The average height of football players in the world is 5’11.54″ (181.7 cm). In Europe, footballers are on average 5’11.69 (182.1 cm) tall. Defensive players tend to be taller, while shorter ones usually play attacking roles. Size does not influence success; some of the best in the world have been short.
Average height of a football player
The average height of football players in the world is 5 feet 11.54 inches or 181.7 centimeters.
This is revealed by a study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory which analyzed the 32 teams qualified for the final phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
To give you a better idea, in the United States the average height for men is 5’9″ (175.26 cm) and the average height for women is 5’4″ (162.56 cm).
This makes the average height of a football player taller than about 75.6% of men and 99.8% of women in the United States.
For comparison, the average height of Spanish outfield players was less than 5’10.87 (180cm) of all European teams participating in the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Still linked to the Russian World Cup, here is the average size of the 4 most successful teams in the tournament.
- Winner: France / Average height: 5’11.06 (180.5 cm)
- Finalist: Croatia / Average height: 6’0.8 (184.9 cm)
- Third place: Belgium / Average height: 6’0.36 (183.8 cm)
- Fourth place: England / Average height: 5’11.69 (182.1 cm)
Average height of a European footballer
The average height of football players in Europe’s top 31 football leagues is 5 feet 11.69 inches (182.1 cm), slightly above the world average.
Can I play football if I am small?
- If you’re asking if you can play small, the answer is yes.
And we don’t have to go far to find an example, because we were talking about the World Cup held in Russia.
Croatian midfielder Luka Modric has won the Ballon d’Or for the competition’s best player.
Luka Modric is 172cm (5’7.72) tall. That’s almost 3.94 inches (10 cm) shorter than the average height of football players around the world.
Nevertheless, it is also true that some positions in football use taller players.
Generally, the goalkeeper and central defenders are the tallest players in a football team.
The stature of attackers who excel at the head is also superior to that of other players.
But, while height may be relevant for specific positions, many footballers make up for their short stature with other characteristics.