How Fast Is Bale? (Gareth Bale's Top Speed Revealed)

Ever since Gareth Bale first emerged as a young Premier League superstar, all the way through to winning multiple trophies with Real Madrid, he's been known for his incredible speed. But exactly how fast is Bale?

Gareth Bale's highest measured top speed is 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h). Gareth Bale was considered the fastest player in the world in 2017. In 2022, his highest recorded speed was 18.5 mph (29.8 km/h).

So now you know exactly how fast Gareth Bale is, but is he faster on or off the ball? And how fast is he over 100m? Find out the answers to these questions and much more in this article!

How Fast is Gareth Bale?

Gareth Bale's highest measured top speed is 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

In 2017, a study was conducted to determine the fastest soccer players in the world. Bale, who was ahead of superstars such as Ronaldo, Messi, and Aubameyang, would top that list.

Bale's speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h) could not be surpassed when he recorded it in 2017. This made him the fastest soccer player in the world at that time.

In 2022, though, there have been several players who have now surpassed his record.

Below are the results of that 2017 study where Bale was revealed to be the fastest player in the world at that time:

*Please note the speeds in this study were measured with the ball at the foot.*

Player:Top Speed (with ball):
1. Gareth Bale22.92 mph (36.90 km/h)
2. Orlando Berrío22.36 mph (36.00 km/h)
3. Jürgen Damm21.89 mph (35.23 km/h)
4. Antonio Valencia21.81 mph (35.10 km/h)
5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang21.49 mph (34.60 km/h)
6. Aaron Lennon21.00 mph (33.80 km/h)
7. Cristiano Ronaldo20.87 mph (33.60 km/h)
8. Theo Walcott20.31 mph (32.70 km/h)
9. Lionel Messi20.19 mph (32.50 km/h)
10. Wayne Rooney19.38 mph (31.20 km/h)

As you can see, Bale was the man to catch in 2017.

However, in the following years, he was indeed caught and surpassed.

Below are the current top 10 fastest soccer players in the world:

Player:Top Speed:
1. Kylian Mbappé23.6 mph (38 km/h)
Adama Traore23.6 mph (38k m/h)
2. Kyle Walker23.49 mph (37.8 km/h)
3. Aaron Wan Bissaka23.35 mph (37.6 km/h)
4. Ainsley Maitland-Niles23.26 mph (37.44 km/h)
5. Fred23.16 mph (37.3 km/h)
6. Phil Foden23.06 mph (37.1 km/h)
7. Gareth Bale22.92 mph (36.9 km/h)
8. Antonio Rudiger22.8 mph (36.69 km/h)
9. Mohamed Salah22.74 mph (36.59 km/h)
10. Alphonso Davies22.7 mph (36.5 km/h)

As you can see, seven players have now overtaken Bale's record speed.

It is worth noting that although some of these players are faster, speed stats are now taken way more often than during Bale's prime years.

So it's plausible that Bale has a higher top speed that we don't know about.

What is Bale’s top speed?

Gareth Bale's highest measured top speed is 22.92 mph (36.9 km/h).

How fast is Bale with the ball?

Gareth Bale's top speed with the ball is also 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

Unlike most soccer players, Bale's top recorded speed with the ball is his highest overall top speed.

There are a couple of reasons why this may be the case. The first reason is perhaps the most obvious; Bale is an incredibly fast dribbler of the ball!

The way Bale knocks the ball ahead of himself while he blasts down the wing is unlike anybody else.

It would not be surprising if he recorded his top speed while sprinting to reach his own ball that he had just knocked ahead of himself.

This would, of course, still count as a dribble.

Another reason may be the lack of stats taken during Bale's prime.

Although there were studies taken and certain competitions would also record speed data, it was not always commonplace to record speeds during every soccer game.

So there's a very good chance that Bale has actually run faster than 22.92 mph (36.9 km/h); we just do not have the data to prove it.

This video shows Bale's unique way of sprinting:

How fast can Bale run 100m?

If we were to take Gareth Bale's highest ever speed and apply it to a 100m sprint, Bale would complete 100 meters in 9.76 seconds.

This sounds very impressive, especially given that the world record for the 100m sprint is 9.58 seconds.

This, of course, would not be Bale's actual time as he would not be able to keep to his highest speed throughout the 100 meters.

If Bale could run 100 meters in the correct running gear, he may well gain a higher top speed and come very close to that 9.76 seconds!

If we were to take Bale's 2022 average speed of 18.46 mph (29.71 km/h), he would complete the 100m in a much slower 12.11 seconds.

Is Gareth Bale Still Fast?

In 2022, Gareth Bale's highest recorded speed is 18.5 mph (29.8 km/h). His average speed is around the same at 18.46 mph (29.71 km/h). That means Bale will be 4.4 mph (7.08 km/h) slower in 2022 than in 2017.

Of course, Bale's age is probably the main reason he has slowed down.

There is also a potential that Bale simply doesn't have the desire to use energy like he used to.

Given that Real Madrid has rarely played him in the 2021/22 season, the Welshman may be hesitant to give it his all on the rare occasion he gets on the pitch.

Why is Bale so Fast?

During a 2020 interview, Bale talked about the importance of speed in soccer. He believes that it really has an impact on the game.

He also said that he has never done any special training to become as fast as he is. It all just came naturally to him.

Bale's slim build with a height of 6'1 is likely part of why he is so quick. His natural frame is not unlike that of a professional runner.

It's also worth noting that Bale started his career as a left-back despite wanting to play as a winger.

It's not too much of a stretch to assume that Bale worked on being as fast as possible to achieve his ambition of playing a more attacking role.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is faster, Bale or Mbappe?

Kylian Mbappé is faster than Gareth Bale.

Mbappé's highest measured top speed is 23.6 mph (38 km/h). This is 0.7 mph (1.1 km/h) faster than Bale's top speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

Given that Kylian Mbappé is the fastest player in the world, there's no shame in Bale falling short of Mbappé's blistering pace.

However, it is worth noting that Mbappé is playing in an era where speed stats are recorded much more regularly.

Who is faster, Bale or Ronaldo?

Gareth Bale is faster than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo's highest measured top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h). This is 1.8 mph (2.9 km/h) slower than Bale's top speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

Given that Ronaldo is famous for his speed, it's a huge achievement that Bale can say that he is clearly faster than the Portuguese megastar.

Even more impressive is that Ronaldo has trained with people such as Usain Bolt to become as fast as possible. This while Bale's speed comes more from his talent for running.

Who is faster, Bale or Messi?

Gareth Bale is faster than Lionel Messi.

Messi's highest measured speed is 20.1 mph (32.5 km/h). This is 2.8 mph (4.4 km/h) slower than Bale's top speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

Many people are often surprised to find out how much slower Messi is compared to other soccer stars.

This may be because Messi's close control of the ball means he relies less on speed than a player like Bale.

Messi's shorter and stockier frame also means he has quicker acceleration but is usually slower over longer distances as he takes shorter strides than Bale.

(Click here to find out exactly how fast Messi is)

Who is faster, Bale or Salah?

Gareth Bale is faster than Mohamed Salah.

Salah's highest measured top speed is 22.74 mph (36.59 km/h). This is only 0.16 mph (0.31 km/h) slower than Bale's top speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

(Click here to find out exactly how fast Salah is)

Is Bale Faster Than Usain Bolt?

Bale cannot claim to be faster than Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt's highest recorded speed is 27.33 mph (43.9 km/h). This is a massive 4.43 mph (7 km/h) faster than Bale's top speed of 22.9 mph (36.9 km/h).

Bale may be fast, but he's got a long way to go if he's to catch the fastest man on the planet.

Conclusion

Gareth Bale was indeed one of the fastest soccer players of his time.

Even though players like Mbappé have overtaken Bale in recent years, Bale was still seen as the fastest soccer player in the world in 2017.

Impressively, Bale hasn't done anything out of the ordinary to achieve these high speeds. Instead, he claims that it has all come naturally to him.

Sadly, Bale has slowed down in recent years as he slowly moves away from playing regular soccer.

James Miller

Soccer has been my passion since I was a kid. After my own career, I became a coach, something I have been doing for 15 years now. Sharing my knowledge about soccer is what I love most. So I hope you can appreciate my articles.
Published: 
April 26, 2022

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Published: April 26, 2022