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Euro 2016: 5 of the paciest players playing in the tournament

We take a look at the paciest players on show at the upcoming European Championships in France.

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale can obliterate opponents with his raw pace

For all the importance of technique and intelligence in football, sometimes there’s nothing like the sight of a player just bursting past his opponent with sheer pace. Combine raw speed with elegance and you have poetic beauty. Just consider the likes of Ricardo Kaka, gliding past defenses and slotting the ball into the corner of the goal, or Diego Maradona waltzing his way past the entire England defense before scoring one of the best goals of all time or Luis Ronaldo, with the famous acceleration that would leave some of the best defenders in the world on the ground.

We take a look at the paciest players on show at the upcoming European Championships in France:

#1 Gareth Bale (Wales)

It seems so long ago since Gareth Bale absolutely terrorized Douglas Maicon in a 2010 Uefa Champions League match at the San Siro that Spurs lost 4-3 to the reigning European champions Inter. Rarely had I ever seen the reputation of a player considered one of the best in his position tarnished with such ease as I did with Douglas Maicon, a mainstay in Inter’s defensive lineup as he was completely bamboozled by the Welsh left back’s pace.

As the years progressed, Maicon can take a lot of solace in the fact that Bale went on to establish himself as one of the best and paciest players in world football and would go on to embarrass a whole host of world class defenders. Bale, who can now play anywhere in a front three will be looking to make an impression with his national team at the Euros and opposition defenders will be sweating it out in training, planning for ways to counter his pace.

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