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Tall stature can offer significant benefits, particularly for athletes in central defense. Goalkeepers naturally require this attribute. Additionally, forwards may leverage their height advantage, using their long legs to great effect. Now, let’s explore some of the tallest football players in history.
Examining the greatest football players in history reveals that a legendary figure stands out for his remarkable height. Clearly, athletes with average stature benefit from a lower center of gravity and enhanced control, making it easier for them to unleash their creativity on the field.
In contemporary football, the presence of shorter players has become more prominent, reflecting a shift in the sport towards emphasizing agility and mobility. Despite this trend, tall footballers still exist, with some competing at elite levels and others participating in lower-tier leagues.
Top 10 Tallest Football Players
|Name of the Player
|Kristof van Hou
Kristof van Hout (6ft 10″)
The 36-year-old goalkeeper is officially recognized as the tallest goalkeeper globally, standing at an impressive height of 6 feet 10 inches. He initiated his professional journey in the Netherlands with Willem II, the former club of Jaap Stam, before making a transition to PSV. Despite a three-year tenure at Willem, Kristof van Hout failed to secure a senior appearance and was subsequently loaned to Belgium to join K.V. Kortrijk. Later, he earned a transfer to Standard Liege, a prominent Belgian club. However, his impact at Standard Liege was limited, leading to his return to K.V. Kortrijk in 2011, where he served as the first-choice goalkeeper for an entire season. In 2012, he became a part of K.R.C Genk. He joined Delhi Dynamos in 2014, Westerlo in 2015 and Lommel in 2022.
Paul Millar (6ft 10″)
Paul Millar, a 35-year-old striker from the British Third Division, is a notable player for Elgin City FC. In addition to his football career, he serves as a full-time firefighter stationed at RAF Kinloss base in Moray, situated in the Highland areas of Scotland. Remarkably, Millar stands at an impressive height of 6 feet 10 inches which includes him in the list of tallest football players. The extent of his height became evident when, during his entrance onto the pitch, he consistently bumped his head against the doorframe. Consequently, the club staff had to raise the door’s entrance to accommodate Millar’s height, highlighting the exceptional nature of his stature.
Tomáš Holý (6ft 9.2″)
Tomáš Holý, the tallest active football player in the world, began his professional career with Sparta Prague, playing for their reserve team from 2010 to 2012. He was loaned out to several Czech clubs, including Vlašim, Viktoria Žižkov, and Fastav Zlín. He then made a surprising move to English club Gillingham, where he played for two and a half seasons, making over 100 appearances. Holý later joined Ipswich Town and became their first-choice goalkeeper for nearly two full seasons. He also had stints at Cambridge United and Port Vale before joining Carlisle United on a free transfer in June 2022. Holý has represented the Czech Republic at various youth levels, up to and including the under-18 team.
Vanja Iveša (6ft 9″)
The goalie from Croatia, who is now 46 years old, has played for numerous clubs both in and outside of Croatia. His career began in 1995 with NK Istra, a team based in his hometown of Pula. After playing for two other Croatian teams, he joined Sydney United FC in the Australian league in 2002. However, he only spent a year there and made just 24 appearances before returning to NK Zminj, another Croatian club. The player has had successful spells at both NK Pula, his childhood club, from 2004 to 2007, and Eskiehirspor, a Turkish club, from 2008 to 2012, where he made 121 appearances. He joined Elazspor, another first division club in Turkey. Since 2015, he became a part of Istra 1961 twice while Opatija thrice where he played his last game. He became the oldest player to play for Croatian first football league.
Kyle Hudlin (6ft 9″)
Kyle Hudlin, an Englishman, stands out as the sole representative from England in this selection. Renowned for his impressive height, he holds the title of being the second tallest football player globally. Furthermore, he is recognized as the tallest outfielder in the professional football scene and commenced his professional career in 2023.
Presently, Hudlin showcases his skills as a forward for Huddersfield Town, competing in the English Football League Championship. Throughout his career, he has accumulated a total of 21 goals across 87 appearances for various clubs. Despite his imposing stature, Hudlin displays surprising agility, possesses exceptional ball control, and capitalizes on his height advantage with formidable aerial abilities.
Dino Hodzic (6ft 9″)
By now, there is no need for an introduction, and it is clear that the list is mainly composed of goalkeepers. Standing at an impressive height of 6ft 9”, Dino Hodzic surpasses most other professional players in the world.
Although born in Croatia, the 27-year-old goalkeeper remains relatively unfamiliar to most parts of the world. Hodzic currently resides in Iceland after transferring from IA Akranes to the second division team Lengjudeild in the spring of 2023.
Lucas Bergström (6ft 8.7″)
Adding to the list of talented goalkeepers is Lucas Bergström, a 21-year-old Finnish player who currently plays for Premier League club Chelsea. After joining Chelsea from his hometown club TPS in 2018, Bergström has primarily competed for Chelsea’s youth team. However, he was chosen as a substitute for their Champions League group match against Zenit Saint Petersburg three years later.
Bergström has also represented Finland at the under-17 level and was even promoted to their under-21 squad in preparation for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification rounds. With his considerable height, he is also among the top 5 tallest football players, highlighting his immense potential and promising future in the sport.
Yang Changpeng (6ft 8.5″)
Yang Changpeng, a Chinese football player, gained some popularity in Asia due to his impressive height. Standing at almost 6ft 9″, he played as a forward for various Chinese league teams including Chengdu Blades, Meizhou Kejia, and Henan Jianye. He was even given the nickname “Chinese Peter Crouch” and had a trial period with English club Bolton Wanderers. However, he only scored twelve goals in 88 appearances and struggled to sustain a successful career, possibly due to his tall stature and body type. Despite that, he still ranks as the fifth tallest football player in the world.
Jacob Samnik (6ft 8.5″)
Jacob Samnik, a 22-year-old goalkeeper from the United States, has relocated his career to Germany. He has played for various European leagues and currently ranks as the sixth tallest footballer in the world. Before joining Dusseldorf, a team in Germany’s fifth tier, Samnik had stints at FC Politehnica Lași in Romania’s second division and Hobro IK in the Danish League.
Øyvind Hoås (6ft 8.4″)
Øyvind Hoås, a striker from Norway, currently plays for Kristiansund. He has also played for Molde and spent some time on trial with Luton Town in England before joining FK Fredrikstad. Hoås is known for his height and is considered one of the tallest outfield players in Europe and among the top 10 tallest football players. He has also represented Norway at the under-21 level, appearing in four matches and scoring one goal.