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Top 10 fastest players in the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Speed is a game-changing asset for any footballer and the FIFA World Cup provides the perfect global arena to showcase the fastest attackers and defenders out there.

Here are the ten fastest players in this year’s championship tournament, according to statistics from sports newspaper Marca:

6th place (three-way tie):

Tajon Buchanan, Canada, 35.19kilometre/hour (km/h)

Tajon Trevor Buchanan plays as a winger for Belgian First Division A side Club Brugge and the Canada national team.

Buchanan signed a 3-and-a-half-year deal with Club Brugge in 2021 and was loaned back to New England Revolution for the remainder of the 2021 MLS season.

He accepted an invite for the Canadian senior national team camp for January 2021 and on June 18 Buchanan was named to Canada’s 60-man preliminary squad for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Buchanan’s play at the tournament was praised and was the recipient of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Best Young Player Award.

Nemanja Radonjic, Serbia, 35.19 km/h

Nemanja Radonjic plays for Serie A club Torino, on loan from Ligue 1 club Marseille and also represents the Serbia national team.

In November 2017, Radonjic was invited to Serbia’s national football team for an Asia tour and made his debut in a friendly draw to South Korea.

A year later, Serbia manager Mladen Krstajić included Radonjic in the final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup where he appeared in two matches, one against Switzerland and the other against Brazil.

In this year’s World Cup he played in all three group-stage matches, against Brazil, Cameroon and Switzerland. While Serbia finished fourth in the group, Radonjic raced to a top speed of 35.19 km/h.

Kylian Mbappe, France, 35.19 km/h

Mbappe is the fastest player in Ligue 1, reaching a speed of 36.05 km/h earlier in the season, according to Sporting News but in Qatar he’s been tied for sixth place alongside Buchanan and Radonjic.

The Frenchman has scored five goals and assisted in two others in five appearances in the World Cup so far. 

After beating Morocco 2-0,  Mbappe could help France defend their World Cup championship title in a final match against Argentina.

He is likely to go home with the Golden Ball or the Golden Boot as well.

5th place (two-way tie) 

Ismaila Sarr, Senegal, 35.29 km/h

Ismaila Sarr has shined as Senegal’s best attacker in Qatar after doging opponents at a top speed of 35.29 km/hr.

Alongside the Senegal national team, he plays as a winger for EFL Championship club Watford.

He represented his country for the first time in a match against Namibia in 2016 in Dakar and just two years later was named in Senegal’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

In 2019, Sarr was also part of the Senegal squad that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, for only the second time in the nation’s history.

Achraf Hakimi, Morocco, 35.29km/h

Achraf Hakimi Mouh is regarded as one of the best right-backs in world football and it’s no surprise he is known for his speed after hitting 35.29 km/h in Qatar.

He plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the Morocco national team, in which he’s been a vital part of their run to the semi-finals.

Hakimi represented Morocco at various youth levels, before making his international debut in 2016 aged 17, after previously being capped by the nations’ youth teams at under-20.

4th place (two-way tie) 

Daniel James, Wales, 35.39 km/h

Daniel Owen James and his lighting-fast speed are credited for helping Wales qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1958.

He plays as a winger for Premier League club Fulham, on loan from Leeds United. 

He made his professional debut for Swansea City in 2018, signed for Manchester United in 2019, after making 74 appearances for the club he joined Leeds United in 2021.

Antonee Robinson, United States, 35.39 km/h

Antonee Robinson, nicknamed Jedi, plays as a left-back for Premier League club Fulham and the United States national team.

Robinson was first capped at under-18 level with the US and in 2018, was invited to both the US senior and England under-21 camps. 

He made his United States senior debut on May 28, 2018, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–0 friendly win against Bolivia and recording an assist.

The 25-year-old American reached an impressive top speed of 35.39 km/hr in Qatar. 

3rd place:

David Raum, Germany, 35.40 km/h

David Raum plays as a left midfielder or left back for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig and the Germany national team.

He has made a total of eleven international appearances at under-19 and under-20 levels and was called up for the squad for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. He played in all games, helping Germany win the final 1–0 over Portugal.

After debuting with the senior Germany national team in a 6–0 World Cup qualification win over Armenia last year, he’s gone on to reach a top speed of 35.40 km/hr in Qatar.

2nd place:

Nico Williams, Spain, 35.59 km/h

Nicholas “Nico” Williams Arthuer plays as a winger for La Liga club Athletic Bilbao and the Spain national team.

He first represented Spain with the under-18 squad in 2020, scoring two goals in four games and was called up to the Spain under-19s a year later. He made his debut for the under-21s in September of the same year.

He was called up to the senior squad for 2022–23 UEFA Nations League fixtures in September 2022 in which he scored his first goal for the national team in a friendly against Jordan.

At the World Cup 2022, he became the second fastest player after reaching a recorded a top speed of 35.59 km/hr.

But despite his incredible pace, he was mostly used as a substitute in Qatar and finished the tournament with no goals or assists. 

1st place:

Kamaldeen Sulemana, Ghana, 35.69 km/h

Kamaldeen Sulemana, also known as Kamaldeen, who plays as a winger for Ligue 1 club Rennes and the Ghana national team.

He received his first call-up for the Ghana national team in 2020 and debuted with Ghana in a 3–0 friendly loss to Mali. Kamaldeen also played in the friendly game against Qatar.

Despite becoming the fastest player in Qatar at a record speed of 35.69 km/hr, the 22-year-old was limited to just two substitute appearances and failed to score a goal or provide an assist.

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