The average height of soccer players worldwide is 5’11.54″ (181.7 cm). In Europe, soccer players are 5’11.69 (182.1cm) tall on average. Defensive players tend to be taller, while shorter ones usually play offensive roles. Height does not influence success; some of the World’s best have been short.
Average Height of a Soccer Player
The average height of soccer players globally is 5 feet 11.54 inches or 181.7 centimeters.
That’s according to a study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory that analyzed the 32 teams that qualified for the final phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
So you can have a better idea, in the USA, men’s average height is 5’9” (175.26 cm), and women’s average height is 5’4” (162.56 cm).
That makes the average height of a soccer player taller than around 75.6% of men and 99.8% of women in the United States.
For comparison, the average height of Spain’s outfield players was less than 5’10.87 (180 cm) out of all the European teams participating in the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Still related to the Russian World Cup, here’s the average height for the top-4 best-performing teams in the tournament.
- Winner: France / Average Heigth: 5’11.06 (180.5 cm)
- Runner-up: Croatia / Average Heigth: 6’0.8 (184.9 cm)
- Third Place: Belgium / Average Heigth: 6’0.36 (183.8 cm)
- Fourth Place: England / Average Heigth: 5’11.69 (182.1 cm)
Average Height of a European Soccer Players
The average height of soccer players in Europe’s top 31 soccer leagues is 5 feet 11.69 inches (182.1cm), slightly higher than the worldwide average.
Can I Play Soccer if I’m Short?
- If you’re asking if you can play being short, the answer is yes.
And we don’t need to go very far to find an example, as we were talking about the World Cup held in Russia.
Croatian midfielder Luka Modric won the Golden Ball award for the best player in the competition.
Luka Modric is 5’7.72 (172 cm) tall. That’s almost 3.94 inches (10 cm) shorter than the average height for soccer players around the World.
Nevertheless, it is also true that some positions in soccer use taller players.
Generally, the goalkeeper and the center-backs are the tallest players in a soccer team.
The stature of strikers who excel at heading is also higher than that of other players.
But, although height may be relevant for specific positions, many footballers compensate for their lower stature with other characteristics.