The UEFA Champions League is Europe's most elite club competition. The best teams from all of Europe's top-flights fight it out for continental glory in the Champions League. It is a stage where legends are born and history is made.
Since every game starting from the group stage is important and matches are usually played between top quality sides, there is never any shortage of entertainment.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the most exciting tournaments in the world
A goal on either side can help blow a match wide open and spectators love the Champions League for how matches become end-to-end affairs regularly. It is a competition where footballers give it their all to make a name for themselves.
Top European sides are blessed with some incredible athletes who relish these occasions. Pace on and off the ball is a desirable attribute for football players. Today, we take a look at five of the fastest players in this season's Champions League so far.
#5 Meschak Elia (BSC Young Boys) - 37.8 km/h
Reigning Swiss champions Young Boys got off to a great start to their 2021-22 Champions League campaign. They beat 10-men Manchester United 2-1 in their first group stage matchup. Leading their attack against the English giants was 24-year-old Congolese striker Meschak Elia.
He has scored six goals and provided six assists in 17 appearances across all competitions for Young Boys so far this season. Elia is an athletically gifted attacker who packs explosive pace. The 24-year-old has clocked a top speed of 37.8 km/hr in the Champions League this term.
#4 Mario Hermoso (Atletico Madrid) - 38.3 km/h
Mario Hermoso has been a mainstay in Atletico Madrid's backline since the start of the 2020-21 season. The 26-year-old is primarily a centre-back but he is also quite effective playing at left-back.
Hermoso is one of the fastest centre-backs in the world. The Spaniard clocked a top speed of 38.3 km/h in the UEFA Champions League this term. That means Hermoso is unlikely to finish second best in a foot race with the vast majority of attackers in the world.
He has already helped his side keep four cleansheets in 10 appearances so far this season. Earning the trust of a defensive coach who's as effective as Diego Simeone is no mean feat and Hermoso seems to have achieved that.
#3 Vinicius Jr. (Real Madrid) - 38.5 km/h
Going by the manner in which Vinicius Jr. has kicked off the 2021-22 season, it would be unfair to call him a mercurial winger anymore. The tricky Brazilian forward has taken the opportunity to establish himself as one of the best young players in the world with both hands.
Vinicius has been flying in the new season. He has always been excellent at getting the better of defenders and slaloming past them. His electric pace has always been a virtue that he's put to good use but never more so than in this season.
The 21-year-old has been in scintillating form for Real Madrid so far this term, scoring seven goals and providing five assists in 11 appearances across all competitions. He has scored some incredible goals already this season and his pace and quick feet make him a nightmare to defend against.
Vinicius Jr. has clocked a top speed of 38.5 km/h in the Champions League and it looks like he is going to accomplish big things with Real Madrid this season.
#2 Aleksei Miranchuk (Atalanta) - 38.6 km/h
Atalanta are known for being one of the most adventurous sides in all of Europe. They attack with abandon and play an entertaining brand of football where 'attack is the best form of defence' seems to be the overarching philosophy.
In a team that's filled with fast movers, 26-year-old Aleksei Miranchuk stands out owing to his blistering pace on the ball. The Russian international has hit a top speed of 38.6 km/h in this season's UEFA Champions League.
He has not been at his best in the new season though. Miranchuk has provided just one assist in six appearances so far this term and Atalanta will need more from him. They are currently sixth in the Serie A table after eight gameweeks.
#1 Marcos Antonio (Shakhtar Donetsk) - 38.6 km/h
Shakhtar Donetsk central midfielder Marcos Antonio is not exactly a regular feature in their starting XI just yet. But he has provided glimpses of the quality he possesses and one thing that stands out is his pace.
Antonio has a low center of gravity which enables him to execute quick turns. He can drop a shoulder and immediately switch on the afterburners and speed away from opposition players thanks to his incredible burst of pace.
The Brazilian loves motoring forward with the ball and probing for open spaces and as such, his pace comes in handy quite regularly. Antonio has clocked a top speed of 38.6 km/h this season in the Champions League.