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The meeting of the two fastest players in the tournament : Italy v Wales
Sunday, 20th Jun 2021 12:00 by Keith Haynes

Having speed to burn, and not in a pipe is crucial for today’s modern football athletes, and they are just that, modern football demands it. So who are the quickest to date at the Euros ? Kyle Walker has been recorded during his career at just under 38 kmh, but not at this tournament, maybe due to the amount a negative football his country are playing. However, that leaves our man Dan James in excellent company.

We saw his blistering pace at Swansea City, and it was definitely one of the main motivations for Manchester United to sign him. In the tournament so far he has shown on numerous occasions his incredible pace going forwards. It’s highly likely the two fastest players in the competition will meet today. Italy wing-back Leonardo Spinazzola. The ex Juve man has recorded a tournament best to date at 33.8 kilometres per hour across his countries opening two fixtures.

Leonardo Spinazzola lightening pace and almost impossible to contain

Only a split hair behind is Manchester United’s Dan James, at 33.5km/h. Citizens forward Raheem Sterling is next best recorded at 33.1km/h. The Italian though has frightening pace, especially when you consider the amount of area Spinazzola has to cover from game to game. Regardless, Dan James could well find himself in the ascendency today, running at the Italian defence with that pace will always be in favour of the man with the ball. However, Spinazzola will concern Wales greatly, Although naturally right-footed. Spinazzola prefers playing on the left flank, either as a full-back, wing-back, or winger; a versatile player, he is also capable of playing on the right side of the pitch.A quick, athletic, and offensive-minded player, he is known for his stamina, world class speed and acceleration, physicality, and his polished dribbling skills, which enable him to beat his man in one on one situations on the wing with feints or changes of pace. No wonder AS Roma paid nearly thirty million for him in 2019.

Dan James Sometimes there is only one way to deal with him

Wales are dining at the top table today, it’s a big test, definitely underdogs, definitely not the bookies favourites and most certainly underrated. The speedsters may well decide the result today, that is if anyone can keep up with them.

Italy v Wales kicks off at 5pm today UK time.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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