Height in soccer can be a huge advantage, especially if you are a striker, central defender, or goalkeeper. With great height comes great rewards. However, it can also limit the mobility of a player due to their hulking stature. Nonetheless, every team requires a balance of tall players in the squad to dominate the game and get those headers in! With that in mind, let us take a look at the top 10 tallest soccer players of all time. We are compiling this list based on the contributions and impact the player had in their career at a world-class level. Therefore we won’t be including players who have never been capped at the international level.
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10. Stefan Maierhofer: Height: 6’7″
Stefan Maierhofer played for both Bayern Munich and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Yet he was never able to fully cement his place in the squad. Standing in at 6’7″ tall, Stefan eventually hopped around clubs to find more game time. However, he was able to earn a place for himself in the national team with Austria. He made 19 appearances for Austria and even scored a goal for his country. His height and international contributions earn Stefan a spot on our list of the top 10 tallest soccer players of all time
9. Zat Knight: Height: 6’6″
Zat Knight has been a Premier League regular for many years. Playing as a central defender for teams like Fulham, Aston Villa, and Bolton Wanderers, his career has been overall been quite consistent. His 2005 performance even earned him a spot on the England national team.
8. Nikola Zigic: Height: 6’7.5″
Nikola Zigic has played all over Europe for some of the top-flight clubs, and he is no stranger to a dominating style of play. Standing in at almost 6’8″ tall, Zigic used to tower over most defenders and use his height and physicality to be a target man with his back towards the goal. Additionally, Zigic used to utilize his height for set pieces. He was able to complement well another agile striker in the team to successful attempts. Nikola Zigic has also played for Serbia 57 times and even captained his side on a few occasions.
A successful and consistent career lands Nikola Zigic 8th on our list of top 10 tallest soccer players of all time.
7. Costel Pantillmon: Height: 6’8″
Once an understudy of Joe Hart at Manchester City, Costel Pantillmon was a huge shot-stopper. Hailing from Romania, Costel had a decent run in the Premier League, plying his trade at Manchester City, Sunderland, and Watford. Like most Romanians, Costel, too, was blessed with a natural height of about 6’*” tall. Which meant his height provided an added advantage when it came to shot-stopping and cover a large area to protect the goal.
Costel has 27 caps under his name for his country of Romania, and his contributions places him amongst the top 10 tallest players of all time.
6. Lacina Traore: Height: 6’8″
Lacina Traore has everything a forward can desire for. However, his god-gifted height is certainly a benediction to him. Nicknamed “The Big Tree” and “Gentle Giant” owing to his 6’8″ stature, Lacina Traore has played in top-flight football with Monaco and Everton. However, the Ivory Coast forward isn’t only reliant on his benedictory height. Traore is a technically sound footballer whose play style compliments the smooth skills and passing aspects of the game. He has played for his country 13 times and has scored 4 goals. Currently, he is playing in the Portuguese club Varzim S.C, and he places 6th on our list.
5. Asmir Begovic: Height: 6’6″
The Bosnian Asmir Begovic has been a staple in the Premier League for quite some time. Currently playing for Everton, Begovic, at 6’6″ is quite the reliable stopper that teams might wish for. His hulking stature does not limit his reaction time, and has made a name for himself in the Premier League as a consistent performer and, at one time, was even considered one o the best in the league. With Bosnia and Herzegovina, he has made an impressive 63 appearances throughout his career and was even awarded the Bosnian Footballer of the Year in 2012. Begovic places 5th on our list of the top 10 tallest soccer players of all time.
4. Per Mertesacker: Height: 6’6″
Per Mertesacker was a beast at defending. Towering, imposing, and commanding. Mertesacker’s no-nonsense style of play was mainly due to his towering figure. An excellent header of the ball and his impeccable use of standing tackles were a joy to watch. An Arsenal legend in his own right, Mertesacker was a leader on and off the pitch, even without the armband at times. However, his Achilles heel was his pace. Mertesacker was notoriously slow o and off the ball. Nonetheless, his impressive defensive capabilities would outshine those drawbacks.
Mertesacker also has 104 national team appearances with Germany. A club legend and leader, Mertesacker dominates his way at 4th on our list.
3. Thibaut Courtois: Height: 6’6″
The Real Madrid keeper at 6’6″ is one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. A short stint at Atletico Madrid, followed by a career-defining stay at Chelsea and now at Real Madrid. Thibaut Courtois is certainly one of the best players on our list. Our justification for placing him 3rd is solely because of his height. His achievements speak for themselves. Even with the Belgian national team. Courtois has capped 94 appearances till now, and he is the first-choice goalkeeper for both his country and club.
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2. Peter Crouch: Height: 6’7″
When we sat down to make this list, the only person who popped up in our mind was Peter Crouch. The former England forward has been known for his impressive 6’7″ height. With a keen eye for goal and first touch to die for, Peter Crouch is a Premier League legend. He has played for teams like Liverpool, Aston Villa, Southampton, and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was also known for his towering headers and acrobatic goal finishes, which, to be honest, never ceases to be amazing. Boasting an impressive 22 international goal record in 42 appearances, Peter Crouch certainly has the credentials to boost him to 2nd place on our list.
1. Jan Koller: Height: 6’7.5″
Finally, Jan Koller leads our list with a 6’7.5″ stature. Owing to his height, Koller was an excellent header of the ball. Having played in teams like Borussia Dortmund, Anderlecht, and Monaco, Koller became a household name for the Czech Republic. Koller has been capped an impressive 92 times. Even more impressive is his goal-scoring record of 55 goals, making him Czech’s leading goal scorer of all time.