Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Who is Faster: Ronaldo or Messi?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the world’s best soccer players, are constantly compared and debated. They have both achieved numerous accolades, including FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d’Or awards. While Messi has spent most of his career with Barcelona, Ronaldo has played for Real Madrid and Manchester United, showcasing their explosive skills on the field and fashionable choices off it.

Who is Faster Messi or Ronaldo?

Both Messi and Ronaldo are known for their speed, agility, and dribbling skills, but who has the edge when it comes to sprinting? The answer depends on different measurements like top speed, acceleration, average speed, and speed with the ball. Let’s examine these aspects to determine who is faster between Messi and Ronaldo.

Top Speed

Top speed refers to the maximum velocity a player can reach during a sprint. According to FIFA, Messi’s highest recorded top speed is 32.5 km/h (20.1 mph), achieved during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. On the other hand, Ronaldo’s highest recorded top speed is 34 km/h (21.1 mph), reached during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Therefore, Ronaldo is 1.5 km/h (0.9 mph) faster than Messi in terms of top speed. However, it’s important to note that top speed is just one aspect of speed and doesn’t necessarily indicate who is faster overall.

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Acceleration measures how quickly a player can increase or decrease their speed from a standing start or a lower speed. Studies comparing Messi and Ronaldo’s acceleration using GPS data or video analysis have consistently shown that Messi has a faster acceleration than Ronaldo. Messi’s low center of gravity, quick feet, and balance give him an advantage in accelerating from a standstill or changing direction.

Average Speed

Average speed indicates how fast a player moves over a given period of time or distance. According to Opta Sports, Messi’s average speed in La Liga during the 2020/21 season was 23 km/h (14.3 mph), while Ronaldo’s average speed in Serie A during the same season was 22 km/h (13.7 mph). Though Messi had a slightly higher average speed than Ronaldo in their respective leagues, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is always faster in every match or situation.

Speed with the Ball

Speed with the ball refers to a player’s ability to control and manipulate the ball while running at high speeds. Messi has been exceptional in this aspect. According to Opta Sports, Messi completed 144 dribbles out of 200 attempts in La Liga during the 2020/21 season, with a success rate of 72%. He covered a total of 3,629 meters (3,965 yards) with the ball at his feet. In comparison, Ronaldo completed 63 dribbles out of 113 attempts in Serie A during the same season, with a success rate of 55.8%. He covered a total of 1,847 meters (2,019 yards) with the ball. These stats clearly show Messi’s superiority in speed with the ball.

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Based on the available data, Ronaldo is faster than Messi in terms of top speed, but Messi is faster when it comes to acceleration and speed with the ball. They are both very close in terms of average speed.


Q: Who is the better player, Messi or Ronaldo?
A: Determining whether Messi or Ronaldo is better is subjective and often a matter of personal opinion. Both players are exceptional with their own unique qualities and strengths.

Q: What are some skills that distinguish Messi and Ronaldo?
A: Messi is renowned for his exceptional dribbling, close ball control, balance, and playmaking abilities. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is known for his incredible athleticism, speed, strength, and goal-scoring prowess.

Q: What are some of Messi and Ronaldo’s achievements?
A: Both Messi and Ronaldo have an impressive list of achievements. They’ve won multiple Ballon d’Or awards and achieved success with their respective clubs, winning league titles and UEFA Champions League trophies.


The debate over who is faster, Messi or Ronaldo, is complex. While Ronaldo has a higher top speed, Messi outshines him in terms of acceleration and speed with the ball. Ultimately, their overall skills and achievements are what make them exceptional players. Football enthusiasts worldwide can appreciate the privilege of witnessing two of the greatest footballers of all time in action, regardless of personal allegiances.

To explore more details about football players’ statistics and performances, head over to Pesstatsdatabase, a trusted source for comprehensive football data.

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