I am an electrical engineer and a passionate sports fan. Soccer is one of my particular favorites.
The importance of height cannot be overlooked in goalkeeping. It's not a coincidence that the average height of goalkeepers in the biggest football leagues in the world hovers around 6'2". Tall goalies have long reach, allowing them to make very critical saves; these can be the defining moments of a match. They also possess a sort of presence that can be intimidating to strikers. Very tall individuals can give the illusion of covering the entire goal area when faced in a one-on-one situation.
Even though height has its advantages in goalkeeping, it presents its own problems when it gets to the extremities. Extremely tall players are usually less coordinated, weak, and have very poor reflexes. These are undesirable traits in goalkeeping. This is the reason it's hard to find elite goalies over 6'7" in most of the major football leagues. Therefore, most of the goalkeepers on this list might be unknown even to hardcore football fans.
Who Are the Tallest Goalkeepers in Soccer?
- Simon Bloch Jørgensen: 2.10 m or 6 ft 10.5 in
- Kristof Van Hout: 2.08 m or 6 ft 10 in
- Tonny Brogaard: 2.06 m or 6 ft 9 in
- Tomáš Holý: 2.06 m or 6 ft 9 in
- Vanja Ivesa: 2.05 m or 6 ft 9 in
- Daniel Müller: 2.05 m or 6 ft 9 in
- Jason Mooney: 2.04 m or 6 ft 8.5 in
- Costel Pantilimon: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in
- Kjell Petter Opheim: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in
- Aaron Chapman: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in
- Vanja Milinković-Savić: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in
- Paolo Domenico Acerbis: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in
- Zeljko Kalac: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in
- Lazar Jovisić: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in
- Demba Thiam: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in
15. Demba Thiam (Height: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in)
Demba Thiam is a young and relatively unknown goalkeeper who hails from one of the best soccer nations in Africa and one of the few African countries to make it to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup, Senegal. He currently plays for S.P.A.L in Serie A and is one of the tallest footballers to come out of Senegal.
14. Lazar Jovisić (Height: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in)
The Serbians are known to produce tall players like Nikola Zigic and so it comes as no surprise that one of the tallest goalkeepers in the world hails from this region. Lazar Jovisić started his career at FK Jedinstvo Stara Pazova where he did very well catching the attention of Serbian SuperLiga side FK Borac Čačak. However, he didn’t get any playing time at FK Borac Čačak and so he joined Portuguese Primeira Liga side C.D. Nacional. He then made a series of moves and eventually ended up returning to his home country to play for FK Jedinstvo Stara Pazova. He currently plays for Inđija in the Serbian First League.
13. Zeljko Kalac (Height: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in)
Zeljko Kalac goes by the nickname of Spider due to his tall, gangly 6'7.5" frame. He is currently retired and was one of the tallest soccer players of his time. He played for successful clubs like AC Milan and Leicester City. However, he didn’t enjoy much playing time at these clubs. At Leicester City, he only made three first-team appearances. He made two UEFA Champions League appearances for Milan and also played in the Coppa Italia tournament.
12. Paolo Domenico Acerbis (Height: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in)
Paolo Acerbis is a relatively unknown goalkeeper from Italy despite standing at a commanding height of 6'7.5". He started his career with AlbinoLeffe and performed well there retaining his position as their first-choice goalkeeper for many years. He then moved to Triestina but could only make it as their third-choice goalkeeper. From the period of 2008 to 2012, he played for football clubs like Grosseto, Catania, and Vicenza. He is currently not signed to any club.
11. Vanja Milinković-Savić (Height: 2.02 m or 6 ft 7.5 in)
Vanja Milinković-Savić currently plays for Italian club S.P.A.L in Serie A. He is on loan from Torino FC. He is from Serbia, and hence it’s no surprise where he gets his height from. He has also competed for the Serbia under-21 football team and was part of the Serbia team that won the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. He was released by Manchester United in 2015 after failing to be awarded a UK work permit and signed a contract with Lechia Gdańsk.
10. Aaron Chapman (Height: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in)
Aaron Chapman hails from England and plays as a goalkeeper for Peterborough United. He signed with Chesterfield in the summer of 2013 but spent the second half of the season on loan at Chester. Chapman joined Accrington Stanley on a two-month loan deal in 2014; he only played three games for them due to an injury. In 2015, he joined Bristol Rovers on a one-month loan deal in an attempt to get back in shape following his injury. Chapman joined Peterborough United in 2018.
9. Kjell Petter Opheim (Height: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in)
This retired Norwegian goalkeeper will dwarf most players in the big leagues. He is a whopping five inches taller than the average premier league goalkeeper who stands at 6’3”. He ended his career in 2009 with Stryn Football, a third-tier league team from Norway. Opheim has also played for other clubs in Norway such as two-time Norwegian Premier League winners Lyn Football and the 1983 Norwegian Cup winners Moss FK.
8. Costel Pantilimon (Height: 2.03 m or 6 ft 8 in)
This man needs no introduction to fans of the EPL. Costel Pantlimon currently plays for Nottingham Forest and was the tallest player when he was in the Premier League. He was acquired by Manchester City as a backup goalkeeper for Joe Hart. He performed greatly in the 2013–14 League Cup which Manchester City went ahead to win. He also spent one and a half seasons with Sunderland. Pantilimon regularly plays for the Romanian National team and is remembered for his remarkable performance against France in the Euro 2012 qualifiers where he kept a clean sheet and helped his team defeat France 2-0.
7. Jason Mooney (Height: 2.04 m or 6 ft 8.5 in)
Jason Mooney is a Northern Irish goalkeeper who plays for Cliftonville in the NIFL Premiership. He has been unable to rise into the big leagues as a player and has mostly played for clubs in the English Lower Leagues like York City, Accrington Stanley, Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford City, Alfreton, and Tranmere Rovers. At 6'8.5", Mooney is one of the tallest players in the UK.
6. Daniel Müller (Height: 2.05 m or 6 ft 9 in)
Daniel Müller is a German goalkeeper who has had some brief spells with Bayern Munich. Unfortunately, he never made a first-team appearance for the most successful club in German football history. Müller was at Augsburg briefly but was unable to secure a place as a first-choice goalkeeper. He also played for the relatively unknown SV Seligenporten with the hope of getting more playing time. His most recent appearances were for FC Augsburg II, a team in the fourth tier of the German league system. At 6-foot-9, he towers over current Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is a giant in his own right.
5. Vanja Ivesa (Height: 2.05 m or 6 ft 9 in)
Vanja Ivesa is a veteran goalkeeper who has spent most of his career in his native Croatia. At 6’9”, he is one of the tallest goalkeepers to come out of Croatia. He began his career with NK Istra and later moved to Australia where he played for Sydney United. He spent 3 years in the Turkish second division after which he returned to play again in Croatia. He currently plays for Istra 1961.
4. Tomáš Holý (Height: 2.06 m or 6 ft 9 in)
Tomáš Holý is a Czech professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for League One club Gillingham. Holý made his career league debut for AC Sparta Prague B on 11 June 2011 in a Czech 2. Liga 1–2 home loss against FK Varnsdorf. During his time with the club, he was loaned to Czech sides Graffin Vlašim, Viktoria Žižkov and Fastav Zlín. Holý signed a two and a half year contract with EFL League One side Gillingham on 20 January 2017. He made his debut for the side on 25 March 2017 in the home 0–1 loss to Peterborough United.
3. Tonny Brogaard (Height: 2.06 m or 6 ft 9 in)
Tonny Brogaard hasn’t enjoyed much success as a professional goalkeeper. The 6’9” Dane has had trouble making it as a first-choice goalkeeper at most of the teams he has been to. He was acquired by the English club Doncaster Rovers but didn’t find much playing time there. He last played for his boyhood team of Frem in the Danish third division. Brogaard goes by the nickname of The Gentle Giant due to his calm demeanor.
2. Kristof Van Hout (Height: 2.08 m or 6 ft 10 in)
This legit giant from Belgium is the joint second tallest footballer in the game along with Paul Millar. Both stand at six feet and 10 inches (2.08m). He is a very intimidating goalkeeper and is very good at aerial balls as one would expect. The most reputable club Hout has played for is Belgian giants Standard Liege, who have won the Belgian League an impressive 10 times. He currently plays for Belgian Pro League side KVC Westerlo. His only trophy as a player came from when he won the Belgian Cup with Genk in 2013.
1. Simon Bloch Jørgensen (Height: 2.10 m or 6 ft 10.5 in)
The tallest player in football and the tallest goalkeeper in the world is Simon Bloch Jorgensen who stands at a remarkable 2.10 m or six ft and 10.5 in. He is a Danish goalkeeper who spent his early career with Frem, FC Copenhagen, B.93, and B.1908. He has also played for clubs like Accrington Stanley and Whitehawk.
Other Soccer Height Facts
Who Is the Shortest Goalkeeper?
The title of shortest goalie goes to Pedro Manuel Benítez Arpolda. The Paraguayan player stood at 1.66 m or 5'5". He competed in the 1930 World Cup for Paraguay as well as in the Argentinian First League. You can check out this article for other short goalkeepers.
Who Is the Tallest Goalkeeper Ever?
The crown of tallest goalie ever belongs to Kristof Van Hout. He stands at 2.08 m or 6'10". Van Hout is a Belgian player who currently competes for Westerlo in the Belgian Pro League. He won the Belgian Cup in the 2012–13 season while playing for Genk.
Who Is the Tallest Football Player?
Kristof Van Hout shares the title of tallest soccer player with Paul Millar, who stands at the same height. He is a forward who last played for Deveronvale in the Highland Football League.
Who Is the Tallest Goalkeeper in the Premier League?
The award of tallest goalie in the Premier League currently goes to Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper for Southampton stands at 2.01 m or 6'7". Right behind him are the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Asmir Begovic, and Maarten Stekelenburg. All three of these goalies stand at 1.99 m or 6'6". However, the record for tallest goalkeeper of all time in the Premier League may go to the previously mentioned Costel Pantilimon, who previously played for Watford.
Who Is the Tallest Goalkeeper in the 2018 World Cup?
The most recent World Cup in Russia saw Lovre Kalinić compete as a goalkeeper for Croatia. At 2.01 m or 6'7", Kalinić was actually the tallest player in the tournament. Croatia did well as they made it to the finals where they were defeated by France in a very competitive match.
Questions & Answers
Question: What is the height of some famous goalkeepers?
Answer: 1. Gianluigi Buffon: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
2. Thibaut Courtois: 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)
3. Manuel Neuer: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
4. Iker Casillas: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
5. David de Gea: 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)
6. Hugo Lloris: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
7. Petr Čech: 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
8. Keylor Navas: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
9. Marc-André ter Stegen: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
10. Peter Schmeichel: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
11. Edwin van der Sar: 1.97 m (6 ft 5 1⁄2 in)
12. Lew Iwanowitsch Jaschin: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
13. José Luis Chilavert: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
14. Oliver Kahn: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
15. Tim Howard: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
16. Dino Zoff: 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
17. Jan Oblak: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
18. Peter Shilton: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
19. Alisson Becker: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
20. Samir Handanović: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Question: Can you name some of the tallest goalkeepers to ever play in the Premier League?
Answer: 1. Costel Pantilimon: 6 ft 8 in or 2.03 m
2. Fraser Forster: 6 ft 7 in or 2.01 m
3. Thibaut Courtois: 6 ft 6 in or 1.99 m
4. Asmir Begović: 6 ft 6 in or 1.99 m
5. Kostas Chalkias: 6 ft 6 in or 1.99 m
6. Wayne Hennessey: 6 ft 6 in or 1.98 m
7. Edwin van der Sar: 6 ft 5 1⁄2 in or 1.97 m
8. Petr Čech: 6 ft 5 in or 1.96 m
9. Joe Hart: 6 ft 5 in or 1.96 m
© 2017 Charles Nuamah