Introduction: In the world of soccer, there is no such requirement for a player to fit a particular body type. Soccer is a sport that welcomes players of all shapes and sizes. Whether someone is short and petite, or tall and big, soccer has a place for them all. While both tall and short soccer players exist, in this article we shall only be focusing on the soccer players who are short.
Is it better to be short?
Studies have shown that being short is actually quite beneficial. According to the laws of physics, people that are shorter but have the same dimensions as taller people have several physical advantages. Most researchers agree with these advantages. Research has found that shorter people tend to have improved reaction times compared to taller people. They have a better ability to speed up body movements as well. Shorter people have stronger muscles in comparison to their body weight, and they also tend to have greater stamina. People who are short are less likely to injure themselves from falling as they tend to have the ability to rotate their bodies quicker.
Why being short can help in soccer?
For those who are wondering whether being short can help a soccer player, the short answer is Yes. Let us look at the reasons as to why. The gaining popularity of start short soccer players can be attributed to a number of factors. The most important of which is that midfielders and forwards benefit greatly from being near to the pitch. People that are shorter have a quicker stepping style pattern which means they take more steps in a shorter period of time. They are spry in the sense that they can change directions much quicker than tall people and have more control over their limbs.
The advantages of being short in soccer
While height is not the only factor behind the success of a soccer player, being of a certain height sure has its perks. Here are some of the advantages soccer players possess because of their short height.
- Tactics in Soccer
Soccer is primarily a field sport in which the ball is positioned at the feet of the players.
Short players who are great at controlling the ball, are fast-paced, agile, and are able to change directions very fast can have a lot of success. They can help with passing attacks, which can wear down taller, opponents who also happen to be slow, and inexperienced. These possessive plays of soccer, which are common in Latin America and Spain, are also popular among the recreational soccer teams in the United States, where players using dexterity and astute tactics confuse their larger opponents.
- Greater Athleticism Is Inherent
The talents of short soccer players are no longer concealed behind the talents of taller players. Shorter athletes respond faster, have better acceleration, more agile movement, and have a higher tattoo of strength-to-weight. Those that aren’t too tall have more stamina and are much less likely to suffer from heatstroke. All of these qualities are ideal for a sport with a duration of at least 90 minutes if not longer, has no timeouts, is played outside in the heat, while necessarily requires frequent sprinting.
- Lower Gravity Center
Due to their lower center of gravity, shorter people are able to avoid falling and experience greater stability. Even while attempting a desperate lunge, to retain control of the ball or attempting a shot while falling over, a short person may generate a powerful counter-torque to regain their equilibrium. It also assists soccer players who are weaving their way toward the target in near proximity to keep their balance amid the unavoidable bumps.
What are the best soccer positions for players who are short?
In soccer, a person must be between 5,4 feet (1,65 meters) and 1,78 feet (5,9) is considered to be short. Soccer players between those two heights should be able to play any position on the soccer field except goalkeeper, central defender, and, in some cases, central forward.
Shortest Soccer Players
1. ÉLTON JOSÉ XAVIER GOMES
5’1″ in height
Élton is a midfielder with a minuscule frame; there aren’t many shorter professional athletes who aren’t jockeys.
Élton has carved out a long and successful career as a dynamic scorer as an excellent dribbler capable of slicing through even the toughest defenses. In 2013, he also assisted Saudi Arabian club Al-Fateh in winning their first-ever trophy.
Though he hasn’t achieved a degree of popularity outside of soccer, fans of the game are well aware of Élton’s heart and talent.
2. MADSON FORMAGINI CARIDADE
5’3″ in height
Despite his small size, the Brazilian Madson has had a long and successful career.
In 2004, he began his youth career with Volta Redonda, but he didn’t last long before catching the attention of higher-ups.
Madson started his senior career with Vasco da Gama in 2006 and has since toured the world, earning a reputation as a relentless attacker and outstanding set-piece artist.
3. DIEGO MARADONA
5’5” in height
Maradona was regarded as a human highlight reel throughout his period.
Maradona was a fantastic dribbler with incredible stamina who could easily break defenders and rack up goals and assists throughout his stellar senior career.
He has racked up 91 caps, appearing in four FIFA World Cups and putting in his best effort under the brightest lights.
Maradona is well known for scoring the “Goal of the Century” in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal, which many consider to be one of the best goals ever.
Shorter players are known for their remarkable stamina and ability to turn on a dime. They can change directions faster than taller players because of their compact frames.
Since shorter players have a lower center of gravity, they have more stability. This essentially ensures that their weight is more evenly distributed, allowing them to maintain their balance and stability even while changing directions rapidly.
Since they are so close to the court, short players normally have better ball-handling skills and power. Their shorter limbs allow them to stay closer to the ball and maintain greater control.