Average Football Player Height – What Its Advantage?

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Average football player heightFootball is not generally reserved for lanky players, even though the game has certain areas where height can benefit you. This is particularly because of quick movement that becomes a necessity in a fluid and dynamic game.

Despite these limitations, there have been several tall footballers who have made a lasting impact in the game like England’s Peter Crouch. However, even Crouch is not the tallest, compared to these footballers who have played at a professional level for a long time.

Let’s find out the average footballers height today!

average football player height

Average soccer player height

The average football player height of a male is 175.4 cm, and the average height of the Barcelona team is 179.36 cm (2020). Soccer players are taller in general, but their best player Lionel Messi is 170cm.

The general distribution of height amongst pros approximates that of the average person. It varies from region to region but is relative to the population mean.

The true story regarding height in soccer becomes more apparent when you look at certain positions.

Often, goalkeepers, center-backs, central midfielders, and “target man” strikers tend to be tall.

While wingers, full-backs, and attacking players are more likely to be on the shorter end of the scale.

This trend is not an absolute rule, as managers’ different styles of play and tactical setups may have more of an influence.

Average female soccer player height

The average height for a women’s team is 174 cm. The average female height is 161.8 cm. The shortest soccer player for the United States soccer team is Crystal Dunn at 155 cm, and the tallest player is Sam Mewis at 183 cm.

The same theory applies to the women’s team as it does to the men’s. Height is required in key positions, such as the goalkeeper, center back, and sometimes the center forward.

Does height affect football?

Height in football affects how easily outfield players can head a ball and see over walls for free kicks. Typically, defenders and target men are taller than midfield and wide players. Goalkeepers are typically taller than outfield players, with longer reaches so that they protect their goal.

Advantages Of Being A Tall Soccer Player


This one is quite straightforward. A taller player has a distinct advantage in winning aerial balls as they’re naturally in a better position to do so.

Peter Crouch, who was not physically strong or particularly powerful in the air, holds the record for most headers scored in Premier League history.

At 6ft 7”, he always had a natural advantage over his opponents when it came to competing for headers.

Leg Length And Dexterity

Longer legs can be advantageous when it comes to getting on the end of crosses, be it offensively or defensively. They can also be useful when it comes to controlling balls at a height.

Taller players have leg reach and dexterity that shorter players simply don’t.

Defensively, tall players can have an advantage when tackling. They can utilize the full length of the leg to tackle from the most difficult of angles.


With greater height, comes greater potential for a stronger player. Soccer players don’t tend to be overly muscular, as this can hinder their speed and endurance.

Therefore, with a typical soccer build, a taller player is more likely to be a stronger player.

Longer reach

As mentioned earlier, goalkeepers tend to be the tallest players on the field. A long reach is particularly advantageous in this position when it comes to catching crosses or high balls.

A longer reach also allows a goalkeeper to stretch further to make a save.

Larger Hands

Again, this advantage is targeted at goalkeepers. Larger hands make catching easier. They’re also strong tools for saving and punching away crosses.

Larger Limbs

Larger limbs are beneficial to goalkeepers and outfield players. They provide a large surface area to block shots.

Disadvantages of being a tall football player

Center of gravity

Short players have the advantage of utilizing their low center of gravity. Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard are master dribblers who have perfected running with the ball.

Either player can turn on a six-pence, even when moving at high speed. This is due to their short stature and low center of gravity.

Tall players do not have this natural characteristic.

Acceleration and speed

Although certain tall players can reach a high top speed, their ability to accelerate is often lacking.

Players will rarely sprint for more than 4 seconds at a time, so speed off the mark can be crucial.

Generally speaking, the tallest players, occupying the roles of GK, CB, and target man striker, are quite cumbersome when it comes to a foot race.


For the most part, taller players do not possess the agility of their shorter counterparts. Soccer is a highly skillful game with continuous movement.

Although many tall players possess above-average agility for their size, the most agile players are frequently below-average height.

Diego Maradona, who was perhaps the most graceful player to set foot on a field, is 5ft 5”. Some notable exceptions to this rule are Kaka, Zidane, and Cantona, who all stand above 6ft 1”.
Let’s take a look at player heights in different positions. We’ll also explore different styles of play adopted by players of different heights, including exceptions to these.

The best position for tall football players

The best positions for tall soccer players are goalkeeper and center-back. Due to high balls and crosses, tall players eliminate these dangers.

Let’s keep reading to know deeper about average football player height in each position!

Everything about Goalkeeper height

How Tall Are Goalkeepers?

Professional goalkeepers are typically over 6 feet in height if not taller. The average height in the English Premier league is around 6ft 3in. Some world goalkeepers are 6ft 8in or taller.

Danish footballer Simon Bloch Jørgensen is a massive 6ft 10.5in! And Belgian footballer Kristof Van Hout is just below him at 6ft 10in. In English Premier League history, Thibaut Courtois is among the tallest at 6ft 6.5in

Costel Pantilimon at 6ft 8in was the tallest to ever play in England’s top division.

What is the minimum height for a Goalkeeper?

There is no minimum height requirement for goalkeepers. Agility and athleticism can make up for a lack of reach. But the smaller the person, the more difficult it is to make it to the professional level. It is rare to find goalkeepers shorter than 6 feet tall.

Jorge Campos was only 5ft 6 but long and successful career as a goalkeeper including 130 appearances for the Mexican national team.

In the 2020/21 Premier League season, the shortest goalkeeper to make it onto the pitch was Mathew Ryan of Arsenal at a height of only 6 ft 0 in. However, that height still puts Ryan in the top third of the global population!

He was joined by Jed Steer of Aston Villa and Fulham’s Fabri who also made appearances in the EPL 6 ft goalkeeper’s club.

Are Goalkeepers getting taller?

It is hard to tell globally if goalkeepers are getting taller. In England, the average goalkeeper’s height has risen nearly 1 inch since 1997. This could be related to rising global average heights. But it is more likely to be earlier and highly specialized recruiting for goalkeepers.

Average football player height of Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers can range in height. Rarely will they be shorter than 6 ft 0 in. And several are 6ft 8in or taller! In the English Premier League, the average height of goalkeepers was 6ft 3.2 in for the 2020/21 season.

Everything about Defenders height

In football, central defenders are usually taller than other outfield players. They need to be able to reach airborne balls and head them away from their goal. They also need to battle with typically tall attacking target men for these crosses. Wingbacks are normally of average height.

How Tall Are Centre Backs?

Centrebacks in the top world football leagues are often taller than 6 feet by several inches. While the smaller center backs are typically just below or at a height of 6 feet.

Norwegian and former Fulham FC player, Brede Hangeland was famed for winning crosses in his own third at 6 ft 6.5 in.

However, winning crosses and aerial duels isn’t just about height. It’s also about will and timing. Barcelona won just about everything imaginable with players like Javier Mascherano (5 ft 8.5 in) and Carles Puyol (5 ft 10 in).

How Tall Are Full Backs?

As wide players, fullbacks are usually shorter than goalkeepers and central defenders. In the Premier League, the average height of all defenders is 6 feet. In the modern game, fullbacks are about pace so many of the best players are shorter than the global average of 5ft 9in height.

Many speedy and notable fullbacks like Dani Alves (5ft 7.5in), Kieran Trippier (5ft 8in), and Marcelo (5ft 9in) are well below 6 feet in height. Others like Gareth Bale and Ivan Perisic, both 6ft 1in, have played at fullback during their careers.

How Tall is Midfielder?

Midfield players are the shortest players on the pitch on average. They are usually several inches shorter than target forwards, central defenders, and goalkeepers. Because midfielders are lower to the ground, they expel less energy and are quicker with the ball as long as it stays on the ground.

Average football player height of midfielders – Across the globe, midfielders are shorter than most other positions on the pitch. In the Premier League, midfielders have an average height of 5ft 8.5in.

Attacking midfielders like Pelé (5ft 8in), Luka Modric (5ft 7.5in), Phillipe Coutinho (5ft 7.5in) are right around the average height for their position. Marco Veratti of PSG (5ft 5in) and N’ Golo Kanté of Chelsea (5ft 6in) are among the smallest and most successful at their position.

How Tall Are Strikers?

Strikers can be tall or short. It depends on if they are wide, central, or target men. The wide strikers are generally shorter and quicker. And the target forwards is typically taller to match the heights of opposing center backs. In the Premier League, the average striker is just under 6ft 0in tall.

Prolific strikers like Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski are both 6ft 1in tall. On opposite ends of the spectrum are Zlatan Ibrahimovic (6ft 5in) and Lionel Messi (5ft 7in). But Italian players Lorenzo Insigne and Sebastian Giovinco take the cake ringing in at just 5ft 4in.


What is the Smallest Position in Football?

The smallest position in football on average is the midfield. In the Premier League, midfielders average a height of just 5ft 8.5in. However, fullbacks and attacking wide players can be short as the pace is premium at those positions.

Andy Ducros of Coventry City and Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser have both plied their trade as the smallest attackers ever in the Premier League at 5ft 4in!

What is the Tallest Position in Football?

The tallest position in football is the goalkeeper. At this position, height is highly correlated to reach and the ability of a keeper to cover their goal. Goalkeepers need to be able to reach all areas of their goal in milliseconds. But there is no need to possess high agility and pace.

Who Is The Tallest Player In The World?

Simon Block Jorgensen – a Dutch goalkeeper who plays for the Danish club, Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. He is 6ft 10½”.

Who Is The Shortest Player In The World?

Élton José Xavier Gomes – a Brazilian attacker who plays for Saudi Arabian club, Al-Wehda. He is just over 5ft tall.

To sum up

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