10 Tallest Football Players - Hitting the Woodwork… With Their Heads

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 18.3.2024.


Not even 198 cm is tall enough to get you into the top 10 tallest players in Europe’s best five leagues! That's how much the standard for height has grown in the elite echelons of football.

While the claim that football is the most egalitarian sport is usually backed by listing all the shortest players who made it big, the opposite side of the spectrum illustrates the same. Formerly disregarded by the coaches and scouts as being too gangly and unwieldy for top-level football, the times are different now.

Peter Crouch remains the most well-known significantly tall player, yet a few of these tallest current players can make the tall men a standard in the game. Stealing away further talent from basketball and volleyball.

We are ranking only active players from Serie A, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1, with at least one appearance in said leagues.

If the players are measured equally by centimetres, the one with more appearances in the top five leagues is ranked higher.

While it wouldn’t be foolish to expect only goalkeepers in the list of the top 10 tallest players in the top five leagues, the lanky players come from around the pitch. Even the tallest player comes from the outfield.

#12 Aaron Seydel (Darmstadt/Germany) - 199 cm, CF, 16 games in the top five leagues

Aged 28, Aaron Seydel is finally playing in the top German division again. The striker made six appearances in the Bundesliga 2016/2017 season with Mainz and is now back in it with Darmstadt. In total, his 16 matches overall in the league resulted in two goals, neither of them headers. Seydel showed more promise early in his career, with four appearances for Germany's U21 team, with as many goals. Yet the majority of his career was spent in 2. Bundesliga.

#11 Milan Djuric (Monza/Bosnia and Herzegovina) - 199 cm, CF, 117 games in the top five leagues

Milan Djuric

While tall outfield players always have to face some sceptical looks, strikers have it the easiest of them all. The target-man role has been a constant for the number nine position and Milan Djuric is a representative of it. With 199 cm of height, the 33-year-old has been consistent in Serie A through the years. Collecting 117 appearances and returning 13 goals and 11 assists. His best return was at Salernitana where in 33 games he had 10 goal involvements (5G/5A). For Hellas Verona, Cesena, and his current side the centre-forward hasn't been as successful. Yet his usefulness goes beyond direct goals, otherwise he wouldn't get employed.

Djuric played 280 games in Serie B, scoring 57 times and making 19 assists. England's is not unfamiliar to him too, with 27 games for Bristol City in the Championship (5G/2A). For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the now internationally retired player scored seven goals in 15 games.

#10 Marcin Bulka (Nice/Poland) - 199 cm, GK, 31 games in the top five leagues

Lens - PSG (10-09-2020) 2.jpg
By Supporterhéninois - Own work, CC0, Link

With Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain both in his CV, Marcin Bulka has bragging rights no other tall players could match. Although the player who arrived to London as a youth player didn't make a debut for CFC as a senior. But for PSG he did play in two games, and alongside 29 matches for Nice that comprises his experience in the top five leagues. The 24-year-old Bulka is to inherit the Polish #1 shirt after Wojciech Szczesny retires. So far, he has grabbed only his debut cap.

#9 Sasa Kalajdzic (Eintracht Frankfurt/Austria) - 200 cm, CF, 68 games in the top five leagues

Sasa kalajdzic.jpg
By Jeollo von VfB-exklusiv.de - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

While his €18,000,000 transfer to Wolverhampton in 2022 didn't result in success, the tall 26-year-old striker still has an impressive record in the Bundesliga. For Stuttgart, the Austria international scored 22 goals and made 11 assists in 51 games. Now in his loan to Eintracht Frankfurt, Sasa recorded two assists in just five matches. With his record for Austria slacking a bit compared to other national team big men - only four goals in 19 games.

As we established, being the tallest is not required to be a great scorer of headers in the Premier League.

#8 Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/Belgium) - 200 cm, GK, 403 games in the top five leagues

Thibaut Courtois

Certainly the biggest name and the best player out of all the tall footballers. Thibaut Courtois has had a stellar career and is still young for a goalkeeper at 31. With 583 club career games in total, he has kept his net intact 239 times. Playing in two of the five top leagues, La Liga and the Premier League, winning the first three times with two clubs and triumphing in the other twice. For Real Madrid, he played in 166 league matches, 111 for Atleti, and 126 for Chelsea. Courtois has been amazing for Belgium too, keeping his net completely safe in exactly half of the 102 games he played in.

#7 Lorenzo Lucca (Udinese/Italy) - 201 cm, CF, 29 games in the top five leagues

Lorenzo Lucca

While his compatriots are numerous amongst the shortest players in the top five leagues, Lorenzo Lucca is an imposing figure as any. Already a nomadic striker who changed multiple clubs even in his youth career, the Italian went on to Ajax before returning to it via Udinese on a loan. Luca is bound to stay as in his debut Serie A season he has 10 goal involvements in 29 games (7G/3A). Two of these seven strikes have been headers. An invitation for the Azzurri squad is impending as the still current European champions are lacking in that department.

#6 Fraser Forster (Tottenham Hotspur) - 201 cm, GK, 148 games in the top five leagues

Fraser Forster.png
By Marcin Koral - link, CC BY 2.5, Link

The 36-year-old goalie has managed to have a long career despite being so tall and having to fly through the air to save shots. In his total 470 club career games, the Englishman has recorded 205 clean sheets. Now a reserve at Tottenham, he has played 148 Premier League games, most of them for Southampton (134). He has made his biggest mark at Celtic, with 234 games, four titles and four cups. Forster still managed to get only six caps for England.

#5 Dan Burn (Newcastle United) - 201 cm, LB, 160 games in the top five leagues

Dan Burn

Of all the inclusions on this list of tallest elite players, Dan Burn has had the most peculiar position. Usually, left-backs are pacey, which is hard to be as a 201 cm-tall player. While he has played as a centre-back more at this point in his career, for his current side he is more often employed on the flank. Burn has represented NUFC, Brighton, and Fulham in the Premier League, reaching 160 appearances in the most popular league.

#4 Massamba N'Diaye (Clermont Foot 63/Senegal) - 202 cm, GK, 2 games in the top five leagues

Aged 22, Massamba N'Diaye has a lot of time to improve on his record in the top five leagues. So far it amounts to 180 minutes in Ligue 1 for Clermont Foot, a side he joined in the summer of 2023 for €500,000. Overall, N'Diaye has only 15 appearances in first-team football, yet he already got his bit of recognition due to his stature.

#3 Skelly Alvero (Werder/France) - 202 cm, CM, 13 games in the top five leagues

On loan with Werder Bremen from Olympique Lyon, Skelly Alvero is a rare significantly tall player that operates in the middle of the pitch. The young 21-year-old represented the French Ligue 1 side in the competition eight times, scoring once. While his loan to the German club has resulted in five appearances and one goal, a little over a month in. In the summer of 2023, Lyon paid €4,000,000 to Sochaux for the 2player who should disable the opponent's goalkeepers from sending long balls forward.

#2 Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino/Serbia) - 202 cm, GK, 101 games in the top five leagues

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic

Even though he is a goalie over 2 metres tall, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic is also known for his excellent foot technique. It runs in the family, as his brother Sergej is still one of the most skilled midfielders today, move to Arabia can't deny that. Vanja has been making a name for himself in Italy however, with 101 games in Serie A already, two for SPAL and the rest for his current side Torino. Vanja has kept his net intact on roughly a third of those matches - 31. Representing Serbia, he has collected 18 caps and made the starting spot in a competition of five goalkeepers all representing the top five league clubs.

#1 Isaak Toure (Lorient/France) - 206 cm, CB, 43 games in the top five leagues

Winning by a margin of four centimetres, Isaak Toure is still only 20 and could get even taller! Having an €8,000,000 transfer fee attached to his name already showcases that he is not a gimmick squad member. As do 43 appearances in Ligue 1, for three different clubs - Auxerre, Marseille, and Lorient. With two goals scored as well - both with his left foot, the CB is facing the limelight well. Considering he is left-footed and this tall, scouts from England are certainly looking into the unique player, the tallest footballer in the top leagues.

Looking back on this list of tallest players in the top five leagues, we can note that only five of the 12 are goalkeepers. While the tall outfield players can be usually found in the opponent’s box. Also, worth noting, is that of the 12, three have Serbian origin, which makes sense considering that their national team usually tops the average height list at tournaments they are involved in.



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