Neymar da Silva Santos Jr, Neymar Jr, or simply just Neymar. By whatever name you know him, Neymar is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world. You may be wondering, though, how fast is Neymar?
Neymar's highest top speed is 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h), measured in the 2016/17 season. His highest speed with the ball is 19.26 mph (31 km/h). During the 2021/22 Champions League campaign, Neymar clocked a top speed of 19.94 mph (32.1 km/h). In 2022 he has an average speed of 18.8 mph (30.27 km/h).
So now you know exactly how fast Neymar is, but how does he compare with other players? And how fast could he run 100m? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this article!
Neymar has always been a very quick soccer player. In fact, during the 2016/17 season, while playing for F.C Barcelona, Neymar was clocked as the fastest player for his team that season.
During a game against Sporting Gijon in the 2016/17 La Liga season, Neymar recorded his highest ever sprint speed of 21.6 mph (34.8km/h).
This speed put him ahead of his fellow teammates, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Busquets.
Neymar recording this high speed would not have come as a surprise to anybody following his career. This is because it was only slightly faster than his previous high-speed record.
At a younger age of 21-years-old, while still playing in Brazil for Santos, Neymar clocked an impressive speed of 21.56 mph (34.7 km/h). Only 0.04 mph slower than his highest overall speed.
Neymar's highest ever top speed is 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h), measured in the 2016/17 season.
Neymar's highest speed with the ball is 19.26 mph (31 km/h).
Before we go any further, it is worth noting that Neymar's speed stats on the ball are scarce.
It's very plausible that Neymar has dribbled faster than this, especially given that he's one of the best players in the world with the ball at his feet.
Even with all that in mind, coming in at just under 20 mph (31 km/h) with the ball at his feet is still faster than most players.
A study in 2017 determined the fastest players in the world with the ball at their feet at that time.
Unfortunately for Neymar, it looked like he just missed out on the top 10!
Here are the top 10 fastest players with the ball at their feet in 2017:
|Player:||Top Speed (with ball):|
|1. Gareth Bale||22.92 mph (36.90 km/h)|
|2. Orlando Berrío||22.36 mph (36.00 km/h)|
|3. Jürgen Damm||21.89 mph (35.23 km/h)|
|4. Antonio Valencia||21.81 mph (35.10 km/h)|
|5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||21.49 mph (34.60 km/h)|
|6. Aaron Lennon||21.00 mph (33.80 km/h)|
|7. Cristiano Ronaldo||20.87 mph (33.60 km/h)|
|8. Theo Walcott||20.31 mph (32.70 km/h)|
|9. Lionel Messi||20.19 mph (32.50 km/h)|
|10. Wayne Rooney||19.38 mph (31.20 km/h)|
*Neymar 19.26 mph (31.00 km/h) - speed took outside the study.
As you can see, Neymar only narrowly fails to make this list. It's clear that he still deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the players above him.
If we were to take Neymar's highest ever speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h) and apply it to a 100-meter sprint, Neymar would complete 100m in 10.35 seconds.
However, it is unrealistic that Neymar would be able to sustain that speed for the entire 100m.
Having said that, with the correct running gear, he may well be able to reach a higher speed overall!
If we were to take Neymar's average sprint speed in 2022 and apply that to a 100-meter sprint, Neymar would complete 100m in 11.89 seconds.
In comparison, the world record for the 100m sprint is held by Usain Bolt, who completed 100 meters in a blistering 9.58 seconds.
In the current 2021/22 season, Neymar finds himself playing alongside Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi.
Arguably one of the best-attacking forces in the world, and probably one of the fastest too.
Can Neymar keep up with the likes of Mbappé, though? And has Neymar slowed down now he's hit the age of 30?
Neymar has indeed slowed down.
During the 2021/22 Champions League campaign, Neymar clocked a top speed of 19.94 mph (32.1 km/h). This is his highest speed in 2022.
This is 1.66 mph (2.7 km/h) slower than his highest ever speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h), which he achieved in 2017.
Also, in 2022, Neymar has an average speed of 18.8 mph (30.27 km/h).
As you can see, Neymar has definitely slowed down, even if it's not by a lot.
The reasons for this may be down to his age. Many players tend to lose some pace when they pass the age of 30.
Another reason may be down to the players around him.
When you have Mbappé outrunning every other player on the pitch, the need for Neymar to be the quickest player in the team simply isn't there.
Although Neymar is far from the fastest soccer player in the world, he's still very fast. But how did he become so fast?
Neymar was scouted in his home country of Brazil at a very young age.
One of the attributes that stood out straight away was his natural speed, and his coaches at the time knew this.
Neymar's coaching team for both club and country were very careful to ensure he stayed at peak physical fitness during his early years.
The Santos coach at the time, Fernando, had the following to say:
"Neymar is pure fiber and genetics; he is a real privileged player."
When he first arrived at Barcelona, Messi also had this to say:
“I think that with his quality and fitness, Neymar will become the best in the world."
Standing at 5ft 9in with a very slim frame, it's not all that surprising Neymar can run so fast.
So, although Neymar has never fully focused his training regimes on running fast, the way he's looked after his fitness over the years is the main reason for his natural speed.
Neymar is faster than Lionel Messi.
Messi's highest measured speed is 20.1 mph (32.5 km/h). This is 1.5 mph slower than Neymar's top speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h).
However, Messi is one of the rare cases where his highest overall speed is the same as his speed on the ball.
This means Messi is 0.84 mph (1.5 km/h) faster on the ball than Neymar.
There's really not too much difference between these two PSG teammates, whether it's on the ball or off it.
(Click here to find out exactly how fast Messi is)
Neymar is faster than Cristiano Ronaldo, but only just!
Ronaldo's highest measured top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h). This is only 0.5 mph (0.8 km/h) slower than Neymar's highest top speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h).
As you can see, this one is extremely close.
It's also worth noting that speed data was recorded less frequently during Ronaldo's prime years than for Neymar.
(Click here to find out exactly how fast Ronaldo is)
Kylian Mbappé is faster than Neymar.
Mbappé's highest measured top speed is 23.6 mph (38 km/h). This is 2 mph (3.2 km/h) faster than Neymar's highest top speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h).
Given that Mbappé is the fastest soccer player on the planet, there's no shame in being slower than the lightning-fast Mbappé.
Erling Haaland is faster than Neymar.
Erling Haaland's highest measured top speed is 22.39 mph (36.04 km/h). This is 0.79 mph (1.24 km/h) faster than Neymar's top speed of 21.6 mph (34.8 km/h).
Although Haaland is a much larger athlete than Neymar, he manages to generate more power in his legs resulting in a higher speed for the giant Norwegian.
Haaland does have a slight advantage, though.
The Bundesliga records and reports speed stats in every single game. This is not the case in Ligue 1.
(Click here to find out exactly how fast Haaland is)
To summarize, Neymar isn't one of the fastest sprinters in the world, but he's not far off from being one of the fastest dribblers in the sport.
His speed is mostly due to his incredible fitness and conditioning throughout his career.
Of course, Neymar has had his share of injuries, but when his body is in good shape, it's perfect for running hard and certainly for dribbling.
Neymar has maintained a very similar high speed from his younger days at Santos to his fastest season at Barcelona in 2017.
Now at PSG, he has slowed down a little bit.