You have to be at least 6 feet and 4 and a ½ inches tall when rounded to the nearest half an inch to qualify. Players just slightly too short to feature, then, include the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Vincent Kompany and Edin Dzeko. We have excluded goalkeepers from the main seven.
Here are our 7 best tall footballers over 6’4”
7. Joel Matip - 6 feet 5 inches
For those of you who prefer metric measurements to imperial, 194 cm is tall enough to qualify for this seven, whilst 193 cm is too short. Joel Matip, who stands at 6’5”, is 195 cm tall, and subsequently qualifies comfortably. That being said, we do consider him to be by far the weakest player in this seven. We were pretty happy with our top six, but anyone from Federico Fazio, Chris Smalling, Marouane Fellaini or even Per Mertesacker could be in contention for seventh. In the end, we went with Joel Matip, who was formerly the best of a bad bunch among Liverpool centre-backs, and has recently looked more settled when deputised alongside Virgil van Dijk.
6. Niklas Sule - 6 feet 5 inches
Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich is pictured during the Bayern Muenchen Training session held at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium on November 21, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. R.S.C. Anderlecht...
Not yet a big name outside of Germany, Niklas Sule is also a 6 foot 5 inch centre-back. Aged only 22, Sule has already won 9 caps in a very strong German national team, and he racked up more than 100 appearances for Hoffenheim, before making an £18 million move to Bayern Munich. Strong, solid and brilliant in the air, Bayern have excellent first team centre-backs in Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels, but Sule has made 38 appearances for the club in all competitions in his first season at the Allianz Arena. He has enormous potential and thoroughly deserves a place in this seven.
5. Naldo - 6 feet 6 inches
The tallest player in this seven, centre-backs seem to be the flavour of the month, and Naldo is another who is familiar with the Bundesliga. He may be 35 now, but the former Brazilian international is still the standout defender in Schalke’s backline. Formerly of Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen, Naldo is an intelligent defender who is a force of nature in the air. As well as being a rock at the back, he has a very creditable 70 career club goals to his name, which is more than Victor Anichebe.
4. Nemanja Matic - 6 feet 4 ½ inches
Nemanja Matic of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at Amex Stadium on May 4, 2018 in Brighton, England.
A hard working and intelligent defensive midfielder, Nemanja Matic is a classic case of a big lad who is good with his feet. Matic really started making waves for the first time in his career whilst he was at Benfica, producing form which prompted Chelsea to re-sign him for £21 million. In his first full season at the Bridge under Jose Mourinho, Matic was absolutely brilliant, acting as a key cog in a Chelsea machine which waltzed its way to the Premier League title. His next couple of seasons weren’t as impressive, but it still came as some shock when the Blues sold him to domestic rivals Manchester United for £35 million last summer.
3. Kalidou Koulibaly - 6 feet 5 inches
There seems to be some debate over the height of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, which is unusual for such a high-profile player, but we’re sticking with our sources who have him at 195 cm, or 6’5”. At the heart of the defence in a Napoli side which has rivalled Juventus for the Serie A title this season, Koulibaly is a wonderfully complete centre-back. As well as being a real unit with tremendous strength and good pace, he is also an intelligent defender who’s relatively tidy on the ball and comfortable picking passes from the back. Probably one of the best defenders in Europe this season, he makes our top three.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 6 feet 5 inches
Zlatan Ibrahimovic #9 of Los Angeles Galaxy reacts as his goal is called off after an offside during the second half of a 3-2 Red Bulls win at StubHub Center on April 28, 2018 in Carson,...
The most difficult player to judge in this seven, Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t really do much for Manchester United after returning from injury, and you can debate the quality of the MLS until the cows come home. Clearly, at the age of 36, Ibrahimovic is on the decline, and nowhere near the player he was even three years ago. Similarly, however, his game has never been one overly reliant on pace, and he’s shown in his first few games in the States that his touch, finishing and sheer audacity certainly haven’t deserted him. Zlatan is a tremendously gifted footballer who is technically brilliant, ruthless in the air and highly effective in front of goal. He has scored 424 goals in 735 games at club level, but won’t be at this summer's World Cup.
1. Gerard Pique - 6 feet 4 ½ inches
Only just tall enough to qualify for this seven, once he was eligible, there was only going to be one winner. A regular in a world class Barcelona side for almost a decade now, during which time he has racked up more than 400 appearances, Gerard Pique is among the best centre-backs in the world. A ball-playing centre-back with better technique, vision and passing than most attacking midfielders, Pique stands at over 6 feet and 4 inches. A World Cup and European Championships winner, who has won four Champions Leagues and 25 other trophies, Pique has been named in the FIFPro World XI four times.
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