Football

Top 5: Tallest Premier League players

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Pantilimon is Manchester City's back-up goalkeeper (©GettyImages)
Pantilimon is Manchester City's back-up goalkeeper (©GettyImages).

For those footballers blessed with great height, a career blighted by cliche is likely to come as standard.

Rangy-limbed entertainers often find themselves the subject of patronising praise - "good touch for a big man," the most frequently cited, while many register their surprise when gangly keepers drop to the floor to pull off a save, "got down to that well," an all-to-common refrain.

Physical extremes often promote lazy generalisations. Tall strikers are expected to be good in the air, pacy wingers are almost universally wasteful in the final third, while wafer-thin continental breakfast-eating playmakers are unsuited to the hurly-burly English game.

Liverpool have this week been linked with Lacina Traore - a striker of mountainous proportions who presence on the pitch is often greeted by a litiny of such declarations. At 6ft 8in, Traore would share the title of the Premier League's tallest player, and along with Peter Crouch, he would share the anti-big man bias.

The name Traore has garnered cultish status at Anfield, the blundering Djimi Traore a figure gone but not forgotten by the Liverpool faithful.

With a move reportedly under discussion for next season, GMF examines the players Lacina could be looking down upon in the Premier League next season.

Costel Pantilimon - Manchester City - 6ft 8in

A chief rival for the title of world's tallest player Manchester City's back-up keeper stands an impressive 6ft 8in - the exact same height as Traore.

Currently the tallest player in the Premier League, the Romanian international would be forced to share that crown should Traore join the English top flight.

Peter Crouch - Stoke City - 6ft 7in

From figure of fun to feared Premier League frontman, Peter Crouch has developed into one of the most consistent English strikers.

At 6ft 7in, Crouch is one of the tallest players ever to play for England, and the former-Spurs striker has an excellent record for his country - 22 goals in 42 caps.

Brede Hangeland - Fulham - 6ft 6 1/2in

The Norwegian international has proven to be an exceptional Premier League defender, and at 6ft 6 1/2in, Hangeland only concedes a height advantage to Crouch when marking.

Since joining Fulham in 2008, the USA-born defender has made more than 150 Premier League appearances, and has often been linked with a move to one of Europe's top clubs.

Per Mertesacker - Arsenal - 6ft 6in

The Germany international stands at 6ft 6in with a straight back, making the 28-year-old one of the game's tallest players.

Dubbed "the defence pole" by fans in the Bundesliga, Mertesacker moved to the Premier League with Arsenal last summer. And after a shaky start - his slow-motion, limb-flailing trips to the turf often resembled a spider being flushed down the toilet - Mertesacker has now established himself as a top defender.

Petr Cech - Chelsea - 6ft 5in

The 30-year-old Chelsea goalkeeper squeezes into the top five at 6ft 5in - one of a number of players at that height - but Cech gets the nod.

The Czech Republic shot-stopper has been one of the most consistently excellent players in the English top flight since signing from Rennes in 2008.

Outside the Premier League there are even taller players, and at 6ft 10in, Kristof Van Hout is the world's tallest. The 25-year-old goalkeeper currently plays for Belgian first division side Genk, and by all accounts is a pretty imposing prescene between the sticks.

As for the world's tallest outfield player, that would be another northern European. Norwegian striker Tor Hogne Aaroy at 6ft 8 1/2in. The former-Rosenborg forward was prolific for Norwegian second tier outfit Aalesund, earning a move to Japan to play for JEF United in the J League Division 2.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
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