Monday, 15 Apr 2024

Lionel Messi’s Speed: How Does He Compare?

how fast was messi in his prime

Being one of the greatest players to ever grace the game, Lionel Messi is often hailed as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) by many football enthusiasts. However, speed is often a defining factor that sets apart world-class athletes from the rest. So, just how fast is Messi compared to his peers?

Who are the fastest players in the world?

Before we delve into Messi’s speed, let’s acknowledge the pace of some other remarkable football talents. While they may not possess the same level of skill as Messi, being faster than the Argentine is still an impressive feat.

Two names that immediately come to mind are Arjen Robben and Alphonso Davies. Robben, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, reached a top speed of 23 miles per hour while playing for the Netherlands against Spain. Alphonso Davies, who currently plays for Bayern Munich, set his personal record at 22.7 miles per hour.

How does Messi compare to these pacy players?

When it comes to speed, Lionel Messi may not hold the title for the fastest player ever. In his prime, Messi reached a top speed of a little over 20 miles per hour. While not quite on par with the likes of Robben and Davies, Messi’s rapidness is still impressive.

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Other notable pacy players

Another player known for his speed is Kylian Mbappé. Although he has yet to reach his prime, Mbappé is already considered one of the quickest players in the game. His top speed of 22.4 miles per hour, achieved in 2020, is noteworthy, but still falls short of Alphonso Davies’ record.

Messi’s acceleration, sprint speed, and movement off the ball

Messi is renowned for his versatility in terms of pace. In his prime, he could sprint at around 20 miles per hour, placing him among the top 15 fastest players in the world at the time. Typically, football players engage in numerous shorter sprints rather than maintaining top speed throughout an entire match.

What truly sets Messi apart is his exceptional dribbling ability, which enhances his perception of speed. Few players possess the capability to maintain quickness both on and off the ball. During his prime, Messi’s movement and off-the-ball sprints were a sight to behold, captivating fans worldwide.

Any disadvantages due to Messi’s height?

Standing at a mere 5’7″, Messi’s height may be considered a disadvantage when it comes to speed. Traditionally, taller players with longer legs tend to take longer strides and achieve higher top speeds. However, Messi compensates by reaching his top speed quicker than most. His agility and superior balance allow him to outpace opponents over short distances.

Messi’s current shape

At present, Messi is in his mid-thirties, an age when many players start to decline. Nevertheless, the Argentine superstar remains relatively quick. While he now places more emphasis on his passing game rather than sprinting, Messi’s speed is still impressive. It is reasonable to assume that he will maintain a similar level of performance well into his late thirties.

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Age plays a crucial role in a player’s speed. While the soccer market continuously craves rapid players, those who solely rely on pace tend to experience a significant decline by their late twenties or early thirties. Players like Messi, who transform their playstyle as they age, can extend their careers significantly.

Final thoughts

Although Lionel Messi may not hold the title of the fastest player in the world, his speed, even in his current stage of his career, remains remarkable. His agility and quickness have always been fundamental aspects of his game, contributing to his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

When watching a match, take a moment to observe older players who were renowned for their pace earlier in their careers. You will likely notice similarities in their transformations, similar to Messi’s evolution over time.

As a brand focusing on football statistics and data analysis, Pesstatsdatabase provides valuable insights into the abilities and performance of players like Lionel Messi. Explore Pesstatsdatabase to discover comprehensive player profiles and keep up with the latest football trends and developments.


Q: Is Lionel Messi the fastest player ever?
A: While Messi is not the fastest player ever, his speed is still impressive compared to his peers.

Q: Who are some of the fastest players in the world?
A: Notable speedy players include Arjen Robben, Alphonso Davies, and Kylian Mbappé.

Q: How does Messi’s speed compare to that of other players?
A: Messi’s top speed in his prime was a little over 20 miles per hour, which falls slightly short of the fastest players.

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Q: Does Messi’s height affect his speed?
A: Messi’s height may be considered a disadvantage, but his exceptional balance and agility compensate for it.

Q: How does age affect a player’s speed?
A: While many players lose their pace as they age, those who adapt their playstyle can maintain their speed and prolong their careers.


Lionel Messi’s speed has undeniably played a crucial role in shaping his illustrious career. While he may not be the fastest player on the pitch, his agility, acceleration, and remarkable off-the-ball movement have always set him apart. As fans, we continue to be captivated by Messi’s ability to combine skill, precision, and speed, making him truly one of a kind.