Race to the Top: Comparing the Speed of NFL and Soccer Players

28 January 2023

For many avid sports fans, there is an ongoing discussion on which athletes possess the most remarkable speed and agility. In this post, we will take a deep dive into NFL players and soccer stars to uncover who reigns champion in terms of swiftness.

NFL Players:

NFL players are renowned for their impressive capability to run quickly in a straight line. The 40-yard dash serves as the NFL Combine’s ultimate measure of speed and is utilized by coaches to assess prospective athletes’ rapidity. In 2017, John Ross set an unrivaled record after concluding the 40-yard test in 4.22 seconds!

NFL athletes are not only fast in a straight line. Their swiftness is further demonstrated through their nimble ability to make tight turns and rapid direction shifts on the field. To assess these characteristics, teams rely heavily on the 3-cone drill – an evaluation where players demonstrate exceptional speed and agility.

Soccer Players:

Soccer players are renowned for their endurance and capacity to run tirelessly. The average soccer player covers about 7 miles in a match, with some traversing even further; consequently, it requires an exceptional level of cardiovascular fitness paired with the capability to maintain a consistent pace throughout extended matches.

Soccer players require not only endurance but also the ability to accelerate and decelerate fast as well as shift direction without missing a beat – this is especially necessary when dribbling the ball or evading defenders. This kind of agility and coordination makes soccer players some of the most gifted athletes on earth.

Comparing Speed:

When attempting to draw comparisons between the speed of NFL and soccer players, it’s essential to bear in mind the varying requirements that their sports necessitate. Footballers must be able not only to sprint swiftly but also to make sudden changes in direction with agility. Conversely, soccer players must sustain a steady running pace for extended lengths while making speedy accelerations and decelerations as well as agile modifications of course.

NFL players have an indisputable upper hand when it comes to sheer velocity – the quickest of them can finish a 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds, leaving soccer players considerably behind. Nevertheless, soccer athletes tend to possess greater resilience and endurance than their NFL counterparts, being able to maintain consistently fast sprint speeds for much longer durations.

When comparing the two sports, it’s important to take into account the field of play. NFL players compete on a small 100-yard field in comparison to soccer players who are expected to cover much more ground and make far quicker direction shifts. This means that footballers need higher agility and endurance than those participating in American Football – making them powerful athletes!


To sum it up, NFL and soccer athletes each possess a unique blend of speed & agility. While footballers are renowned for their explosive burst in speed, soccer players bring unmatched endurance coupled with exceptional dexterity to the pitch. It is hard to make any definite statement on which group excels faster than the other; all that can be said is that both sports require different approaches towards attaining optimal velocity as well as nimbleness. Witnessing these incredible athletes unleash their full potential makes for some thrilling moments!