Top 10 Shortest Soccer Players Ever

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To make the list of the shortest soccer players, a small guy must be good enough to compete with the best in club and professional soccer leagues.

These small-in-stature soccer players find motivation from their “short-man syndrome,” an unofficial but undeniable trait.

Here we give you an array of the world’s shortest soccer players, past and present.

Who Are the Shortest Soccer Players Ever?

The list of shortest soccer players ever includes many who toil in relative anonymity, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a small bit of recognition for reaching the pro level at their limited level of verticality.

From our No. 10 all the way to No. 1, we the world’s smallest soccer players to ever grace the sport.

10. Maxi Moralez – 5ft3

Maxi Moralez
Image: Twitter/NYCFC

Listed at 5-2 in various spots, Moralez has played in the US for New York City FC. He suffered a significant knee injury last season and has been working to return.

With NYCFC from 2017-22, he scored 26 goals and had 69 assists in 162 regular-season games.

9. Levi Porter – 5ft3

Levi Porter, born in Leicester, England, played four professional seasons from age 19-22, the first three with Leicester City 2006-09, and the last of which was for Mansfield Town in the Conference Premier league.

He collected three goals and four assists in 34 matches (26 starts) during his first season with Leicester City.

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8. Kim Ji-sung – 5ft2

We know he belongs on this shortest soccer players list because he’s listed almost unanimously at 5-2 and played in a World Cup.

Not much else is reported on Kim Ji-sung, who died in 1982, but he did play for the South Korean national team and in the 1954 FIFA World Cup.

7. Fanny Walden – 5ft2

Fanny Walden
Image: CardHawk

Walden has an unfair advantage with others on this list – he was born in 1888 when 5-2 wasn’t necessarily a huge hindrance in playing soccer.

Still, he is the smallest to represent England at a senior level. A terrific passer, Walden was a strong player who took advantage of his low center of gravity.

6. Daniel Villalva – 5ft2

Villalva is listed in various biographies as 5-1, 5-2, and 5-3, so we will split the difference and call him 5-2.

Still active, the 31-year-old played some of his best soccer in Liga Mexico.

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5. Madson Formagini Caridade – 5ft2

Madson Caridade
Image: Twitter/Rincon Deportivo

Caridade had a solid career marked by his strength that belied his height. A focused and calculating player, he played in Brazil and Qatar.

His teams included Volta Redonda, Vasco, Duque de Caxias, América (RN), Santos and Athletico (PR).

4. Benedict Vilakazi – 5ft2

The now-42-year-old South African national played 2009-12. He was enough of a leader to be nicknamed “Little Napoleon” by teammates.

Though his career in the pros spanned nine years with a club team and only three with an upper-level club, he did score several goals and, at 5-2, belongs on our list of the smallest soccer players.

3. Jafal Rashed Al-Kuwari – 5ft1

Image: Twitter/fut__global

Al-Kuwari was a great leader and a talented midfielder who enjoyed a long career overcoming the short-person odds attached to him.

He was captain of Qatar’s national team from 1992-2002.

2. Marcin Garuch – 5ft

Marcin Garuch
Image: Twitter/Transfery_

Marcin Garuch is tied in the top position for the shortest soccer player ever.

He played exclusively in his home country (Poland) leagues. He’s a terrific passer and uses his quickness to create opportunities for teammates.

1. Elton Jose Xavier Gomes – 5ft

Elton Arabia
Image: Twitter/fut_global

Another soccer standout with top-notch ball-control and dribbling skills, Gomes scored 48 goals (in 121 matches) in his most productive five-year span with the Saudi Arabian club Al-Fateh between 2011-2015.

He also is known as “Elton Arabia” for his popularity and skill.


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Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert
Jay Dieffenbach
Sports Betting Expert

Jay is a Sports Betting Writer at, and has been working in US sports for more than 20 years. He's worked for Daily Racing Form, the Arizona Republic, The Athletic and FanDuel among other sports and gambling positions.