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The Shortest Soccer Players: Top 10

The Shortest Soccer Players: Top 10

The Shortest Soccer Players

The world of soccer is filled with athletes of all shapes and sizes. Although height can play a crucial role in success, particularly for goalkeepers and defenders, being tall isn’t a prerequisite for greatness. Some of the most legendary players in soccer history have been 5’7″ or even smaller. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 shortest soccer players who have left an indelible mark on the sport, proving that size is not the deciding factor when it comes to skill and success on the field.

1. Marcin Garuch

Height: 5’0″ (153 cm)

Marcin Garuch, a Polish midfielder, holds the title for the shortest active professional soccer player in the world. Despite his short stature, Garuch has built an impressive career playing in various Polish leagues. His exceptional ball control and technical skills, combined with his low center of gravity, have allowed him to excel in the midfield and serve as an inspiration to aspiring soccer players who believe that height shouldn’t dictate their potential for success.

2. Elton Jose Xavier Gomes

Height: 5’0″ (154 cm)

Elton Jose Xavier Gomes, also known as “Elton Arabia” due to his strong connection with Middle Eastern soccer, is a Brazilian midfielder who has played for several top clubs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Although he began his career with Brazilian giants Corinthians, Elton has primarily played in the Middle East, where he has become a fan favorite for his superb dribbling skills and ability to slice through defenses with ease.

3. Daniel Villalva

Height: 5’0″ (155 cm)

Daniel Villalva is a skillful attacking midfielder from Argentina who currently plays for Ferro Carril Oeste in Argentina’s second division. Known for his accurate passing and extraordinary dribbling abilities, Villalva has challenged defenders throughout his career, despite standing at only 5 feet tall. Although he has never played in European football, he has made a name for himself in South American leagues.

4. Maximiliano Moralez

Height: 5’2″ (157 cm)

Maximiliano Moralez is a versatile Argentinian midfielder who has been playing for New York City FC in Major League Soccer (MLS) since 2017. Despite his short stature, Moralez has become a cult figure in the MLS due to his relentless work rate, ability to create space, and tight dribbling skills. With an average height of 178 centimeters for MLS players, Moralez’s success at just 5’2″ demonstrates that quality can trump height in the world of soccer.

5. Lorenzo Insigne

Height: 5’3″ (160 cm)

Lorenzo Insigne, an Italian winger who recently moved to MLS side Toronto FC, is another prime example of a player who has defied stereotypes about height in soccer. Throughout his career, Insigne has been known for his quick turns, precise dribbling, and ability to find spaces between defenders. Despite standing at just 5’3″, Insigne has consistently performed at the highest level of soccer, both in Serie A and on the international stage.

6. Marco Verratti

Height: 5’4″ (163 cm)

Marco Verratti is an Italian midfielder who has been a key figure for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and the Italian national team. Renowned for his ability to win possession, dictate the game, and score long-range shots, Verratti has proven that height is not the determining factor for success in soccer. At just 5’4″, Verratti has established himself as one of the world’s best transitional midfielders, displaying exceptional skill and finesse on the field.

7. Mathieu Valbuena

Height: 5’5″ (165 cm)

Mathieu Valbuena, also known as the “Little Prince,” is a French midfielder who currently plays for Greek side Olympiacos. Despite nearing the end of his career, Valbuena has had a successful soccer journey, playing for top French clubs like Marseille and Lyon. Known for his quick turns and impressive dribbling skills, Valbuena has used his short stature to his advantage, becoming a valuable asset to his teams throughout his career.

8. Joe Allen

Height: 5’5″ (165 cm)

Welsh midfielder Joe Allen has been an integral member of the Swansea City and Welsh national teams. Despite his modest height, Allen has earned a reputation for his creativity and vision in midfield. A former Liverpool player, Allen spent four seasons at Anfield before moving on to Stoke City, where he continued to showcase his technical prowess and ability to dictate play in the middle of the park.

9. Alexis Sanchez

Height: 5’5″ (165 cm)

Alexis Sanchez, a Chilean winger, has had an illustrious career playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world, including Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Inter Milan. Although he may not be in the best form of his career in recent years, Sanchez has consistently demonstrated his exceptional ball skills and ability to beat defenders with ease. At 5’5″, Sanchez has proved that height is not a barrier to success in soccer.

10. Xherdan Shaqiri

Height: 5’5″ (165 cm)

Xherdan Shaqiri is a Swiss winger who has won the Champions League twice and played for renowned clubs like FC Bayern Munich and Liverpool. While Shaqiri may not be the tallest player on the field, he possesses a sturdy physique and a powerful left foot, making him a formidable presence in any match. With a height of just 5’5″, Shaqiri has demonstrated that skill and determination can overcome physical limitations in soccer.


These top 10 shortest soccer players have defied stereotypes and proven that height is not the sole determinant of success in the beautiful game. They have used their smaller stature to their advantage, showcasing extraordinary skills, agility, and determination on the field. These players serve as an inspiration to aspiring soccer players worldwide, proving that with hard work, talent, and the right mindset, anyone can achieve greatness in the world of soccer, regardless of their height.

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