Apr
23
2008
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Pint-sized Footballers Are Back

In a romantic return to times past, diminutive footballers seem to be reclaiming the decisive role once performed by the likes of Pele (1.71m) and Diego Maradona (1.68m), considered by many to be the best players ever.
Standing 1.69m tall and voted the second best player in the world by national team coaches and captains from all over the world, Argentinian forward Lionel Messi is the most obvious figurehead of the pint-sized footballing revolution.
The Barcelona player richly deserved his runners-up spot, despite a barren season at club and international level, and was second only to the Brazilian Kaka, who had won a host of titles with AC Milan, including the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Messi’s rise to fame and recognition, despite ending the season trophyless, may be due to the fact that the media, fans and coaches are keen to honour players blessed with great skill, who also tend to be of smaller stature.
This may go some way towards explaining how Marta, a petite 1.60m, carried off the FIFA Women’s World Player award even though her country, Brazil, lost the FIFA Women’s World Cup final to Germany, a nation with no shortage of powerfully built players.