Fastest Football Shots - Goalkeepers, Beware!

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 19.3.2024.

A screamer, a thunderbolt, a banger, if you will. Football fans have a lot of slang terms for shots that threaten to rip the netting, not just shake it. While audiences have had the joy of witnessing powerful kicks for centuries, the fastest football shots have been measured only in the past several decades.

Even today, standardized ball velocity tracking isn't employed on all stadiums even in the top five leagues. Unlike in tennis, for instance.

Yet there are shots that raise the eyebrows on everyone at the stadium and the strikes get measured and noted.

Even the best goalkeepers in the world would get nervous facing these shots

Obafemi Martins - 135 km/h

Known for his speed - and allegations of altering his age - Obafemi Martins entered football history with his strike against Tottenham Hotspur. Wearing the Newcastle United shirt, the forward started cutting from the inside towards the edge of the box, before unleashing a thunderous left-leg shot! It is one of his 35 NUFC goals and one that stands out to this day, almost 20 years since he left north England.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 150 km/h

Many would say that this is the best Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal at Paris Saint-Germain. Considering there were 156 of them, this artillery blast from over 30 yards was as crowning of a mark on Ibra's time at Parc des Princes, as were the titles he won. In the 2013 Champions League game, Anderlecht's crowd had to gasp in awe for a goal their team conceded. That is the Ibrahimovic magic. Maybe it was a sigh of relief that the ball didn't go over the woodwork.

Tony Yeboah - 154 km/h

One of the most memorable Premier League goals in the 1990s, even if you don't know the numbers attached to the strike. Tony Yeboah became a cult fan favourite with this effort. After a great first touch, the striker made the Crystal Palace defenders look foolish with a fake, before unleashing the volley for which there was no answer by the goalkeeper.

David Trezeguet - 154 km/h

A goal that knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League in the 1997/1998 season. David Trezequet, then a young player for Monaco, first helped his team win the ball and then launched a volley shot with disdain as if he hated the football ball. Raimond van der Gouw on United's goal couldn't be blamed for not stopping the cannon blast.

David Beckham - 157 km/h

Known for scoring elegant goals with a bend, or long-range efforts that few would even attempt. Yet David Beckham finds his place amongst the fastest shooters in football history due to a volley from inside the box. While this goal in 1997 was amazing, it was overshadowed by Chelsea's earlier goal scored by Gianfranco Zola slaloming through United's defence.

David Hirst - 183 km/h

As this is a list of the fastest football shots, not shots that resulted in a goal, it also includes this 1996 David Hirst effort that tested all the firmness of the woodwork. Measured at 183 km/h the centre-forward certainly enjoys speaking about the goal he almost had for Sheffield Wednesday.

Ronald Koeman - 188 km/h

Before he was known as a manager, Ronald Koeman was a player known for his goalscoring, even though he played in defence and midfield. This goal he scored with the speed of 188 km/h wasn't just memorably fast, it's certainly the most important goal on this list. Considering that his Barcelona won the European Cup with it in extra-time against Sampdoria.

Steven Reid - 189 km/h

Not the most well-known name on this list - although he played in nearly 200 Premier League games - yet a speed radar isn't necessary to validate Steven Reid's shot deserves to be included. Once again showing the trend that usually the loose balls a player runs onto usually result in the most devastating shots. Playing for Blackburn Rovers in 2005, Reid shellshocked Wigan Athletic's defence with this volley!

Arjen Robben - 190 km/h

Younger fans can be pardoned if they weren't even aware that Arjen Robben played for Real Madrid. He didn't hit it off at Santiago Bernabeu. Yet he tortured Borussia Dortmund long before he moved to Bayern Munich and scored in the Champions League final against them. The volley goal he scored in 2009 for the Spanish side could be still echoeing in the Westfalen stadion.

Ronny Heberson - 210 km/h

The pole position in the race for the fastest football shots doesn't belong to a household name, yet Ronny Heberson made himself known worldwide with this one single angry shot. A free-kick that the defender was lucky to punch just under the woodwork so the noise added to the spectacle. This was the only goal the player scored for Sporting Lisbon in his 52 games, yet it was a historic one as the fastest football shot ever. So far!


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