It’s no more news that football is not solely a game for the high and mighty in terms of physique and appearance. The truth is that it never was as players who have not been gifted in the ‘towering’ area of life with regards to their heights have gone on to be successful in the game, while others have carved significant niches for themselves.
Find below, a list of the top ten shortest footballers or shortest football players in the world who have also been impressive in the game.
1. Élton José Xavier Gomes (5 feet 0.63 inches)
Élton José Xavier Gomes who stands at 1.54m is arguably the shortest player in world football. He is a 32-year-old Brazilian footballer who plies his trade as an attacking midfielder with Saudi Cub Al-Qadisiyah FC.
The player has a unique look with his afro and has some brilliant techniques on the ball. He made a significant contribution in his career by scoring 11 goals for his former side Al-Fateh FC and this enabled them to win the league for the first time ever.
The player has enjoyed some success as one of the shortest football players in his playing career.
2. Daniel Alberto Villalva Barrios (5 feet 0.63 inches)
I first came across this Argentine player when playing Master League on PES. Villalva is 26 years and stands at 1.54m.
He plays as a forward for Mexican club Queretaro on loan from Veracruz and is easily one of the shortest football players in the world still plying the trade. He is the team’s shortest player and the youngest player to play for River Plate.
The player has beaten the odds despite his physical stature and has impressed in his footballing career. He also represented Argentina in the 2009 U-17 World Cup.
3. Marcin Garuch (5 feet 1 inch)
Marcin Garuch is a 30-year-old Polish footballer who stands at 1.54m and currently plays for Miedz Legnica as a Right Midfielder.
The midfielder has established himself as a decent dead ball specialist. He takes advantage of his size to initiate attacks speedily and deliver the ball to the forwards. He is one of the notable shortest footballers in the world.
4. Jafal Rashed Al-Kuwari (5 feet 1 inch)
Jafal Rashed Al-Kuwari is a former Qatari footballer who stood at 1.55m and played as a midfielder for Qatari side Al-Sadd from 1985 to 2009 as he broke through the club’s youth ranks.
He established himself as a mainstay at Al Sadd and played his farewell match against Serie A outfit AC Milan. It’s interesting to note that he also played beach football for Qatar.
He’s arguably one of the most influential shortest football players in the world which the game has ever produced.
5. Rui Gil Soares de Barros (5 feet 3 inches)
Rui Barros is a former Portuguese footballer who stood at 1.6m and played as an attacking midfielder. He’s currently the manager of FC Porto B.
Barros played for the likes of Porto, Juventus, Marseille, Monaco amongst others. He was a major attacking threat in his time. He scored 43 goals in 191 games in his career. He won the Portuguese footballer of the year in 1988 and also played for the Portugal national team.
6. Maximiliano Moralez (5 feet 2 inches)
Maximiliano Moralez is a 31-year-old Argentine footballer who stands at 1.6m and currently plays as an attacking midfielder for MLS outfit New York City FC.
He had his best years during his spell with Atalanta in the Serie A from 2011 to 2015. He can be described as a speed merchant and deserves a place in the top 10 shortest players 2018.
7. Levi Porter (5 feet 3 inches)
Levi Porter is a 31-year old British footballer who stands at 1.6m and started his senior professional playing career as a winger at Leicester City.
He currently plays for Shepshed Dynamo FC in the Midland League Premier Division in England. He was arguably the shortest player in the Championship and League One in his time at Leicester City as he scored 3 goals in 39 appearances for the Foxes.
8. Madson Formagini Caridade (5 feet 2 inches)
Madson Formagini is a Brazilian footballer who stands at 1.57m precisely and currently plays for Al Khor SC in Qatar. The player is renowned for his prowess in set pieces, although he’s also a hot head and this has played a part in hampering his career thus far.
He’s currently 32 years old and wears the number 11 shirt. It turns out that half of his footballing career was spent on loan moves.
9. Leon Britton (5 feet 4 inches)
Leon Britton is a 36-year-old retired English footballer who spent most of his playing career with Swansea. He started his youth career at Arsenal, and then to West Ham before starting off his senior professional footballing career with Swansea on loan before earning a permanent deal.
He could easily pass for a Swansea City legend as he played his part nicely for the side in their time in the Premier League before his retirement.
10. Mathieu Valbuena ( 5 feet 5 inches)
Mathieu Valbuena is a 34-year-old French footballer who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Fenerbahce in the Turkish League.
He spent most of his club career with Marseille in the Ligue 1 where he established himself as a renowned footballer. He’s one of the shortest footballers in the world and his small size on the pitch is very conspicuous especially when he goes toe to toe with other players. He also had a successful spell with the France national team.
Other notable shortest football players 2018 include Alexis Sanchez at 1.69m who’s currently at Manchester United, Joe Allen at 1.68m, a Wales international who plays for Stoke City in the English Championship, former Nigeria international Pius Ikedia at 1.66m, Cameroon’s Pius Ndiefi at 1.63m, Saudi Arabia’s Yahya Al-Shehri at 1.65m, Liverpool and Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri at 1.69m, and Mexico’s Javier Aquino at 1.66m.
This is by no means an exhaustive mention of the shortest footballers in the world. You can make your suggestions on any exclusions from our list of the shortest football players in the world in 2018.