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How Fast Does The Soccer Ball Travel?

How Fast Does The Soccer Ball Travel?

Having a powerful kick in soccer like every other ball game where legs are mostly used in steering the ball can increase your chances of scoring—and your team’s chance of winning a match.

Taking accurate powerful shots is among the most valuable skills a player can possess in soccer, it’s a skill that can make a player seem unstoppable in the field. Players with such skills are the major nightmare of defenders and goalkeepers.

Soccer balls can travel as fast as the strength applied in kicking them so there is no limit to how fast they can travel although there is a limit to how hard a player can kick a ball due to human constraints.

To master the art of shooting a ball with maximum strength and accuracy, you need a lot of practice, patience, and persistence. The best strikers in soccer can kick a ball to travel faster than a vehicle on a freeway, a shot like that can injure a fellow player on the soccer field.

Kicking is essential in soccer and players who want to excel in this sport must be committed to improving their motor abilities. An improvement in player’s motor abilities enables them to gain proper shooting mechanics and crucial kicking techniques.

So, what was the fastest ball speed ever recorded in soccer, can you guess? We will tell you that and everything else you need to know about how fast a soccer ball can travel.

Robben are shooting the soccer ball

Since the inception of the game of soccer, the fastest soccer kick so far had a speed of 211 km/h (approximately 132 miles per hour) by Brazilian midfielder and defender Ronny Heberson Furtado de Araujo in a league game against Associacao Naval de Maio.

Ronny’s kick earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Many years have passed since that shot was taken and yet no other player has been able to beat Ronny’s powerful shot.

Players who have come close to Ronny’s record are German soccer star Arjen Robben – 190 km/h and England’s midfielder Steven Reid – 189 km/h. For ambitious soccer players, beating Ronny’s record may be possible with consistent practice but might seem impossible for average players.

The maximum speed a soccer ball can travel remains a mystery for now. According to experiments conducted by experts, calculations show that a professional soccer ball can gain a speed of about 80 miles per hour on average. Obviously, this is not something that just any player can pull off.

Many factors affect the average speed of soccer balls when they are kicked, factors such as weight of the ball, the material used in producing the ball, force applied to the kick, wind speed, and air pressure all play a vital role.

These same factors might be considered when trying to determine how fast a soccer ball can spin as we would be discussing below.

How fast can a soccer ball spin?     

We believe many soccer fans can vividly remember a free kick played by the Brazilian Roberto Carlos at a tournament in France some years ago. Carlos spun the ball so well that it curved to the left part of the goal post and got in through the top right-hand corner of the post to the admiration of fans, coaches, players, and media crew.

Carlos must have practiced this kick about a hundred times on the training ground to make sure he applied the right speed and kicked the ball at the perfect angle to deliver the perfect spin. It is not only soccer balls that are capable of spinning, baseballs, basketballs, and tennis balls also spin.

Soccer ball is spinning

The forces on a spinning soccer ball traveling through the air can be divided into two types namely the drag force and the lift force. The lift force acts on the sidewards or upwards velocity of the ball and is also accountable for the Magnus effect.

The drag force acts in a direction opposing the ball’s path. For example, if the velocity of a soccer ball is 25 – 30 ms⁻¹ (approximately 70 mph) with a spin of about 8 to 10 revolutions per second, the lift force would become 3.5 N.

If the weather is dry, a soccer ball can be made to spin as much as 10 revolutions per second when kicked with the outside foot at a speed of 30 ms⁻¹ (70 mph). Air resistance is a factor that mustn’t be overlooked when trying to measure how fast a soccer ball can spin.

What’s the fastest you can kick a soccer ball?

To discover how fast you can kick a soccer ball, you must first understand the physics behind kicking a soccer ball as well as the characteristics of a good soccer ball.

A professional soccer ball must be spherical, weighing between 410 and 450 grams, made of leather-like or leather materials, and have a circumference of 68 to 70 centimeters.

A soccer ball moves differently when kicked with the tip of the toe than when kicked with the side of the feet. A soccer ball loses speed while in motion because of the air friction that acts on it as it tries to push through.

The maximum speed a soccer ball can gain is entirely in the control of a player as the force applied in kicking a ball is directly proportional to the maximum speed it can attain before it starts to decelerate.

A top soccer player with quality soccer boots can send a ball traveling at 60 to 70 mph while a novice can only do maybe 40 or 50 mph at best.

To improve on their kicking abilities, players often undergo special trainings that improve their calf and thigh muscles which helps them to kick the soccer ball harder.

Steven Gerrard is doing the shoot

How fast can Messi kick a soccer ball?

Lionel Messi scored about 58 direct free-kicks in his career as of early 2018 which is higher than any other player in Europe. Messi’s former teammate at Barcelona Sergio Busquets earlier confirmed that he takes his training as seriously as the real games.

Messi doesn’t score consistent free-kicks because he has superpowers of any kind but like we earlier stated, he practices thoroughly to perfect his kicks and to gain a good level of mastery over the ball.

While taking a free-kick, Messi’s leg takes an angle of 50 degrees which gives him leverage to hit the ball with maximum strength, stability, and control. For improved accuracy, Messi curves his shoulders and chest into a compact position to somehow caress the ball before playing.

Through his experience in the game of soccer, Messi can squeeze goals into very tight corners since he has developed a good understanding of balls. Messi can kick a soccer ball with a speed of 90 miles per hour (mph).

Messi are kicking the soccer ball

How fast can Ronaldo kick?

Cristiano Ronaldo is among the greatest soccer players with many awards and records under his belt. He has crazy dribbling skills, teamwork, and most importantly a unique free-kick technique which has earned him a lot of goals.

His free-kick technique is called “knuckleball-style” which he patented. To replicate this free-kick style, you need to learn how to apply very little spin on the ball which will force it to dip downwards suddenly while applying a super-charged accurate force to the ball when shooting it.

Ronaldo are kicking the soccer ball

Ronaldo has won numerous trophies with different teams in different countries. He knows that goals win matches so he always makes sure he delivers whenever he plays, some fans even call him a goalscoring machine because he can score from virtually any angle and distance using both his legs and head.

His footwork gives him the ability to receive crosses in time, making him unpredictable and exciting to watch on the soccer field. One of the crazy things about Ronaldo is that he is very good with both feet—his left foot shoots as accurately as his right.

Ronaldo is a product of dedicated hard work and persistence which is why he is way ahead of his contemporaries. Ronaldo’s shots have power and distinction, his fastest recorded shot traveled at 35 meters per second which is equivalent to 80 miles per hour.

How to shoot a knuckleball | Learn CR7 free kick


One obvious fact in soccer remains that kicking the ball fast with added accuracy goes a long way in determining who wins a match and who loses. Players with such skills are always sorted after during free-kicks and they play vital roles during counterattacks.

The harder a ball is kicked, the easier it succeeds in escaping a goalkeeper’s grip into the net. While defenders need to learn how to kick the ball hard and fast to initiate counterattacks, strikers need the same ability to steer the ball beyond the best goalkeeper’s reach.