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Top 10 Shortest football players in the world

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shortest football players
Being short was never a problem for them

There was a time when football was considered a big man’s game, where physical prowess counted for more than mental and technical capabilities. Small, weedy players were considered a risk, and a strong, muscular presence was more preferable, especially at the back.

But recent events in football have rewritten history and tradition, and small, highly-skilled technical players are now at a premium. The likes of Messi, Mata and Cazorla, with their low centre of gravity, are able to get the better of their bigger counterparts most of the time.

On our journey to compile the most accurate list of shortest football players of all time, we came across plenty of inaccuracies and historical evidence to make this a challenging proposition. The criterion for selection was that the footballer had to have played some sort of professional football during their career. This would be fitting to answer the eternal question: 

In our quest to prepare a list that would be the final and definitive word on shortest football players in, we came up with this:

10) Rui Gil Soares de Barros

Height: 1.6m (5 feet 3 inches)

Shortest football player #10
Rui Barros (L) in the 1992 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Final

Standing at 1.6m, Rui Barros comes in at no. 10 on our list. Barros, who has now moved into management, was once a lethal attacking midfielder for Portugal and went on to represent Porto, Juventus and Marseille, among other clubs, in the late 80′s and 90′s.

For Barros, his height was a curse he was born with, but it was not something he had to suffer with. His playing style, ability to keep the ball at close quarters and explosive change of pace ensured that his stature would not hold him back from having a successful career in football. With 43 goals in 191 games with Porto to his name, it is quite clear that the tallest short footballer in the world had absolutely no problems in having a promising career.

9) Levi Porter

Height: 1.6m (5 feet 3 inches)

Shortest football player # 9
Levi Porter for England U-17

Englishman Levi Porter is no.9 on our list and he too comes in at 5 feet 3 inches. Porter, unlike Barros, is still an active player, playing for Histon, a club in the Conference North – one of the lower divisions of English football.

The 26-year-old Porter plays as a winger (well, he can’t be a target man or a central defender, can he?), and is a product of the Leicester City youth academy. He also represented the England U-16 and U-17 teams in the early 2000′s.

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