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Shortest World XI in modern football at the moment

Ronnie Evans
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Messi and Sanchez are deadly offensive players
Messi and Sanchez are deadly offensive players

Height is really an advantage, especially in modern sports. However, it is not the only factor which determines whether or not a player succeeds in their craft. There are short players in football who have proven to be very good in their positions. In fact, some of these players are known to be very good on the ball, and their low centre of gravity makes dispossessing them of the ball very difficult.

In this line-up, consideration was given to short players who play professionally and have made some kind of contribution to their clubs. The formation is a typical 4-2-3-1, with two holding midfielders at the base.

This increases efficiency in the middle of the park for possession play, instead of long balls, due to their height. This is a solid starting 11 that will utilise the strength of speed and passing to penetrate the opposition.

A good example is the Brazilian national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On average, they only had three players on the pitch who were above six feet tall, and that was inclusive of goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The Selecao players were able to use their natural ability and speed to break down teams with giant players such as Serbia.


David Ospina (6ft)

Ospina is a proven elite goalkeeper
Ospina is a proven elite goalkeeper

The Colombian international is arguably one of the best short goalkeepers in the world. Ideally, goalkeepers and centre backs are the tallest players on the field. This is for the purpose of efficient defending of the goal and dealing with long balls. Ospina has played at the highest level for his nation, and at club level.

He has also tasted Champions League football at Arsenal, and now with Napoli. Despite his height, Ospina remains a decent shot stopper. A key strength to his game are his reflexes and leaping ability, to keep goal-bound shots away.

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