Who are Football’s Strongest Players?

January 25, 2018

- Grant Whittington

In the world of football, speed tends to be a more valuable asset than strength. Even in the case of defenders, an abundance of pace can help to negate the quick and fluid attacks that tend to operate at the very highest level.

Still, there remains a prominent place in the sport for so-called strong men, who boast the bulk and power to dominate certain individual battles in every area of the pitch.

But, who exactly are the strongest players in the sport? Below, the team at the Bet Hut takes a look.

George Elokobi, Leyton Orient

We start with the physically imposing George Elokobi, who rose to prominence as a marauding left back for Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2008 and 2014. During this time, Elokobi spent three seasons in the Premier League, with a number of top-flight wingers struggling to contend with the Nigerian’s raw strength.

Now plying his trade in the lower leagues with Leyton Orient, Elokobi weighs in at an incredible 90 kilograms of pure muscle, despite the fact that he is just 1.8 metres tall. This may seem disproportionate for an athlete (and particularly a footballer), but the full-back has been able to showcase both speed and the strength to prosper during a stellar career.

Almost as broad as he is tall and with shoulder muscles that a heavyweight boxing contender would be proud of, it should also come as no surprise that Elokobi is not shy in exposing his physique whenever he gets the opportunity!

Micah Richards, Aston Villa

Next up we have another powerful full-back, whose strength, pace and athleticism distinguished him as a potential international star during his youth. While Richards’ career may not have reached the heights many predicted, however, he managed to win the Premier League and FA Cup with Manchester City while winning 13 England caps between 2006 and 2012.

Now at Aston Villa, Richards weighs in at a little less than 84 kilograms of powerful muscle and is approximately 1.8 metres tall, while he has retained the speed and acceleration of his youth. At his peak, he was virtually unplayable, as he could comfortably keep pace with the EPL speedsters of the age and offered a direct threat in attack.

Perhaps Richards’ finest hour came at Old Trafford in 2011, when he played a starring role in Manchester City’s 6-1 win over their neighbours in the Premier League. He dominated his side of the pitch for the full 90 minutes in a superb display, quietening the Manchester United winger Nani while linking frequently with James Milner in attack.

In fact, Richards was even able to provide an assist during this game, as he raced down the right flank and delivered a low cross for Sergio Aguero to convert.

Adebayo Akinfenwa

If there is one footballer who truly embodies the phrase ‘built like a tank’, it is the legendary Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa. Commonly regarded as the strongest man in football, Akinfenwa has represented 15 clubs since his debut in 2001 and plundered 201 career goals in 622 appearances during this time.

Most reports estimate Akinfenwa’s weight at around 101 kilograms (or 16 stone), with muscle accounting for the vast majority of this incredible mass. He is also 1.8 metres tall, and is renowned for regularly bench pressing 200 kilograms during training sessions.

Not many footballers can bench press nearly double their own body weight, and this highlights the unique attributes and raw strength that defines Aknifenwa’s game. As a result, he has been able to build a successful career as an imposing target man, and one superb at retaining possession and bringing his teammates into play.

It’s also fair to say that Akinfenwa has successfully played on his strongman reputation to build a career outside of football, with his aptly-named ‘Beast Mode On’ clothing range having built a cult audience over time.

And Finally

While these strongmen continue to bully opposition players across the length and breadth of the UK, there are others who deserve an honourable mention. Take the imposing centre back Danny Shittu, for example, who has played in the Premier League for QPR and Bolton but is currently without a club. The former Blackburn Rovers and QPR defender Christopher Samba was also renowned for his strength and physical dominance, with the Congo international weighting in at 100 kilograms towards the end of his career.

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