Brazil Players at the World Cup: Height 1930-2018

The FIFA World Cup, which began in 1930, will be played for the 22nd time in 2022. Brazil is the only team to have played in every tournament, and is also the most successful, having won the tournament on five occasions. We are fortunate that the worldfootball.net website has an almost complete dataset of the height of every player who has represented Brazil, which can be used to demonstrate how the size of elite footballers have changed over nearly 100 years of the sport.



Average Player Height Over Time

A study comparing footballers at the World Cup from 2002 to 2018 found that the average player height and weight increased over that time period, while BMI remained steady. Using just the Brazilian team at the World Cup going back to the first world cup in 1930, there is an even clearer demonstration of an increase in the average height of footballers over time.

height of the Brazil players at the world cup

Year no. of players Min Height Max Height Average Height (cm)
1930 17 169 198 178.8
1934 16 170 191 179.4
1938 18 171 187 176.8
1950 21 168 189 176.0
1954 22 170 189 177.7
1958 22 169 184 176.1
1962 22 167 190 175.9
1966 22 169 188 175.9
1970 22 169 189 176.8
1974 22 169 184 176.6
1978 22 168 188 178.8
1982 22 170 192 179.9
1986 22 171 192 181.1
1990 22 169 189 179.4
1994 22 169 189 179.4
1998 22 168 196 180.4
2002 23 167 196 180.7
2006 23 168 196 181.1
2010 23 170 194 182.3
2014 23 164 193 181.5
2018 23 168 196 180.2

Positional Differences over Time

The data above shows an increase in average player height. As we know the playing positions for each player, we can break it down further and look at the changes in height in relation to each playing position.

There are clear differences in the body size of players depending on the position played on the field. The World Cup goalkeepers stand out - they tend to be older, taller and heavier than the field players. The shortest the midfielders.

A close look at the trend lines, the goalkeepers and forwards account for more of the increase.

height of the Brazil players at the world cup

height of the Brazil players at the world cup

height of the Brazil players at the world cup

 

height of the Brazil players at the world cup

 

 

 

 

Data Sources



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