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Top 10 shortest active footballers in the world right now

Published at :August 22, 2022 at 9:17 PM
Modified at :August 22, 2022 at 9:17 PM
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There have been many great players of short stature.

Nowadays, the height of a football player is often a major discussion point. It has become a stereotype that a goalkeeper should be tall, lanky and more than 6 feet tall and a defender should also be tall and physically strong. These attributes, however, do not determine a player's fate in the game. There are some of the greatest players of all time who have not been blessed with good height. Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi are perfect examples of players who defy such stereotypes.

In today's day and age, several short players have made their mark. Let's take a look at the Top 10 active short-heighted players in world football.

10. Xherdan Shaqiri- 5'5 feet

Xherdan Shaqiri is a well-known figure in world football. The Swiss winger is a two-time Champions League winner and has played for giants like FC Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Even though Shaqiri may not be tall, he possesses one of the most sturdy physiques in world football. He also has a special left foot and possesses a powerful long ranger. His performances at the 2014 World Cup remains one of the best in Swiss football history.

9. Alexis Sanchez- 5'5 feet

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez joined Marseille this summer on a free transfer (Courtesy: Marseille)

Alexis Sanchez is a classy and talented winger from Chile. He might not have been in the best form of his career in recent years but is a nightmare to defend when he is at his best. Sanchez recently moved to Marseille in France but has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world like FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and Inter Milan. Sanchez has excellent ball skills, and he has the ability to beat any defender on his day.

8. Joe Allen- 5'5 feet

Joe Allen is a Welsh midfielder who plays for Swansea City in the EFL Championship. He has been an integral member of the Welsh National team for a number of years and is known for his creativity in midfield. He played for Liverpool for four seasons, making 91 appearances. In spite of this, he made his name as one of the strongest midfielders in the second division with Stoke City where he spent six years. 

7. Mathieu Valbuena- 5'5 feet

Mathieu Valbuena, also known as 'Little Prince', is a French midfielder who plays for Olympiacos. Valbuena is 37-year-old and is nearing the end of his career as a professional football player. However, during his peak years, he was a major force in the French League. Valbuena played for Marseille and Lyon and was known for his quick turns and dribbles. He also represented France 52 times, playing for the national team in 2015 for the last time.

6. Marco Verratti- 5'4 feet

In terms of the ideal transitional midfielder, Marco Verratti is considered to be one of the best in the game. Verratti has proved every stereotype wrong despite not having the ideal height or physicality of an ideal midfielder. When it comes to winning possession back, dictating the game from the back, or scoring long-range shots, he is a one-stop shop for managers. Even though Verratti is only 5'4 feet tall, he occupies a very high position in the world of football.

5. Lorenzo Insigne- 5'3 feet

Lorenzo Insigne
Lorenzo Insigne moved to MLS this summer on a free transfer (Courtesy: MLS)

Another player who's broken all myths and stereotypes about height in football is Lorenzo Insigne, incidentally Verratti's best friend. The Italian winger has recently moved to MLS this summer window but before that, he was fearsome in Serie A. Before leaving Napoli, he scored 122 goals for the club. He is a technically gifted player and his short height lends him an edge in finding spaces between defenders.

4. Maximiliano Moralez- 5'2

Maximiliano Moralez is an Argentinian player who plays for New York City in the Major Soccer League. Moralez is a cult figure of MLS and has been playing there for over nine years. He also tried his fortune in European football through FC Moscow but didn't find any success. A player with a height of 160 centimetres succeeding in the MLS is a relatively big deal because the average height of MLS players is 178 centimetres. His attitude and skills prove that with quality, you can become an exception.

3. Daniel Villalva- 5'feet

Daniel Villava is another very skilful attacking midfielder from Argentina. He currently plays for Ferro Carril Oeste in Argentina's second division. Villalva is known for his classy passing accuracy and dribbling skills. For years, he has troubled defenders with his skills despite being only 1.55 metres tall. He has, however, never played in European football and has played only in South American leagues.

2. Elton Jose Xavier Gomes- 5'feet

Elton Jose Xavier, a Brazilian footballer, is 154 centimetres tall. Even though he comes from the Samba country, he has mostly played in the middle-east. Due to his unique connection with the Middle East, he is even known as 'Elton Arabia'. After starting his career with the Brazilian giant's Corinthians, Gomes moved to Al-Nassr. Over the years, he has played for almost all the top clubs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. 

1. Marcin Garuch- 5'0 feet

With a height of just 153 centimetres, Marcin Garuch is the world's shortest active professional footballer. Polish by birth, he has spent his entire playing career in Polish leagues. He primarily plays in the midfield, where his ball control and skills deceive players and use his short height to his advantage. Garuch, the shortest active professional footballer on the planet, is a big inspiration to kids who believe their fate is not determined by their height.