: While several players have been contenders for this title, Arjen Robben, Alphonso Davies, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and Theo Walcott are among those known for their exceptional speed.

Q: How does Lionel Messi’s speed compare to professional sprinters?

A: Professional sprinters like Usain Bolt operate at a much higher level of speed, with Bolt reaching a top speed of around 27.8 MPH. In comparison, Messi’s speed on the soccer field may appear relatively slower.

Q: What other skills contribute to Lionel Messi’s success?

A: In addition to his speed, Messi possesses exceptional dribbling, ball control, and finishing skills. His acceleration and agility further enhance his overall play, making him a well-rounded and formidable player.


Lionel Messi’s speed has been a crucial factor in his journey to becoming one of the greatest soccer players ever. While not the fastest player in the sport, his combination of speed, quickness, and exceptional skills has set him apart from his peers. As Messi continues to make his mark on the game, his legendary status only grows, solidifying his place in soccer history.

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