Footballer Body Type – Everything You Should Know

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Footballer body type comes in many different physical forms. Generally, the tallest and heaviest players are goalkeepers, central defenders, and target man forwards.

The shorter players tend to play in wide and attacking roles. However, there are many exceptions in every position.

The body types of football players? Footballers are cardio machines; they’re slim and lean and tend to have muscular legs. Their average height approximates that of the average person, and their weight rarely exceeds 200 lbs for a man and 155 lbs for a woman.

Throughout this article, we’ll study the different body types of soccer players, look into the types of bodies found in specific positions, and compare the best examples with outliers.

What Are the Different Male Body Types?

footballer body type

When you think of footballer body type, what typically comes to mind? A body builder’s, like Arnold Schwarzenegger? One that’s lean, like Zac Efron? Or maybe one that’s on the heftier side, like Seth Rogan?

These examples represent Sheldon’s three main somatotypes of men: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. But how can you tell your body type? Here’s a more detailed look at each category.


Characteristics: Those with an ectomorphic body are lean with thin legs and arms as well as narrow chest and shoulders, and little-to-no body fat. They also tend to have narrow faces and appear very delicate.

Shape: Rectangle.

Diet and metabolism: Ectomorphs have a hard time gaining weight — no matter how much they eat, they remain skinny.

But just because they have this body type, it doesn’t mean they should indulge in junk food. Their metabolism will slow down as they age, which can then lead to an unhealthy gain in body fat.

So the key is to eat a healthy, balanced diet filled with power foods, which include:

  • Carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
  • Fruits include bananas, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, avocado, and peaches.
  • Vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beets, and carrots.
  • Nutrient-filled snacks include nuts and seeds, as well as nut butter.

Fitness: Due to their lean mass, ectomorphs will find it difficult to build muscle and sculpt their bodies. So many often opt for endurance-type activities, like running or cycling. However, they can highly benefit from a solid, consistent weight-training program.

Famous male ectomorphs: Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, and Toby McGuire.


Characteristics: Mesomorphs lie in between ectomorphs and endomorphs. They tend to have a naturally athletic body shape — muscular bodies with strong arms, strong legs, and very little body fat. They normally have a narrow waist and a large head that matches their broad shoulders.

Shape: Inverted triangle.

Diet and metabolism: It’s all about balance with mesomorphs and as a general rule, their plate should consist of 1/3 protein, 1/3 carbs and fat, and 1/3 fruits and vegetables. So when it comes to diets and maintaining a healthy metabolism, mesomorphs should keep food groups in mind:

  • Protein, especially that of high quality, such as Greek yogurt, white meats, and eggs. And it seems that mesomorphs respond better to high-protein diets.
  • Whole grains, including rice, quinoa, and similar whole grains.
  • Healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, and oils.

Fitness: Mesomorphs have a great advantage — they can build muscle and burn fat pretty easily. However, that shouldn’t be a reason to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. A full-body workout with cardio and weight training can help a mesomorph maintain a healthy and fit body.

Famous male ectomorphs: Chris Hemsworth, LL Cool J, and Mark Wahlberg.


Characteristics: An endomorph male is the polar opposite of an ectomorph. They have a more stocky body type — round, typically short, curvaceous shape with short necks, small shoulders, and thick waists, calves, and ankles.

Shape: Oval.

Diet and metabolism: Endomorphs tend to have a higher body-fat percentage, putting them at greater risk for health problems. They’re more sensitive to carbs, so they’re better off consuming:

  • Lean meats and fish.
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil.

Fitness: An endomorph may find building muscle comes easily. However, because their body are prone to excess fat and slower metabolism, it makes it more difficult to stay lean. So a well-rounded fitness program is beneficial to those with an endomorph body type. To help boost metabolism, both weight and cardio training is recommended.

Famous male endomorphs: Danny DeVito, John Goodman, and Santa Claus.

What Body Type Is Best For Soccer?

Studies show that the majority of soccer players are either mesomorphs or ectomorphs. This is no surprise, as soccer players tend to be good athletes with superior endurance.
It’s important to note that these categories are relatively loose and that players can have traits from a mixture of body types.

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How To Get A Body Like A Soccer Player

Soccer players train all aspects of their bodies to become more like pro players, you must train at least three times per week. Competitive matches push players to the limits. You’ll need to be in good shape before you play these matches.

Depending on your current fitness, getting a body like a soccer player can take several months. Soccer requires a variety of muscles to be worked, so your training must be varied in nature.

Center-Midfielders: Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers are usually the tallest and heaviest players on the field. The tallest position in the 2018 World Cup was GK, whose average height was 6ft 2”. The tallest player in the tournament was Croatian GK, Lovre Kalinic, who was 6ft 7”. In the world, the tallest player currently is also a GK: Simon Bloch Jorgensen, who stands 6ft 10½”.

The average weight of a GK at the 2018 World Cup was 184 lbs, almost 14 lbs heavier than the average player.
For women, goalkeepers are also the tallest players. The average female GK stands at just under 5ft 10”.
The body types of goalkeepers are mainly mesomorphs and endomorphs.

Footballer Body Type: Defenders

Central Defenders

Outside goalkeepers, center-backs are usually the tallest and heaviest players in a squad. Not known for their speed, CBs need to be physically strong to win aerial duels and command their defensive line.
In the 2018 World Cup, the average height for a defender was 6ft 1”, almost 2 inches taller than the average player. They also outweighed the average outfield player by 4 lbs.

The average height of a female soccer player is just under 5ft 6”.

Like their male counterparts, female CBs tend to be on the heavier end of outfield players, weighing 130 – 145 lbs.

Footballer Body Type: Center-Midfielders

The center midfield position is interesting when it comes to body types. There are various CM roles in the modern game, played differently by athletes of varying shapes and sizes. Some of these roles are suited to the short and stocky hatchet builds, while others are suited to the long-legged, gut-busting, box-to-box style midfielders. Let’s take a look at a few of these roles:

Defensive Midfielder – No. 6

The number 6 was historically the defensive-minded player in a midfield two. These days, defensive midfielders operate in many different styles and are often deployed to play the position solo.

In some instances, the CDM is in a relatively stocky shape.

They’re the front line of defense and throw themselves into challenges, giving everything to their team.

Their role includes reading the opposition’s attack, tackling, marking, intercepting, and covering. Not known to be tall, they often fill the endomorph category.
This type of player is naturally strong and physically durable.

Claude Makelele (Real Madrid, Chelsea & PSG) revolutionized this position and is the best example of this type of player.

Other great examples are Javier Mascherano, Gennaro Gattuso, Lucas Torreira, and Fernandinho.
Another form of a defensive midfielder is best described using a player example: Sergio Busquets, the perfect modern defensive midfielder.

Players of this type are long, lean, strong athletes capable of covering distances and making physical challenges, and having elite tactical and positional abilities.

They’re somewhat of a hybrid between ectomorph and mesomorph. Many stand well over 6ft and don’t look very strong but carry lean muscle and strength on their slender frame.

Examples of this type of CDM are:

  • Nemanja Matic (6ft 4”)
  • Fabinho (6ft 2”)
  • Casemiro (6ft 1”)
  • Frenkie De Jong (5ft 11”)

Deep-lying playmakers occupy defensive positions on the field but are usually free of significant defensive duties.

They’ve got a phenomenal passing range and amazing vision. It’s common to see this type of role filled by a player of slight build.

Their height varies, but often their strength and physicality are lacking. This type of player is Pirlo, Xavi, Jorginho, and Xabi Alonso.

Attacking Midfielder

The number 8 is usually the more attacking-minded of a midfield pair or a box-to-box style player. They cover the most distance in a game. Their fitness and stamina levels are through the roof.
Therefore, they’re often the lightest and leanest players. In the 2018 World Cup, the average midfield player weighed 163 lbs, 5 lbs lighter than the avg. outfield player.

Heightwise, this type of midfielder exemplifies the size variance in the sport. For example, here are some of the most notable midfielders of this type in recent times

Best Midfielders And Their Heights

  • N’Golo Kante (5ft 6”)
  • Roy Keane (5ft 10”)
  • Arturo Vidal (5ft 11”)
  • Steven Gerrard (6ft)
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger (6ft)
  • Yaya Touré (6ft 2”)
  • Patrick Vieira (6ft 4”)

The stylistic approach from a manager or the overall skillset of the player can have more of an influence on the game than size.

Conclusion: Footballer Body Type

Soccer players tend to fall into Ectomorphs and Mesomorphs, with mesomorphs being the most common body type. To read more helpful articles, follow Football Terms today!

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