Ronaldo has the physique of a Greek god, and I’m no Olympic sprinter, but I’m pretty sure his good looks make him make him a half second faster. Messi, on the other hand, and ignoring my knowledge that he is definitely fast, is incredibly short to the point that, if he had a different body type, I would expect him to waddle everywhere.
Never the less, we shall embark on a quest to see just how fast Cristiano Ronaldo is, and if he can beat Lionel Messi’s top speed of 32.5 kph (20.3 mph). Will Ronaldo triumph, or will he come in second…again?
First, let’s just establish one thing: Ronaldo is really, really freaking fast. You don’t need a radar gun to know that.
He’s fast enough to catch up with his own back heel pass:
He’s even fast enough to give a national champion sprinter a run for his money…well, not really:
As you can see, Ronaldo was put up against Spanish champion sprinter Angel David Rodríguez, and came up short in a test of pure, straightaway speed across 25 meters. His 3.61s across that distance was short of the Spaniard’s 3.31s by 0.3 seconds. This is not shocking; if you read that article about Messi, you’ll remember that as fast as world-class footballers are, they are no where near as fast as world-class sprinters. They just aren’t.
But the thing is, now that we have this data on Ronaldo, how do we find out what his top speed was?
Well, doing simple math we can quickly see that his average velocity over 25m was 25.0 kph, but his average velocity is not his top speed. Unfortunately, with out any time splits, it is almost impossible to calculate or even estimate what his real top speed was. So, we aren’t going to use the data at all.
Apologies to all of our scientifically inclined friends, after going through a thorough time-benefit analysis, any further analysis is unwarranted. Subsequently, I have decided to let FIFA do the work for me. And kindly enough, they have completed it already, over a year ago.
Ronaldo’s top speed, according to FIFA,is 33.6 kph, or 21 mph. Unfortunately, this makes him slower than the aforementioned Arjen Robben, as well as Theo Walcott (35.7 kph/22.3 mph), Antonio Valencia (35.1 kph/21.9 mph), Gareth Bale (34.7 kph/21.7 mph, and Aaron Lennon (33.8 kph/21.1 mph). I have a feeling he’s not too worried about being slower, on account of all of the goals that he seems to score despite this crippling handicap.