List of Shortest Football Players

While successful football (soccer) players can come in all shapes and sizes, height can be an important factor in success.

Being tall with good arm span reach are particularly important for goalkeepers. Around the pitch, taller players with a good leap and positional skills have an advantage in overhead contests. We have lists of the tallest footballers, who are mostly goalkeepers.

On the other hand, being short does not offer as much advantage, though short stature and lower center of gravity may result in better balance and agility. There are many short players who have been very successful, for example Maradona 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) and Messi 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in). They are not the shortest though, the shortest player to play professional football may be Polish midfielder Marcin Garuch at 1.53m (5' 0").

Short football players are generally midfield players. Comparing World Cup players (2002-2018), the goalies were on average the tallest, the midfielders the shortest. At the 2018 World Cup, the height of the midfielders ranged from 165-197cm.



Below we have listed the shortest professional players, which includes players from club leagues around the world, also the shortest to represent their country, and the shortest to play at the World Cup. These heights are as listed online, and there are certainly discrepencies in listed heights depending on what site you're looking at. We have tried to get the most reliable measure, but all the measurements may not be accurate.

Maradona was shortMaradona was short

Shortest Professional Football Players Ever

Rank Ht (cm) Ht (feet/inch) Player Nationality Position
1 153 5' 0" Marcin Garuch Poland MF
2 154 5' 0.5"

Élton Arábia

Brazil MF
3 155 5' 1" Jafal Rashed Al Kuwari Qatar MF
4 157 5' 2" Ji-Sung Kim Sth Korea MF
  157 5' 2" Benedict Vilakazi Sth Africa MF
  157 5' 2" Mambwene Mana DR Congo MF
  157 5' 2" Frederick Walden England FW
  157 5' 2" Madson Formagini Caridade Brazil MF

Data Source: the height data is taken from the player's profile on Wikipedia when listed, otherwise from other various sources online (Nov 2022)

Shortest International Football Players Ever

Rank Ht (cm) Ht (feet/inch) Player Nationality Position Notes
1 155 5' 1" Jafal Rashed Al Kuwari Qatar MF national team 1992–2002
2 157 5' 2" Ji-Sung Kim Sth Korea MF national team 1949–1958
  157 5' 2" Mambwene Mana DR Congo MF national team 1973–1974
  157 5' 2" Frederick Walden England FW national team 1914–1922
  157 5' 2" Benedict Vilakazi Sth Africa MF national team 2002–2007
6 159 5' 2.5" Martin Pando Argentina FW national team 1960–1962
  159 5' 2.5" Constant Huysmans Belgium MF national team 1953–1959
  159 5' 2.5" Rui Barros Portugal MF national team 1987–1996

Data Source: the height data is taken from the player's profile on Wikipedia when listed, otherwise from other sources online (Nov 2022)

Shortest Players at the World Cup

Rank Ht (cm) Ht (feet/inch) Player Nationality Position
1 157 5' 2" Ji-Sung Kim Sth Korea MF
  157 5' 2" Mambwene Mana DR Congo MF
3 159 5' 2.5" Martin Pando Argentina FW
  159 5' 2.5" Constant Huysmans Belgium MF
5 160 5' 3" Carlos Aponte Colombia DF
  160 5' 3" Siboniso Gaxa Sth Africa DF
  160 5' 3" Fritz Léandre Haiti FW
  160 5' 3" Eduardo Reyes Bolivia FW
  160 5' 3" Charles Casali Switzerland MF
10 161 5' 3.5" Soo-Nam Lee Sth Korea FW
  161 5' 3.5" Casimiro Torres Chile MF

Data Source: the height data is retrieved from the World Cup player databases on www.worldfootball.net. Not all players on the database have height measurements, so some short players may be missing from this list. (Nov 2022)



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