Best Soccer Position For Fast Players (Top 3 Explained)

Having fast players is a must-have for any soccer team that wants to be successful. Just as important as having fast players is knowing exactly where to position them. So what is the best soccer position for fast players?

The best soccer position for a fast player is the winger position. This is because wingers need to be fast in order to dribble the ball up the field and go past defenders. Other suitable positions for fast players include strikers and wingbacks.

So now you know the best position for the fastest players, but why exactly is this? And what positions do the fastest players in the world currently play? Find out the answers to these questions and much more in this article.

What Position do The Fastest Soccer Players Play?

Having a lightning-fast player on your soccer team can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing the game. With such huge field sizes in soccer, it's important to have a player who can quickly cover a lot of ground.

But where should the fastest players play? What position is best to get the most out of your fastest players?

1. Winger

The best position for the fastest players on the team is the winger. Wingers are forward players who play out wide.

Traditional wingers prefer to run down the wing and cross the ball into the box. In comparison, inverted wingers prefer to cut in and try to shoot with their stronger foot.

However, the one thing every winger has in common is that they need to be fast.

Why is the winger position good for fast players?

This is because they spend most of the game either running into dangerous positions to receive the ball or dribbling the ball themselves.

Because wingers play high up the field, they are one of the positions that are confronted the most by opposition defenders.

This means wingers need as much speed as possible in order to outrun the defenders and get the ball into a position to try and score.

Another benefit of a winger being fast is how much chaos they can cause in the opposition's defense. The faster a winger is, the more erratic and fearful the behavior of the player defending them usually is.

Should the winger always be played by fast players?

Being fast isn't the only attribute needed to be a winger. However, it is the most important. Knowing this, it's fair to say this position always needs to be played by a fast player.

Having skill and trickery is also very important when playing as a winger, especially when making successful dribbles past defenders.

But it doesn't matter how good they are on the ball if the winger doesn't have enough pace to get away from the defenders.

It is extremely rare to find a slow soccer player playing as a winger. It's also common that wingers are usually moved into a new position when they begin to slow down with age.

Examples of fast players in this position:

When looking at the fastest players in the world, it backs up the fact that the fastest players play as wingers.

The two fastest players in the world are Kylian Mbappé and Adama Traore, with a recorded top speed of 23.6 mph (38 km/h).

Adama Traore plays as a right winger, while Mbappé has played as both a winger and a striker.

Other examples of fast players who have played as wingers include:

Neymar Jr - top speed: 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h):

Neymar Jr is one of the fastest and most skillful players in soccer. His ability to run at defenders with pace, then use his excellent ball control to dribble past them makes the Brazilian a perfect winger.

Gareth Bale - top speed: 22.92 mph (36.9 km/h):

The former Real Madrid winger often played on the opposite side of the field to Cristiano Ronaldo. They were making the Real Madrid team of 2013-2018 one of the fastest and most dangerous teams of all time.

Mohamed Salah - top speed: 22.74 mph (36.59 km/h):

Salah is an elite player as he has incredible speed, superior ball control, and can shoot as well. This is why Salah is so good, and it makes him one of the best wingers in the world.

2. Striker

The second best position for a fast player is the striker position. Strikers share similar duties to that of a winger, except the need for speed is not as important as the ability to shoot.

Why is the striker position good for fast players?

Just like wingers, strikers are tasked with having to run into dangerous areas so they can try to score. Because of this, it is very beneficial for the striker to be fast.

Strikers are also the most likely players to find themselves in a one-on-one battle with a defender in front of the goal. Once again, speed is very helpful in this situation.

Should the striker always be played by fast players?

Although it is very beneficial for a striker to have a lot of speed, it is not essential. If a team plays with fast wingers or a fast secondary striker, then it is usually fine for a team to also use a striker who is a bit slower.

Having the ability to score goals, read the game, and be in the right place at the right time are more important skills for a striker than speed.

Because of this, the striker doesn't always have to be played by a fast player.

In fact, even if you had the fastest player in the world in your team, playing them as a striker would be useless if they weren't good at shooting.

Examples of fast players in this position:

Kylian Mbappé - top speed: 23.6 mph (38 km/h)

As I've already mentioned, Kylian Mbappé is the fastest player in the world. Mbappé will often play as a solo striker for PSG and France.

His unmatched speed allows his teammates to make passes far in front of Mbappé (through balls), which he can then use his speed to pounce on.

Erling Haaland - top speed: 22.39 mph (36.04 km/h):

Haaland ticks all the boxes when it comes to building the perfect striker. He's tall, strong, great at shooting, and surprisingly fast for his size.

Cristiano Ronaldo - top speed: 21.1 mph (34 km/h):

Ronaldo was the fastest player in the 2018 World Cup and was once considered by many to be the best winger in the world. Ronaldo's blistering pace meant he was impossible for defenders to handle.

However, as Ronaldo aged and became slower, he moved into the striker position where he could still use his pace to his advantage and remain an elite player.

3. Fullback/Wingback

It may be surprising that this defensive position is the third-best position for a fast player to play in.

Fullbacks and wingbacks are very similar, as they both basically play as wide defenders.

The only difference is that fullbacks are usually more defensive, while wingbacks are tasked with getting forward and performing similar tasks to wingers.

Why is the fullback position good for fast players?

Whether we are talking about fullbacks or wingbacks, both positions share the same requirements when it comes to speed.

We've already established that wingers are usually the fastest players on the field. Well, the fullbacks are responsible for trying to stop wingers from getting into dangerous positions.

For this reason, it is important for a fullback to have a good amount of pace themselves.

Should the fullback always be played by fast players?

If possible, a coach would definitely prefer their fullbacks to be fast. However, it is possible to get away with a fullback being a slightly slower player.

This is because a defensive player who is able to read the game can often give themselves a headstart on the fastest players.

A good defender should be able to read where the winger or striker wants to run, giving themselves a few yards to try and cut them off. This means it's not an issue if the fullback is slower than the winger.

Examples of fast players in this position:

Kyle Walker - top speed: 23.49 mph (37.8 km/h)

Kyle Walker has the highest recorded top speed of any defender in the world and ranks among the fastest soccer players today. Even the fastest wingers in the Premier League struggle to outrun Manchester City's pacey fullback.

Alphonso Davies - top speed: 22.7 mph (36.5 km/h)

The young Canadian fullback appears to only be getting faster with age. Many soccer fans believe Davies is fast enough to become a great winger.

However, his defensive skills actually make him one of the world's best fullbacks.

Achraf Hakimi - top speed: 22.6 mph (36.4 km/h)

Hakimi's high speed would probably be enough to make him a great winger. However, when you're in the same PSG team as Mbappé, Messi, and Neymar Jr, the team might as well utilize his freakish speed at fullback.

Conclusion

The top 3 best soccer positions for fast players are wingers, strikers, and fullbacks/wingbacks.

All of these positions greatly benefit from the player having a high top speed. However, it is only the winger position where speed is an actual necessity.

Players such as Mbappé, Ronaldo, and Haaland have all had great success in these positions and have all been able to utilize their speed while playing these positions.

James Miller

Soccer has been my passion since I was a kid. After my own career, I became a coach, something I have been doing for 15 years now. Sharing my knowledge about soccer is what I love most. So I hope you can appreciate my articles.
Published: 
September 2, 2022
Published: September 2, 2022