There’s a popular phrase in English that says small but mighty. This goes for players who are the subject of our list today. Despite being vertically challenged, these individuals are still able to do the business and stamp their authority on the pitch. Continue reading as we take a look the shortest footballers in world football, who are currently playing.
1. Marcin Garuch – 1.54 metres
Little-known Polish player Garuch is undoubtedly one of the shortest players you will see currently active in world football. He’s also regarded as the shortest professional soccer player in Europe. Standing at just 1.54 metres tall (5 feet 0.63 inches) the Polish second division player is blessed with good technical skills and excellent ball control.
2. Elton Jose Xavier Gomes – 1.54 metres
At just 1.54 metres tall, the Brazilian attacking midfielder is one of the shortest players in the world game. Blessed with good pace and incredible dribbling skills Elton made his name playing for Saudi Arabian clubs Al-Nassr and Al-Fateh.
3. Daniel Villalva – 1.55 metres
The pint-sized Argentine played mostly in his native Argentina and Mexico. The winger stands at 1.55 metres tall. He is a skillful attacker, and in 2009, he became the youngest player ever to feature for River Plate.
4. Saliu Popoola – 1.57 metres
Saliu Popoola is a Nigerian footballer who currently plays for midfielder for Moroccan club Wydad Fès. The 27-year-old is one of the shortest African footballers in the world. The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist was considered the third shortest footballer in the world in 2015.
5. Madson Formagini Caridade – 1.57 metres
Madson is a veteran Brazilian footballer that stands at 1.57 m (5 ft 2 inches). He began his career on Vasco de Gama, before playing for a number of clubs, including Santos in Brazil. The 35-year-old is a skillful attacking midfielder with excellent set-piece abilities. He currently plays for Fortaleza in Brazil.
6. Maximiliano Moralez – 1.60 metres
The attacking midfielder currently plays in the American Major League Soccer for New York City FC, and has a single cap for his native Argentina. He stands at 1.60 metres tall. Maximiliano is nicknamed frasquito, which means little flask in English.
7. Lorenzo Insigne – 1.63 metres
The SSC Napoli captain is one of the shortest players in the game at the moment. Lorenzo stands at 1.63 metres tall or 5 feet 4.173 inches. Inspite of his size Insigne is a colossus on the pitch. His incisive and direct dribbling were on display during the last 2020 Euros. The 31-year-old also packs a powerful shot which helped his country Italy claim their second Euro title. Last he finished as Napoli’s top scorer in the league with 19 goals in 35 appearances.
8. Marco Verrati – 1.65 metres
The Paris Saint Germain midfielder recently helped his country Italy win the Euro 2020 tournament. The diminutive Italian height is at 1.65 metres tall, or 5 feet 4.961 inches. He is arguably one of the best midfielders in the world right now.
9. Mathieu Valbuena – 1.67 metres
The diminutive former French international is another player not blessed with great height. Even though he stands at 1.67 metres tall (or 5 feet 5.748 inches), Valbuena is still able to pull his weight. His dribbling ability and creativity have made him an asset in attack. The 36-year-old is currently on the books of Greek side, Olympiacos. Mathieu is also remembered for a news scandal involving him and ex-France teammate Karim Benzema.
10. Joe Allen – 1.68 metres
The Welsh footballer stands at about 1.68 metres. His small size gives him good ball control and stability whenever facing different opposition. Despite his stature, Allen is able to stand toe to toe with bigger players, which is no surprise considering that he plays for a physically demanding team like Stoke City. The former Liverpool midfielder was part of the Wales national team that was knocked out in the second round of the 2020 Euros.
11. Alexis Sanchez – 1.68 metres
At 1.68 meters tall, the Chilean could easily be mistaken as being a pushover, but don’t be deceived the former FC Barcelona, and Arsenal FC is one of the fiercest and most prolific strikers of his generation.
12. Xherdan Shaqiri – 1.69 metres
The Swiss pocket rocket is one of the most explosive and dynamic players in the game. Standing at 1.69 metres tall, the Liverpool FC attacker is able to use his low center of gravity to dribble effectively. Shaqiri’s muscular physique also helps him generate power when unleashing his thunderous shots. Xherdan was part of the Switzerland national team that unfortunately lost on penalties in the quarterfinals of the recently concluded Euro 2020. He is one of the top shortest football players in 2021.