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Size matters – Pulis likes his players big, Guardiola prefers small

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October 31 – Big is beautiful if you are West Brom, but small is more perfectly formed if you are Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Olympique Lyonnais.

The latest CIES data looks at the 50 top clubs from 31 European leagues who  fielded the tallest and shortest line-ups from the start of the season.

Top of the rankings for the tallest clubs are FC København (186.2cm average height), while Ludogorets Razgrad top the shortest table (177.0cm).

Looking at the Big 5 leagues, 10 teams make the top 50 list with Schalke top of the Big 5 (3rd overall at 186.15cm) while West Brom are second in the Big 5 and 7th overall (185.1cm). The Bundesliga and Serie A lead the Big Boys table with four clubs each in the top 50.

By contrast only six teams from the Big 5 leagues making the top 50 teams. But notably three of those teams are Manchester City (second highest ranked at 11th – 178.97cm), and Barcelona (38th – 179.64cm). Real Madrid also come in under an average height of 180cm.

The research authors conclude that: “No correlation exists between the average height of teams and results achieved. The gaps observed rather reflect different approaches to the game. While some coaches prefer tall players, other give priority to shorter ones. However, very short players will struggle to establish themselves as professionals. The average height of all footballers in the leagues surveyed is 182.1 cm.”

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Source: CIES Football Observatory

See the full report at http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2017/201/en/

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