Height is not a prerequisite to being a top player in professional soccer. However, it certainly helps, in some positions, more than others. For example: being tall is undoubtedly helpful for goalkeepers and center-backs. However, any midfielder would prefer agility over height. Maybe, not Marouane Fellaini.
In this article, we will look at the tallest soccer players – both from past and present. We will also look at how the profile of the tallest players in the game has changed from the pre-war era to the present.
Who Is The Tallest Soccer Player In 2021/22 season (Top 10)
In modern soccer, goalkeepers are usually the tallest players. And our list of current top ten tallest players confirms the same.
Simon Bloch Jorgensen – 210cm (Waltham Abbey/Denmark)
Simon is a Danish goalkeeper who currently plays for Waltham Abbey in the Southern League Division One. He is regarded as the tallest soccer player to be currently active. He spent his youth and early career with some Danish clubs such as Frem, FC Copenhagen, B.93, and B.1908. However, he has spent his recent time moving between clubs in the lower rungs of English Soccer.
Kristof van Hout – 208cm (KVC Westerlo/Belgium)
In the second tier of Belgian Soccer- Belgian First Division B, Kristof van Hout is currently signed to Belgian club KVC Westerlo. He came through the youth academies of Lommel, Geel, and Willem II. From 2007 to 2014, he played for top Belgian sides such as Kortrijk, Standard Liege, and Genk. In 2014, he went to play for Delhi Dynamos in India. However, a year later, he moved back to Belgium to play for Westerlo and has been with the club ever since.
Tomas Holy – 206cm (Ipswich Town/Czech Republic)
Holy is the tallest soccer player currently at 206 cm. The Czech goalkeeper is a product of Sparta Prague youth academy. He left the famous Czech club for England to join Gillingham in 2017. He is currently signed to Ipswich Town in League One – the third tier of English Soccer. He has also represented the Czech national side at U16, U17, and U18 levels.
Dino Hodzic 205cm – (A Akranes/Croatia)
Dino Hodzic is a Croatian goalkeeper who is currently playing his trade in Iceland. The lanky goalkeeper plays for Úrvalsdeild (Icelandic top tier) side Íþróttabandalag Akraness. The 26-year-old has spent his entire professional career in European Soccer and has also represented clubs such as Mezőkövesd (Hungary), Vejle BK, and FC Fredericia (both Denmark).
Lucas Bergström – 205cm (Chelsea Football Club/Finland)
Lucas Bergström hails from Finland and is currently signed to Premier League giants Chelsea. The 19-year-old joined the Chelsea youth academy from Finnish club TPS in 2019. He is a tremendous prospect, but he is yet to make an appearance at the senior level. In 2021, he was promoted to the Chelsea U23 side. His current contract runs until 2024.
Kjell Scherpen – 204cm (Brighton & Hove Albion/Netherlands)
Kjell Scherpen is a Dutch soccer player who currently plays for Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League. The 21-year-old came through the youth academy of FC Emmen and was a regular in the club’s senior side during the 2018-19 Eredivisie side. His performances earned him a move to Dutch giants Ajax in 2019. However, he only managed to make a couple of league appearances for Ajax during the 2020-21 season. During the summer of 2021, he was signed by Brighton.
Costel Pantilimon – 203cm (Free Agent/Romania)
Costel Pantilimon is currently a free agent and last played for Turkish club Denizlispor. However, the Romanian goalkeeper is famous for his spells at various English clubs such as Manchester City, Sunderland, Watford, and Nottingham Forest. He made seven league appearances for Manchester City in 2013-14, earning a Premier League winners’ medal and one of the most successful tallest soccer player. Pantilimon was also a regular feature in the Sunderland side of the 2014-15 season. He also participated in the Euro 2016 with the Romania national team.
Mikkel Mena Qvist – 203cm (Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar/Denmark)
Mikkel Mena Qvist is a Danish-Colombian soccer player who plays as a center-back. The 28-year-old spent most of his youth career at Danish clubs AGF and Lyseng. He signed for Danish Superliga side Horsens in 2017 and has been with the club since. However, he has spent most of the last two seasons on loan spells. Currently, he is playing for the Icelandic club Knattspyrnufélag Akureyrar on loan.
Evgheni Pleşco – 202cm (FC Sheriff/Moldova)
Evgheni Pleşco is a center-back from Moldova. The 20-year-old is currently signed to FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the top division of Moldovan soccer. Sheriff recently became famous after defeating Real Madrid in the Champions League. However, Pleşco is only a member of the youth side and is yet to make a senior appearance for Sheriff. He has also represented the Moldova U21 side.
Lacina Traore – 203cm (Free Agent/Ivory Coast)
Lacina Traore is a free agent who played for Bandırmaspor in the Turkish second division during the 2020-21 season. The 31-year-old has played for some famous European clubs such as Monaco, Everton, CSKA Moscow. In 2012, Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala paid around €18 million to sign him from Kuban Krasnodar. He was also a part of the Ivory Coast squad that won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. During his heydays, he was famous for his big frame and was nicknamed “The Big Tree.”
(The) Tallest Soccer Players Ever
It is almost an impossible task to find the tallest players to play soccer ever for sure. However, we have explored the depths of the internet to find out some of the tallest players to play soccer in recent history. This list is in addition to our list of tallest players that are currently active.
Felix Wolf – 212cm (Germany)
Although there is not much information available on Felix Wolf, at 212 cm, he appears to be the tallest soccer player to have existed in the 21st century. The German keeper came through the youth academy of FC Energie Cottbus and played for their U17 and U19 sides. He also played for other German clubs such as TSV Cottbus and Kunersdorf. Unfortunately, no record of his soccer career exists beyond 2017.
Fokko Booiman – 211 cm (Netherlands)
Booiman hails from the Netherlands, and he has played for several clubs in lower tiers of Dutch soccer, such as VVAK, VV Hoogeveen, and La Première. As per his profile on Transfermarkt, he is 35-year-old at the time of writing. However, following his move to La Première in 2015, there is no information on his profile.
Vanja Ivesa – 205cm (Croatia)
Vanja Ives is a Croatian goalkeeper who recently retired, at the age of 43, in 2021. He made his senior debut in 1995, and in a career spanning 26 years, he played for several clubs in Croatia, Turkey, and Australia. At the beginning of 2018, he became the oldest player to play in the top division of Croatian soccer.
Even Iversen – 203cm (Norway)
Even Iversen is a Norwegian center-back. He was born in 1982 and spent his entire professional career in Norwegian soccer. The highlight of his career was arguably his time at famous Norwegian club Bodø / Glimt from 2006 to 2009. He also played for other lower division clubs Frognerparken and Hasle-Løren. In 2017, he moved to Flisbyen BK and ended his career there.
Yang Changpend – 209cm (China)
Yang Changpend is arguably the tallest non-European soccer player to have played in the 21st century. He is from China, and he spent his entire career playing in his native country. The last club he played for was HB Huachuang. As per his profile, he left the club in January 2021 and hasn’t returned to professional soccer.
Paul Millar 208cm (Scotland)
Paul Millar is a Scottish forward who is mainly remembered for his time at Elgin City. He last played for Deveronvale during the 2015-2016 season. Millar is also known by his birth name Paul Leech-Flannigan. Unfortunately, he suffered a horrible cruciate knee ligament injury and was forced to retire relatively early in his career.
Tor Hogne Aaroy 204cm (Norway)
Tor Hogne Aarøy is a former Norwegian forward who retired from professional in 2014. In the 2015 edition of the FIFA video game, he was credited as the tallest soccer player. He spent most of his playing time in Norway, particularly at Aalesund. He also spent a couple of seasons in Japan, playing for JEF United Chiba in J2 League.
Oyvind Hoas – 203cm (Norway)
Oyvind Hoas is another Norwegian on our list. Hoas played forward and represented several top Norwegian clubs such as Molde, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg 08, and Honefoss. He last played for Kristiansund in OBOS-ligaen, the second tier of Norwegian soccer. Hoas retired following the conclusion of the 2015 season at the age of 32.
Stefan Maierhofer 202cm (Austria)
Stefan Maierhofer is a veteran Austrian striker who is currently a free agent. The 39-year-old played for Würzburger Kickers in 2. Bundesliga during the 2020-21 season. The former Austria international joined the Bayern Munich reserve team in 2005 and made a couple of substitute appearances for the senior squad. However, he never settled at a single club for long and always had a journeyman career. Regardless, he won Austrian Bundesliga with both Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg. He also joined Premier League side Wolves in 2009, but injuries hampered his time in England.
Tallest Soccer Player Who Achieved The Most Success
A brief look at our list of tallest soccer players would confirm that height is not directly proportional to talent and success in soccer. None of the players mentioned so far managed to play at the top level for long. So now, the question arises whether tall players can have a successful career in soccer.
Retired England striker Peter Crouch would argue it’s certainly possible. We would claim that Crouch has been the most successful tall soccer player in recent history. His 201 cm frame made him a threat in the air, and he also possessed an excellent first touch. He made 42 appearances for the Three Lions, but he also represented some of the biggest clubs in English Soccer, such as Liverpool, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Southampton, Stoke City, etc.
He won the FA Cup with Liverpool in 2005-06. He also played in the 2006-07 Champions League final but ended up on the losing side.
Top 10 Tallest Players In US Soccer – 2021 Season
Hunter Sulte 201cm – Goalkeeper – Portland Timbers (US)
Hunter Pendleton Sulte is an American player who plays for Portland Timbers in MLS. He has progressed from Timbers’ youth academy and made his senior debut in 2021. The 19-year-old originally hails from Alaska, and he is the first player from the state to sign a Homegrown contract with an MLS side.
Jamal Blackman 199cm – Goalkeeper – Los Angeles Football Club (England)
Jamal Blackman is an English keeper who currently plays for Los Angeles FC in MLS. The 28-year-old has spent most of his life at the Premier League club, Chelsea. He joined the London club as a 13-year-old in 2013. He was at the club until 2021 but could never make a senior appearance for them. From 2012 to 2021, he played for several clubs on loan spells. Sheffield United and Leeds United are worthy mentions.
Ben Lundt 198cm – Goalkeeper – FC Cincinnati (Germany)
Lundt is a German keeper who came through the Hertha Berlin youth academy. After failing to break into the senior team of Hertha, he moved to the US in 2015. After spending some time in the lower rungs of the US soccer pyramid, Lundt was picked by FC Cincinnati in the MLS Superdraft in 2019. However, he was loaned to Louisville City FC for the 2020 season. He won the USL Goalkeeper of the Year accolade during his loan spell. He has joined Phoenix Rising for yet another loan in 2021.
Jonathan Sirois 198cm – Goalkeeper – CF Montréal (Canada)
Jonathan Sirois is a Canadian keeper who is currently signed to CF Montreal. The 20-year-old progressed through the CF Montreal youth academy before signing a first-team contract in 2020. However, he has spent the last couple of seasons on loan with Valour FC of the Canadian Premier League. He is currently the tallest soccer player in Canada.
Samuel Adeniran 196cm – Forward – Tacoma Defiance (US)
Samuel Adeniran is most likely the tallest forward in the US soccer pyramid. He spent the first part of his career playing for lower division clubs in European nations like Spain and Germany. The 23-year-old moved to the USL Championship side Tacoma Defiance in 2021. Since Tacoma Defiance acts as a reserve club for Seattle Sounders, Adeniran also spent a brief loan spell at Sounders in 2021 and made 2 MLS appearances.
Sebastian Breza 196cm – Goalkeeper – CF Montréal (on loan) (Canada)
He is a Canadian keeper who currently plays for CF Montreal on loan from Serie A side Bologna. He spent his youth in Italy and played for clubs like Manopoli and Potenza in lower Italian divisions. In January 2020, he joined Bologna on a loan deal that was made permanent. Ahead of the 2021 MLS season, he was signed by CF Montreal on loan.
Nick DePuy 196cm – Defender – Los Angeles Galaxy (US)
Nick DePuy is the tallest defender currently playing in MLS. The American Soccer played four years of college soccer with UC Santa Barbara. CF Montreal picked him in the first round of the 2017 SuperDraft. After making only five MLS appearances for Montreal, he was loaned to Ottawa Fury. In 2018, he joined the Danish club Fremad Amager on yet another loan. In 2019, he signed with LA Galaxy II and, a year later, joined their senior roster.
Eric Dick 196cm – Goalkeeper – Columbus Crew (US)
Eric Dick is a US goalkeeper currently playing for USL Championship club Indy Eleven on loan from Columbus Crew. Dick played college soccer for Butler Bulldogs. He played for the youth sides of Portland Timbers and Oklahoma City Energy before joining Sporting Kansas City in 2018. Columbus Crew picked him up in Stage Two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft in 2020.
Issiar Dramé 196cm – Defender – New York Red Bulls (France)
Issiar Drame is a French soccer player who plays for MLS side New York Red Bulls. The 6 ft 6 in center-back spent his formative years in France at the academies of Clairefontaine, Rennais, and Lyon. In 2020, he joined the Ukrainian Premier League club Olimpik Donetsk. After spending a season in Ukraine, he moved to the US to play for NY Red Bulls.
Fred Emmings 196cm – Goalkeeper – Minnesota United Football Club (Luxembourg)
Fred Emmings is the youngest player to make our list. The 17-year-old was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but he represents Luxembourg at the international level. He has come through Minnesota United youth academy and made the jump to the senior squad in 2020. He is also the first homegrown player to be given a deal by Minnesota United. Fred is the tallest soccer player from Luxembourg this season.
Top 10 Tallest Players In The English Premiership 2021/22
Lucas Bergström 205cm – Goalkeeper – Chelsea Football Club
Kjell Scherpen 204cm – Goalkeeper – Brighton & Hove Albion
Dan Burn 201cm – Defender – (Brighton & Hove Albion/England)
Dan Burn is an English defender who plays for Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion. Burn made his senior debut for Darlington in League Two in 2009-10. His talent was soon noticed, and Fulham signed him ahead of the 2011-12 season. He made his PL debut in 2013-14. Before joining Brighton in 2018, he also played for other clubs such as Yeovil Town, Birmingham City, and Wigan Athletic.
Fraser Forster 201cm – Goalkeeper – (Southampton/England)
Fraser Forster is a familiar face in Premier League. He signed his first professional contract when he joined Newcastle United as a 17-year-old in 2005. He stayed at the club until 2012 but never managed to break into the senior squad. Following a couple of loan moves, he joined Scottish giants Celtic on a permanent move in 2012. After winning three consecutive Scottish titles, he joined Southampton in 2014.
Asmir Begović 199cm – Goalkeeper – (Everton/Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Asmir Begovic is a Premier League veteran who currently plays for Everton. The Bosnian international spent his childhood in Germany and Canada. In 2003, he signed a youth contract with Portsmouth and moved to England. In Premier League, he appeared for several major English clubs like Portsmouth, Stoke City, Chelsea, and Bournemouth. In 2019-20, he also enjoyed a brief loan spell with Italian giants AC Milan.
Jannik Vestergaard 199cm – Defender – (Leicester City/Denmark)
Jannik Vestergaard is a Danish center-back who represents Leicester City in Premier League. Vestergaard spent his youth years in Denmark with clubs like Frem, FC Copenhagen, and Brøndby. He moved to Hoffenheim in 2010 and made his senior debut with the Bundesliga side. He has spent his entire senior career in Germany and England. He is currently the tallest outfield player in the Premier League.
Kristoffer Ajer 198cm – Defender – (Brentford/Denmark)
Ajer is a Norwegian center-back who plays for Brentford in Premier League. He spent most of his youth career at Lillestrøm and made his senior debut with IK Start in 2014. He signed for Scottish giants Celtic in 2016 and stayed with them for five years. In the summer of 2021, he joined Brentford.
Nick Pope 198cm – Goalkeeper – (Burnley/England)
Nick Pope can be considered as one of the best goalkeepers currently in English Soccer. He has been a mainstay in Burnley’s squad under Sean Dyche. Furthermore, he was a part of the English squad that participated in the 2018 World Cup. Before joining Burnley in 2016, Pope was at Charlton Athletic for five years.
Wayne Hennessey 197cm – Goalkeeper – (Burnley/Wales)
Wayne Hennessey is a Premier League veteran currently playing for Burnley. The Welsh keeper made a name for himself playing for the Wolves. After staying at the Midlands club for 11 years, he moved to Crystal Palace in 2014. In 2021, he left Palace to join Burnley on a free transfer. Hennessey is a regular in the Wales national team, and he is their second-most capped played.
Robert Sánchez 197cm – Goalkeeper – (Brighton & Hove Albion/Spain)
Robert Sanchez is a Spanish keeper currently playing for Brighton & Hove Albion in Premier League. Sanchez joined Brighton at the age of 15. Between 2018 and 2020, he spent time with Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale on loan deals. He made his PL debut for the Seagulls in 2020-21, and he is currently the number 1 keeper at the club. On the back of his club-level performances, he also made his debut for Spain in 2021 and hopes to continue to grow a couple more centimeters to become the tallest soccer player from Spain..
Top 10 Tallest Players In UK First Division 1921/22
- Nils Middelboe 189cm – Midfielder – (Chelsea/Denmark)
- Thomas Smart 188 cm – Defender – (Aston Villa/England)
- Stanley Earle 185 cm – Midfielder – (Arsenal/England)
- Billy Walker 183cm – Midfielder – (Aston Villa/England)
- Lal Hilditch 180cm – Forward – (Manchester United/England)
- Bobby Marshall 180cm – Forward – (Sunderland/England)
- Bill McCracken 180cm – Defender – (Newcastle United/Northern Ireland)
- Alf Steward 180cm – Goalkeeper – (Manchester United/England)
- Francis Bradshaw 179cm – Forward – (Arsenal/England)
- Joe Carter 178cm – Forward – (West Bromwich Albion/England)
When we compare the tallest players in English Soccer from 100 years apart, some observations stick out.
Firstly, the height of the tallest players in the top division of the English division has significantly increased over the 100 years.
Secondly, English Soccer has become a lot more international during this time. In 1922, many players in our list came from England and Home Nations, whereas the list is a lot more diverse in 2022. For example, the 2022 list has many players from Scandinavian nations, some of the world’s tallest countries. This could also explain the first observation to an extent.
Furthermore, the 2022 list is dominated by goalkeepers, whereas the 1922 list has only one keeper.
Tallest Soccer Players At The 2018 World Cup
Lovre Kalinić 201cm – Goalkeeper – Croatia
Lovre Kalinic was the tallest player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, he was only second-choice behind Danijel Subašić in the Croatian setup. Nevertheless, he did manage to play in the group game against Iceland and put in a strong performance. Eventually, Croatia finished the tournament as runners-up after losing to France.
Thibaut Courtois 199cm – Goalkeeper – Belgium
Thibaut Courtois is one of the top goalkeepers currently and doesn’t need any introduction. The Real Madrid keeper has been a mainstay in the Belgium national team for nearly a decade now. He was also ever-present in the Belgium starting XI during the 2018 World Cup. He was selected as the best keeper at the tournament and won the Golden Glove award.
Jannik Vestergaard 199cm – Defender – Denmark
Jannik Vestergaard was the tallest outfield player at the 2018 World Cup. But, unfortunately, he never made an appearance for the Danes in the tournament. Denmark crashed out of the tournament following a penalty shootout defeat to Croatia in the last-16.
Simeon Nwankwo 198cm – Forward – Nigeria
Simeon Nwankwo was the tallest non-European player and the tallest forward at the 2018 World Cup. He made his Nigeria debut just before the World Cup and was picked up in the 23-man squad by Gernot Rohr. However, he made only a few brief substitute appearances as Nigeria crashed out at the tournament’s group stage.
Nick Pope 198cm – Goalkeeper – England
Nick Pope was a part of the 23-man England squad for the 2018 World Cup. The Three Lions exceeded expectations as they made their way to the semi-finals. However, Pope failed to make an appearance in the tournament.
Frederik Schram 198cm – Goalkeeper – Iceland
Frederik Schram was born in Denmark, but he represents Iceland at the international level. He made his first appearance on the international stage in 2017, and a year later, he was picked in Iceland’s 23-man squad. However, he failed to make an appearance as Iceland finished bottom of their group. So far, Schram has played his club soccer only with Denmark sides.
Koen Casteels 197cm Goalkeeper – Belgium
Koen Casteels is a familiar face in German soccer, having played for 1899 Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen, and VfL Wolfsburg. He was picked as Belgium’s third-choice keeper, behind Thibaut Courtois and Simon Mignolet, for the 2018 World Cup. But, as expected, he failed to appear for the Belgians as they clinched the third spot in the tournament.
Álex Rodríguez 197cm – Goalkeeper – Panama
Panama made their first appearance at FIFA World Cup in 2018, and Alex Rodriguez was one of the players on their 23-man squad. However, Rodriguez played back up to first-choice Jaime Penedo and failed to make an appearance. Unfortunately, Panama didn’t fare well in the tournament either, and they crashed out without picking up a single point from their group games.
Jack Butland 196cm Goalkeeper – England
Jack Butland made his name while playing for Stoke City in Premier League. He was named to England’s squad for the 2018 World Cup. This World Cup was Butland’s second major international tournament as he had also made the squad for Euro 2012. However, like in the Euros, Butland failed to make an appearance. Following the World Cup, he has lost his place in the England setup due to a drop in his form.
Sebastián Coates 196cm – Defender – Uruguay
Sebastián Coates was the tallest South American player at the 2018 World Cup. He has been a longstanding member of the Uruguayan national side. The former Liverpool player has featured in various tournaments such as 2011 Copa America, 2012 Olympics, 2013 Confederations Cup, 2014 World Cup, 2015 Copa America, and 2018 World Cup. However, during the 2018 event, he made just one start during the group stage as Uruguay made it to the quarters.
Tallest Soccer Players At The 1930 World Cup
- Carvalho Leite 191cm – Forward – Brazil
- Domingo Tejera 189cm – Defender – Uruguay
- Enrique Ballestrero 188cm – Goalkeeper – Uruguay
- Jimmy Douglas 186cm – Goalkeeper – USA
- Ernesto Mascheroni 185cm – Defender – Uruguay
- Jan De Bie 184cm – Goalkeeper – Belgium
- Jacques Moeschal 184cm – Forward – Belgium
- Jim Brown 183cm – Forward – USA
- Mario De las Casas 182cm – Defender – Peru
- Fausto Brasilien 182cm – Midfielder – Brazil
When we compare the tallest players from two World Cups 88 years apart, several observations are made.
The most significant one is that the tallest soccer player have significantly gotten taller. For example, the tenth-most tall player at the 2018 World Cup was five cm taller than the tallest one at the 1930 event.
The list from the 1930 World is dominated by South American players, with six out of 10 players belonging to the continent. This number shouldn’t surprise anyone, as seven out of 13 participating nations in the tournament were from South America. Meanwhile, in 2018, seven out of ten players were European and only one South American. Thus, 14 out of 32 nations were European in this tournament, and five were South American.
Lastly, we see that goalkeepers are some of the tallest soccer players in modern soccer, but this wasn’t the case before.
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