Height in soccer does not provide quite the same advantage as it does in other sports. With that being said, some top soccer players have had quite a bit of success thanks in part to their height. They’ve been able to maximize the attributes they have, and that’s allowed them to reach a higher level of play.
These are the 15 tallest soccer players in the world playing at a professional level. Notably, quite a few of these players are playing in goal, which is the one position that benefits most from height. However, some field players have also towered over their opposition.
15. Peter Crouch – 6’7″ / 201cm
- Country: England
This list of players won’t all be household names, but this guy is the exception to the rule. He has been a star performer at the highest level throughout his career, and the 40-year old just wrapped up his career after playing almost exclusively in the English Premier League.
At 6’7″tall, he not only towered over the opposition, but he is one of a few on this list who was a field player as well.
His playing style was obviously pretty unique, as he used his ability to have a great first touch on his shots and passes. Despite being very slender, he often overpowered his opponents.
Peter Crouch was an inspiration for many tall field players worldwide, showing that they can have success at the highest level.
14. Even Iversen – 6’8″ / 203cm
- Country: Norway
Height can sometimes be seen as an advantage, but for Iversen, it’s perhaps limited him in some ways. He’s never been able to be that explosive player as a defender, and that has kept him in relative security as a professional player in Norway.
He has still achieved some success, but not getting a call to bigger clubs in Europe has been a bit frustrating.
13. Lacina Traore – 6’8″ / 203cm
- Country: Ivory Coast
With a nickname like the Big Tree, it’s pretty obvious that this forward towers over most of the other players. The Ivory Coast native has 13 caps to his name for his country, but he’s mostly a club player at this point.
His most memorable stint with a top-level club came with Monaco, but he’s had a pretty lengthy career despite being 31 years of age.
Not only is he tall, but he’s a strong and powerful player who causes matchup nightmares. He can be specifically deadly inside the box, as this physicality give him an upper edge over virtually anyone.
His height gives him a particular advantage on headers, and his athleticism helps with that as well.
12. Kjell Petter Opheim – 6’8” / 203cm
- Country: Norway
The Norwegian goalkeeper has not reached the highest levels of domestic league play, but he has stayed around long enough to carve out a nice spot for himself. Now 39 years old, his prime days are behind him, but he still hopes to contribute in a few different ways.
He has long arms making it nearly impossible for goals to find the back of the net as long as he is positioned correctly.
11. Costel Pantilimon – 6’8″ / 203cm
- Country: Romania
The Romanian national team has put Costel Pantilimon in the goal for 27 matches. The 6’8 “goalkeeper has also had a good run at the club level, which is due to his height and reach.
At times, he might not look like the most athletic goalkeeper out there, but he gets the job done and gets a hand on a lot of balls. It’s clear that he is now showing his age a bit, but most feel like he has a few more solid years left in him.
10. Jason Mooney – 6’8.5″ 204cm
- Country: United Kingdom
Jason Mooney has never experienced any top-tier success as a professional player, but his height and agility in the net have kept a professional dream alive throughout his career.
He’s reached League One at the highest level, suiting up for Tranmere and making a few appearances with the club. He’s primarily a backup with them, as he’s only played in a few matches the last couple of years.
9. Yang Changpeng – 6′8.5” / 205cm
- Country: China
There are various reports out there as far as his actual height, but the Chinese soccer player has caught a lot of attention for his height as a field player. He’s even been nicknamed China’s Peter Crouch, as he is close to the same height as the English legend.
Unfortunately, other than a one-month trial with Bolton, Changpeng has never reached a high level of play. He’s currently a free agent, and it’s looking more and more like his professional career is coming to a close.
It is very hard for a player’s body to hold up as a field player at that height, so his prime appears to be a bit shorter than most.
8. Tor Hogne Aaroy – 6′8.5″ / 204cm
- Country: Norway
Tor Hogne Aaroy’s soccer career started way back in 1985, as he was a forward for a few clubs in Norway.
He spent most of his career in his home country, including 242 career appearances with Aalesund in the Norwegian First Division. He scored 90 goals during his stretch, showing his versatility up front more often than not.
7. Tonny Brogaard – 6’9″ / 206cm
- Country: Denmark
During his prime, the man known as the Gentle Giant showed quite a bit of promise. However, he was unable to really put anything together. This led to him having a fairly subpar career, despite showing so much potential and agility early on.
At 6’9 “tall and some of the longest arms ever seen in soccer, many thought that he could revolutionize the position of goalkeeper. He was never able to stay healthy enough or consistent enough to make that happen.
6. Daniel Muller – 6’9″ / 205cm
- Country: Germany
The German goalkeeper has not had an extremely memorable career, but his height helped him turn into a professional goalkeeper for a few clubs in his home country.
His height and skill attracted Bayern Munich’s attention when he was younger, but he was never able to receive consistent playing time for lower-level teams in the system. Most recently, he’s played for Augsburg II in the fourth tier of German soccer.
5. Vanja Ivesa – 6’9″ / 206cm
- Country: Croatia
Croatian goalkeeper Vondrell Ibiza is still playing professionally, despite being 44 years old. He spent a lot of time in different leagues in his own country, and he continues to find work thanks to his solid play in the goal.
He’s no longer in his prime, but he has shown that he can still get things done consistently enough to start matches.
4. Tomas Holy – 6’9″ / 206cm
- Country: Czech Republic
Just starting another year in goal for Ipswich Town in the third tier of English football, Czech goalkeeper Tomas Holy stands at 6’9″ tall.
He’s been able to be a pretty productive goalkeeper throughout his career, although he hasn’t met the expectations that some people had for him when he was younger.
Many thought he was the future goalkeeper of the Czech Republic national team, but he hasn’t represented the country since 2009 when he was on the U18 team. Still, he is making a living as a goalkeeper who can be a dominant force when he’s locked in.
3. Paul Millar – 6’10” / 208cm
- Country: Scotland
If not for some tough injuries that played this career, Paul Millar might’ve had a long time as a professional player. He spent most of his career with Elgin, a team competing in Scottish League Two.
At 6’10” tall, he was the tallest player in the league of the time and one of the tallest in the world. Once the injuries started to pile up, his speed dropped to a level that made it very difficult for him to compete.
2. Kristof Van Hout – 6’10.5″ / 208cm
- Country: Belgium
Out of all the professional players currently out there, Kristof Van Hout is the only one listed at 6’10.5″ tall right now.
The Belgian goalkeeper has been with a few teams throughout his career, but is currently with Westerlo in the Proximus League.
He’s been a fairly consistent performer in the goal for a while and had a stretch as a consistent starter about a decade ago.
1. Simon Bloch Jorgensen – 6’11” / 210cm
- Country: Denmark
The current goalkeeper for Waltham Abby FC is largely considered the tallest soccer player in the history of the game.
He’s been able to have a decent amount of success in his professional career to this point, and as he gains more experience, there’s a chance that he continues to play professionally for a while.
He made the most appearances with Frem in the Netherlands, but he has been rarely used since then.
Does Height Help or Hinder In Soccer?
When looking at the 15 players on this list, the general consensus is that most of them did not live up to expectations.
It’s a little frustrating for anyone not to get to the highest level they want to, but most would probably trade in height to a certain degree to gain a bit more athleticism. There’s always that tough balance in soccer, as being able to move around quickly plays such a huge role.
With shorter players largely dominating the field, being the tallest doesn’t seem to be all that great. It does make a difference as a goalkeeper, but maybe not being the tallest of them all.
Nevertheless, these players all have a distinction of being professional players, and getting to that level is never an easy feat. They should be commended for making it that far, despite almost always giving up some level of quickness and athleticism.
For the tallest female soccer players, check out this post.