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Exactly how fast is Alphonso Davies? Ranking football speedsters

Bayern starlet Alphonso Davies is the fastest Bundesliga player in recorded history, but how does he stack up against world football’s other sprinters?

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
Bayern fullback Alphonso Davies against Borussia Mönchengladbach on June 13.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Alphonso Davies has enjoyed a breakout season at Bayern Munich, earning 37 appearances and 3 goals, and has emerged as one of the best young fullbacks in world football.

In Bayern’s 1 - 0 victory against Werder Bremen on June 16, he helped his side clinch a record eighth consecutive Bundesliga title and earned another record for himself: the fastest recorded speed in a Bundesliga match, 22.7 miles per hour (36.51 km/h).

Davies’ burst is still a ways away from Usain Bolt’s top speed of 27.8 mph (44.72 km/h), but we’ll give him a pass—it illustrates the athletic prowess that the 19-year-old has wielded all season as he has torn up and down the wing. His nickname “Roadrunner,” bestowed by teammate Thomas Müller, is well earned.

But how fast is Davies in the scheme of European (and world) football? Could it be that he is merely the leader in a league of slowpokes? Or is he among the quickest of the quick? Let’s take a look at this season’s top speeds:

Top speeds, 2019-2020

Player Speed (mph) Speed (km/h) Team Competition
Player Speed (mph) Speed (km/h) Team Competition
Bruno Henrique 23.61 38.00 Flamengo (Brazil) Copa Libertadores
Çağlar Söyüncü 23.33 37.55 Leicester City Premier League
Andy Delort 22.87 36.80 Montpellier Ligue 1
Alphonso Davies 22.69 36.51 Bayern Munich Bundesliga
Kostas Manolas 22.00 35.41 Napoli Serie A
Adrià Pedrosa 21.82 35.11 Espanyol La Liga

Surprisingly, Çağlar Söyüncü has clocked the top speed across Europe’s top five leagues this season, while Flamengo forward Bruno Henrique registered the world’s top speed in Brazil in August. Still, Davies finds himself firmly in the midst of Europe’s quickest.

Some notable names miss out on the list, including vaunted speed demons Kylian Mbappé, Adama Traoré, and Iñaki Williams, among others.

Of course, acceleration and explosiveness are only part of the equation of overall quickness, as the ability to maintain speed over distances is often the difference-maker in football.

There is no doubt that Alphonso Davies is one of football’s most gifted athletes. As he soldiers on with Bayern to close out the Bundesliga season and drive toward Champions League glory, expect to witness the “Roadrunner” challenge his own speed record.

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