/ why are the best footballers so short..?
Maradona, puskas, pele, gerd muller, jimmy Johnson, George best, romario, xavi, iniesta and messi are all the short side of 5'9"
Presumably its to do with a low centre of gravity allowing rapid shifts in direction and close control
Does the British tendency to focus on physical attributes like height and strength put us at a disadvantage in international competitions? Leading to our lumbering trolls in defence having rings run round them...?
(Especially in Scotland, where we aren't exactly a nation of giants...)
> Does the British tendency to focus on physical attributes like height and strength put us at a disadvantage in international competitions?
You might be right. From experience, being tall, however fit and strong a 6+ footer gets, they won't ever be as manoeuvrable or as stable as a 5-footer.
...not forgetting Cristiano Ronaldo, a well built 6 footer with close control and the ability to shift direction that compares with any of the players mentioned in the OP.
Neither is Pele, at 5'8" average height for his time and quite possibly above average for his country?
> ...not forgetting Cristiano Ronaldo, a well built 6 footer with close control and the ability to shift direction that compares with any of the players mentioned in the OP.
I wonder what the trend on average is?
At one point Brazils teams where small and not strong. After one world cup where they where dominated physically the Brazilian FA decided to focus on strength and size of the players.
If you look at the players they have now, they are generally a lot bigger and stronger than 10 -15 years ago. And they are still awesome.
Strength can only be a benefit. The problem in England is that skill is not encouraged or promoted. In brazil they play with a smaller ball from a young age which requires more control. Also footsal is popular which requires lots of skill. Plenty of the top players of recent years played footsal such as Robinio, Ronaldiniho and I would guess some others as well.
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