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The shortest goalkeepers in football history

Goalkeepers don’t necessarily have to be tall! That’s not just a rule, but a fact. While height might be an advantage for goalkeepers, it doesn’t mean taller goalkeepers will always outperform shorter ones. In this article, together with Bestsoccertips, we’ll explore the top 10 shortest goalkeeper of all time and how they’ve proven that size isn’t the only determining factor in a goalkeeper’s career.

Here are 7 outstanding goalkeepers under 6 feet tall in the world:

7. Edgar Badia

We begin this journey in Spain, where one notable feature of this match is the presence of a Spanish player who has previously represented the unofficial national team of Catalonia. Born in Barcelona and nurtured at Espanyol’s academy, Edgar Badia is renowned for his goalkeeping prowess, displaying refined reflexes.

Shortest goalkeeper: Edgar Badia
Shortest goalkeeper: Edgar Badia

After four years playing for Reus in Catalonia, Badia moved to Elche in the summer of 2019 to continue his career. Standing at 181cm, approximately 5 feet 11 inches and a half, he only needed to participate in 7 matches to qualify.

6. Sergio Alvarez

Staying in Spain, in the sixth position on the leaderboard, Sergio Alvarez stands out as a noteworthy goalkeeper, despite being shorter than Edgar Badia. However, this doesn’t diminish Alvarez’s credibility as he holds the number one position in Elche’s lineup in the top-tier league. Standing at only 1.79m, equivalent to about 5 feet 10 inches, Alvarez might be considered relatively short by today’s standards. Nonetheless, the 33-year-old player has asserted his strength through instinctive and impressive goal-saving maneuvers, along with adept ball distribution.

Shortest goalkeeper in soccer: Sergio Alvarez
Shortest goalkeeper in soccer: Sergio Alvarez

Sergio Alvarez has dedicated his entire career to Celta Vigo, one of the oldest and most reputable clubs in Spain. Apart from a short-term loan deal over a decade ago, Alvarez has remained loyal to Celta Vigo throughout his career. With over 200 appearances for this La Liga side, Alvarez has demonstrated his abilities and reliability throughout his playing career.

5. Jordi Masip

Indeed, Spain seems to be a haven for those fond of seeking goalkeepers with modest heights, and Jordi Masip is one of the finest goalkeepers on that list. Similar to Badia, Masip was born in Catalonia and has had an impressive career in Spanish football.

Masip made 79 appearances for Barca B and 4 for Barcelona’s first team before departing the club to join Real Valladolid in 2017. Real Valladolid, owned by former Barca star Ronaldo, became Masip’s new destination. Since then, he has become a regular choice for the team, making over 100 appearances for the La Liga side over nearly two and a half seasons.

Shortest soccer goalkeeper: Jordi Masip
Shortest soccer goalkeeper: Jordi Masip

Despite Masip’s height being only 180cm, equivalent to 5’11”, he has proven his courage and talent through impressive performances on the field. Masip’s patience, quick reflexes, and leadership skills have helped him become one of the respected goalkeepers in Spanish football.

4. Itumeleng Khune

Our first journey from Spain brings us to meet one of the most prominent names among the seven participants in this series, and perhaps some of you may be familiar with Itumeleng Khune. As a legend of Kaizer Chiefs, Khune has spent his entire 16-year professional career with the South African national team, earning 89 caps for Bafana Bafana.

With this record, he ranks third in the all-time appearances for the South African national team and fifth in the all-time ranking of Kaizer Chiefs. At the peak of his career, Khune completely dominated this seven-participant series, but unfortunately, he began to decline in form since 2014.

Who is the shortest goalkeeper: Itumeleng Khune
Who is the shortest goalkeeper: Itumeleng Khune

Nevertheless, he remains a talented goalkeeper with excellent ball distribution. Standing at 5’11”, equivalent to about 181cm, he is an integral part of the lineup in this series. Khune’s presence promises stability and experience for the team, a hero with invaluable contributions to the history of South African football.

3. Aitor Fernandez

Among the seven participants, Aitor Fernandez is the tallest goalkeeper at 182cm, equivalent to 6 feet in millimeters. Though he doesn’t quite reach the exact 6-foot mark, he is still worthy of receiving a joint silver medal in this seven-foot category. Fernandez, another Spanish player, is renowned for his excellent shot-stopping abilities and currently plays for Levante in La Liga.

Shortest goalkeeper: Aitor Fernandez
Shortest goalkeeper: Aitor Fernandez

At 28 years old, the former Numancia player has shown remarkable prowess in showcasing his skills at Levante. This is evidenced by his signing of a new contract with the club, including a €25 million release clause in November. Fernandez’s stability and reliability in goal have made him an indispensable part of Levante’s success, and he continues to prove himself as one of the top goalkeepers in La Liga.

2. Marcelo Barovero

There are some sources suggesting Marcelo Barovero stands at 6 feet tall, however, the sources I highly regard confirm his height to be 182cm, which still qualifies him as the tallest goalkeeper among the seven participants and eligible for this competition.

Marcelo Barovero, a seasoned goalkeeper from Argentina, currently playing in Mexico, has had a remarkable career. He has won major titles with teams like Velez, River Plate, and currently with Monterrey. Despite not being the tallest goalkeeper, Barovero remains a commanding figure between the sticks. He instills confidence in his defense through experience and self-assurance, and at the age of 35, he still maintains consistent form.

Shortest goalkeeper in soccer: Marcelo Barovero
Shortest goalkeeper in soccer: Marcelo Barovero

Despite having an impressive career, Marcelo Barovero might consider himself unlucky for never being called up to the Argentine national team. However, his effort and contribution in his club career are still highly appreciated by fans and teammates.

1. Wuilker Farinez

The competition between Marcelo Barovero and Wuilker Farinez for the top spot is a dramatic showdown, with one side being a 35-year-old struggling to maintain form, while the other is a young talent in the developmental stage.

Wuilker Farinez is one of the most promising young goalkeepers in South America, having earned 22 caps for the Venezuelan national team and being the number one goalkeeper for Colombian club Millonarios. He inspired the Venezuela U20 team to the final of the 2017 U20 World Cup and became the first goalkeeper to score in the tournament. With agility and exceptional acrobatics, Farinez has accumulated significant experience for a goalkeeper who is only 21 years old, and he promises to set high goals in his career.

shortest soccer goalkeeper: Wuilker Farinez
shortest soccer goalkeeper: Wuilker Farinez

Although there might be some larger-sized European goalkeepers, with a height of 178cm or 5’10”, Farinez has proven his mettle and cannot be overlooked anymore. His development and potential are attracting attention from various quarters, and his appearances will be an indispensable part of the championship race.


In the fierce competition between Marcelo Barovero and Wuilker Farinez, the clash is not only about the top spot on the field but also a race between experience and youth, between the past and the future of football. Marcelo Barovero, with stability and ample experience, and Wuilker Farinez, with youthful talent and freshness, both bring a diverse picture to the goalkeeping position. Their confrontation is not just about protecting the goal but also about the iconography of development and potential in modern football.

See more: Top 10 Portugal best soccer players today