Whether it be Thibaut Courtois at 6’6, or Fraser Forster at 6’7, there are some truly giant goalkeepers in world football right now. Being vertically well-endowed has its natural advantages for a goalkeeper, and the average number one is said to measure in at 6’2” tall.
Legendary Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos won 130 caps for his country despite standing at just 5’6, meanwhile František Plánička managed to become an all time great despite only being 5’8.
These are very much exceptions to the rule though, and as far as I’m aware, there are no current Premier League goalkeepers under six foot tall. Now, since some people will be more familiar with metric units than imperial, six foot is equivalent to 182.88 cm, so any goalkeeper who is under that height will be eligible for this seven.
Here are the 7 best goalkeepers in the world under 6 foot:
7. Edgar Badia
We start this seven in Spain with a former Spanish youth international who has since won two unofficial caps for the Catalonia national team. Born in Barcelona and a graduate of the Espanyol academy, Edgar Badia is a talented goalkeeper with sharp reflexes. Following four years playing in Catalonia with Reus, Badia joined Elche in the summer of 2019. He stands at 181cm tall, so five-foot-and-eleven-and-a-half-inches, thus making him just eligible for this seven.
6. Sergio Alvarez
Staying in Spain for sixth place, Sergio Alvarez is an even shorter goalkeeper than Edgar Badia, yet he plays in the division above the Elche number one. Alvarez is just 179cm tall, or 5’10”, which is very short for a goalkeeper these days. The 33-year-old makes up for his lack of height through his impressive instinctive saves, as well as his good distribution. Alvarez has spent his entire career with Celta Vigo, barring a brief loan move more than a decade ago, racking up more than 200 appearances for the La Liga side.
5. Jordi Masip
It would be fair to say Spain appears to be the place to go if you are someone who likes to look out for short goalkeepers, and Jordi Masip is among the finest of that breed. Like Badia, Masip was born in Catalonia, and he made 79 appearances for Barca B and 4 for the Barcelona first team. The former Spanish under-17 international left Barca for his current club Real Valladolid, who are owned by former Barca star Ronaldo, in 2017. He has been the regular number one ever since, racking up more than 100 appearances for the La Liga side in just two-and-a-half seasons. Masip stands at 180cm tall, which is equivalent to 5’11”.
4. Itumeleng Khune
Our first departure from Spain brings us to arguably the most high-profile inclusion in this seven, and I suspect a fair few of you will be familiar with Itumeleng Khune. A Kaizer Chiefs legend, Khune has spent his entire 16 year career with the South African outfit, in addition to winning 89 caps for Bafana Bafana. That puts him third in South Africa’s all time appearance charts, and he ranks fifth in Kaizer Chiefs all time rankings as well. At the peak of his powers, Khune would have topped this seven, but he has been on the decline arguably since 2014. He’s still a gifted goalkeeper with magnificent distribution, and at 5’11, or 181cm, he has to feature.
3. Aitor Fernandez
The joint tallest goalkeeper in this seven, Aitor Fernandez is 182cm tall, meaning he is just millimetres off being six foot. Nevertheless, he isn’t six foot, and as a result he is good value for a bronze medal in this seven. Yet another Spaniard, Fernandez is a well-rounded shot stopper who currently plays for La Liga side Levante. Aged 28, the former Numancia man has done a very good job at Levante, and he signed a new deal with the club which included a €25 million release clause in November.
2. Marcelo Barovero
There are some sources which claim that Marcelo Barovero is six foot tall, but the ones I trust best put him down at 182cm, thus making him the joint tallest goalkeeper in this seven, but eligible nonetheless. The veteran Argentine goalkeeper who currently plays in Mexico has had an excellent career, winning trophies with the likes of Velez, River Plate, and now with Monterrey. A commanding figure between the sticks despite not being the tallest, Barovero inspires confidence in his backline, and the 35-year-old can consider himself unfortunate never to have received a call-up from Argentina.
1. Wuilker Farinez
It was a tight call between Marcelo Barovero and Wuilker Farinez for top spot, but one is a 35-year-old who is unlikely to get any better, meanwhile the other is a 21-year-old very much still on the rise. Wuilker Farinez is among the most exciting young goalkeepers in South America, already capped 22 times by Venezuela and the number one for Colombian giants Millonarios. He inspired Venezuela’s under-20s to the final of the 2017 under-20 World Cup, also becoming the first goalkeeper to score in the competition. Alert and acrobatic, Farinez already has an incredible amount of experience for a 21-year-old goalkeeper, and he will have set his sights high. There may be some European sides but off him given his size, just 178cm or 5’10” tall, but there will come a time when he can no longer be ignored.