I am 17. I used to play baseball in my school club but now I wanna change my sport and join a football club to become a goalkeeper.


2 Answers 2


Anyone can become a goalkeeper, but if you are talking about going on to play professionally then just take a look at some stats.

Brian Holt is currently the shortest goalkeeper in the MLS, at a height of 5'8" (172cm)

The shortest goalkeepers in the English Premier League (Michael Vorn/Mike Bunn) are 6'0" (183cm)

The shortest goalkeeper in the 2014 World Cup was Ivory Coast's Boubacar Barry at 5'11 (180cm)

So you can see that the top leagues/competitions are dominated by taller goalkeepers, and this is simply because the taller they are, the longer reach they have and the better chance they have of keeping shots out. This also commonly applies to central defenders since they have a greater chance of winning headers.

A shorter player would be best suited in a winger role, like Emanuele Giaccherini (5'6", 167cm) or Aaron Lennon (5'5", 165cm).

Lionel Messi and Sebastian Giovinco play as forwards and are 5'7" (170cm)

  • 4
    I would add on that if you really want to be a goalkeeper, you could look at arena/indoor football. The goals are smaller, so the height disadvantage may not be as big of an issue.
    – Duncan
    Mar 20, 2015 at 20:15

Your height will be a detriment to you being a goal keeper. Your wingspan is probably a bigger indicator to whether you will have success though. If your wingspan is 6'6" then you are much better off.

Given the main attributes of a goalie covering a goal (as most other goalie attributes would be outside the realm of height):

  1. cover a fixed area (based on height and wingspan)
  2. ability to move that fixed area (speed/quickness)
  3. ability to anticipate where to move faster
  4. ability to cover passes of a certain height

So you are already at a huge disadvantage to your 6'4" counterpart for #1. I am going to assume that a shorter person would be quicker or more agile. Maybe not by a lot but generally a little quicker since it is easier to move 150 pounds than 210 pounds. So you might win on #2. You may have issues with #3 since you are moving sports and this anticipation is learnt over many years. And again you will have a major disadvantage on #4 unless you have outstanding vertical that can make up for you lack of height. And there is really nothing that correlates with a shorter person having more hops.

So you can be a goalie for sure at a club level. You have to demonstrate that your quickness, intuitiveness and vertical make up for your lack of height. Note that you will probably have to be "better" than your competition to beat them out for a spot since you aren't the norm. Going past club level though you will have to have world-class abilities in quickness or vertical (plenty of tall guys can be as intuitive as you) to carry on. And if you do have world-class ability then maybe another position would highlight those things better.

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