Cristiano Ronaldo has been considered by many to be the greatest soccer player in the world for well over a decade. His skill, technique, and, perhaps most importantly, his speed gave Ronaldo this reputation. You may be wondering, though, how fast is Ronaldo?
Cristiano Ronaldo's highest ever measured top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h), measured in 2018. His highest speed with the ball was 20.87 mph (33.6 km/h), measured in 2017. During the 2021/22 Premier League season, Ronaldo clocked 20.2 mph (32.51 km/h) during a Manchester United vs. West Ham United match.
You now know how fast Ronaldo is, but what makes him so fast? Is he just as fast with the ball at his feet? And how does he compare to other players? You will find the answer to all these questions and more in this article!
During the 2018 World Cup, Ronaldo would go on to record his highest ever speed. In a game against Spain, Ronaldo reached a top speed of 21.1 mph (34 km/h).
This made Ronaldo the joint fastest player at that tournament alongside Croatia's Ante Rebic.
Even more impressive than that is that Ronaldo achieved this at the age of 34! A few years past what many would consider the prime years of a soccer player.
Below you can see the top 10 fastest players during the 2018 World Cup:
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)||21.1 mph (34km/h)|
|Ante Rebic (Croatia)||21.1 mph (34km/h)|
|3. Luis Advincula (Peru)||21 mph (33.8km/h)|
|4. Santiago Arias (Colombia)||20.87 mph (33.6km/h)|
|5. Kyle Walker (England)||20.81 mph (33.5km/h)|
|Jesse Lingard (England)||20.81 mph (33.5km/h)|
|7. Maciej Rybus (Poland)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Marquinhos (Brazil)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Dani Carvajal (Spain)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Hirving Lozano (Mexico)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Heechan Hwang (South Korea)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
A year before Ronaldo recorded his highest ever speed, a year of research was conducted to determine the top 10 fastest players in the world at the time.
This 2017 study, however, focused on players' speed with the ball at their feet.
Ronaldo has long been considered one of the best dribblers in the world. Unfortunately for him, though, it turned out that he wasn't the fastest.
Ronaldo would finish as the 7th fastest player in the world at the time. His highest speed with the ball was 20.87 mph (33.6 km/h).
The results of this study can be found below:
|Player:||Top Speed (with ball):|
|1. Gareth Bale||22.92 mph (36.90 km/h)|
|2. Orlando Berrío||22.36 mph (36.00 km/h)|
|3. Jürgen Damm||21.89 mph (35.23 km/h)|
|4. Antonio Valencia||21.81 mph (35.10 km/h)|
|5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||21.49 mph (34.60 km/h)|
|6. Aaron Lennon||21.00 mph (33.80 km/h)|
|7. Cristiano Ronaldo||20.87 mph (33.60 km/h)|
|8. Theo Walcott||20.31 mph (32.70 km/h)|
|9. Lionel Messi||20.19 mph (32.50 km/h)|
|10. Wayne Rooney||19.38 mph (31.20 km/h)|
It's incredible that we're still lucky enough to watch Ronaldo play at a high level. However, at 37-years-old now, has he slowed down at all?
The answer is yes, but not by a lot.
Of course, this is to be expected. Ronaldo is like a machine and treats his body like a temple. With all that being said, he can't work miracles.
However, his top speed from this season is still impressive, especially for his age!
In two separate games against Newcastle United and West Ham United, Ronaldo hit a top speed of 20.2 mph (32.5 km/h). This is only 0.9 mph (1.5 km/h) slower than his highest speed in 2018.
Although the stats show that he is slower in 2022, the two speeds are still very close.
It's not impossible that even at 37-years-old, Ronaldo could still hit his highest ever speed today.
So even now, Ronaldo is still a very fast player. But how does he compare to other players in the Premier League in 2022?
The answer to that is no.
Although Ronaldo's current season record of 20.2 mph (32.5 km/h) is impressive, younger players have already beaten it.
The highest speed reached this season was by Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger hit an impressive 22.8 mph (36.7km/h) this year.
This is 2.6mph (4.2 km/h) faster than Ronaldo this season.
You may be surprised that Ronaldo doesn't even feature in the top 10 fastest players this season.
Below are the top 10 fastest players in the 2021/22 Premier League season:
|1. Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)||22.8 mph (36.69 km/h)|
|2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)||22.74 mph (36.59 km/h)|
|Adama Traore (Wolverhampton)||22.74 mph (36.59 km/h)|
|4. Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool)||22.49 mph (36.19 km/h)|
|5. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)||22.43 mph (36.09 km/h)|
|Patson Daka (Leicester)||22.43 mph (36.09 km/h)|
|7. Adam Armstrong (Southampton)||22.15 mph (35.64 km/h)|
|8. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)||21.88 mph (35.21 km/h)|
|9. Nathan Tella (Southampton)||21.75 mph (35 km/h)|
|10. Ismaila Sarr (Watford)||21.67 mph (34.87 km/h)|
|* Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester Utd)||20.2 mph (32.5 km/h)|
As you can see, the days of Ronaldo topping the speed lists are long gone. Even if we used Ronaldo's highest top speed from 2018, he still wouldn't make this 2022 list!
This doesn't mean Ronaldo isn't fast; he clearly is. What's happened is today's players have simply gotten faster.
Whether that's down to better training regimes or modern science is up for debate.
Unfortunately, it means Ronaldo can no longer count himself as one of the fastest players in the world in 2022.
So you now know just how fast Ronaldo is, but how did he become this fast? Was he blessed with natural pace from birth? Or did he train hard to become one of the fastest players ever?
The answer lies somewhere in between.
One of the first things you may notice when looking at Cristiano Ronaldo is his tall and slim body type.
Ronaldo's frame is not too different from that of an Olympic runner. In fact, Ronaldo's height and weight are pretty similar to Olympic gold medalist - Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt stands at an impressive 6ft 5in, while Ronaldo is only 3 inches shorter at 6ft 2in.
But Ronaldo's connection to the fastest man on the planet doesn't end there.
In 2009, Manchester United brought Usain Bolt to their training ground. The record-breaking runner was said to have given Ronaldo some one-on-one lessons.
Here's what Usain Bolt had to say about training with Ronaldo:
"I can give him a few tips to help him get the edge on a few of the guys, I can get him up to speed. I'll need to see how he runs first, and then I can show him a few pointers."
So as you can see, Ronaldo is indeed blessed with a natural body type that allows him to be so fast.
But make no mistake, he has also put in a lot of hard work to make sure he's the best he can be at all aspects of the game, including speed.
The fact that Ronaldo recorded his highest ever speed at an older age than most also shows how good his training regime is.
There's enough evidence to prove that Cristiano Ronaldo is faster than Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo's highest measured top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h). In comparison, Messi's highest measured speed is 20.1 mph (32.5 km/h).
This means that Ronaldo is 0.9 mph (1.5 km/h) faster than Messi.
Messi's shorter and stockier frame gives him a lower center of gravity, meaning he actually accelerates quicker than Ronaldo.
However, Ronaldo's longer strides mean he overtakes Messi over any accepted measurable distance.
There has always been debate over who is the greatest of all time, Ronaldo or Messi? When it comes to who's the fastest, though, Ronaldo undoubtedly wins.
So Ronaldo is faster than Messi, but is he faster than the younger Mbappé?
The answer is no.
Mbappé's highest measured top speed is 23.6 mph (38 km/h). As we already know, Ronaldo's top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h).
This means that Mbappé is 2.5 mph (4 km/h) faster than Ronaldo.
During a 2019 game against Monaco, Mbappé went on a 50-meter sprint where he broke Ronaldo's top speed record.
Of course, it's worth noting that Mbappé is a lot younger than Ronaldo.
In fact, he was only 20-years-old when he set his highest speed. Ronaldo was 34-years-old when he recorded his.
(Click here to find out exactly how fast Mbappe is)
As you discovered earlier, part of the reason Ronaldo is so fast may be down to some training with Usain Bolt. But is he faster than the Olympic sprinter?
The answer is no.
In fact, Ronaldo is a long way off ever catching Bolt's top speed.
Usain Bolt's top recorded speed is a hugely impressive 27.78 mph (44.72 km/h). That's 6.68 mph (10.72 km/h) faster than Ronaldo's highest speed of 21.1 mph (34 km/h).
To conclude, there's no doubt that Ronaldo is incredibly fast, despite modern-day soccer players becoming faster.
Even in 2022, at the age of 37, he can still hit speeds of over 20 mph (32.18 km/h).
He may not be quite as quick as the younger Mbappé or the record-breaking Usain Bolt. Still, those are some great names to be associated with!
Whether or not you count Ronaldo as one of the fastest ever, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest of all time.