Top Ten Short Male Athletes in the World

An athlete’s physical build and strength is perhaps the most important aspect of their career. Their potency and dexterity is what takes them forward in their respective careers. Even though height is not an important factor in an athlete’s life, it is certainly an aspect that is well praised.

When it comes to the football field, boxing ring, or even a basketball court that is popularly known as a sport for people with a tall build, some of our short and talented kings have dominated the whole game. They have proven once and for all that their talent exceeds the stereotypes an athlete typically falls under.

List of Top 10 Short Male Athletes Till 2023

Sr.noName of the AthleteHeightSport
1Lionel Messi5’7”Soccer
2Bruce Lee5’7”Martial Arts
3Muggsy Bogues5’3”Basketball
4Diego Maradona5’5”Soccer
5Kirby Puckett5’8”Baseball
6Apolo Ohno5’8”Speed Skating
7Pernell Whitaker5’6”Boxing
8Calvin Murphy5’9”Basketball
9Dylan Postl4’3”Wrestling
10Tich Cornford5’0”Cricket

Best short male athletes in the world

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Soccer history has not seen a player like Lionel Messi in many moons. Messi is truly one of the unsurpassed soccer players of all time and has always been a part of the same debate topic. He has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, which is more than any other player ever. Messi rose to fame with the club Barcelona and has won 35 trophies, including 7 Copa del Rey titles, 10 La Liga titles, and 4 UEFA Champions Leagues. Watching him play on the field is indeed thrilling. He also holds the record for most goals in La Liga and European League season as well as most hat-tricks in La Liga and UEFA Champions League. Despite his short stature and 5’7” height, Messi rose to be what the fans G.O.A.T.

2. Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

We all know what comes to mind when we hear the name, Bruce Lee. Complex combat or dangerous stunts in movies? You name it and this amazing gentleman will be ready to do it. Lee was a real-life superhero with incredible physical skills. He was a martial artist, martial arts instructor as well as an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Lee is considered the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop-culture icon. The 5’7” superhuman became an iconic persona throughout the world and received fame and critical acclaim for his movies and outstanding skills.

3. Muggsy Bogues

Muggsy Bogues

Being the shortest player in a sport like Basketball which is known for particularly tall players, demands some truly exceptional skills, which Bogues showed throughout his 14-year career. He was the shortest basketball player (5’3”) in NBA history and played point guard for four teams during his career. Bogues is best known for his ten seasons with Charlotte Hornets and also played with Toronto Raptors, Washington Bullets, and Golden State Warriors. His height did not stop him at any point and Bogues successfully broke stereotypes associated with the sport basketball.

4. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Maradona is considered to be one of the best players in soccer history. Having a height of 5’5”, his small stature and low center of gravity proved beneficial as they helped him maneuver better than other players. He was a great captain and his presence alone on the field boosted the morale of his team players. Maradona was also an incredible goal scorer and was known to be a free-kick specialist. His outstanding talent made him the first player to set the record fee of 5 million euros in 1982 and went as high as 6.9 million when he transferred to Napoli in 1984.

5. Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Kirby brought enthusiasm and infectious energy to the field every day that segregated him from his peers. He played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins as a centerfielder. Needless to say, Puckett was among the top best players on the team and an all-time leader in runs, hits, and total bases. He stood 4th player to record 1000 hits in his first 5 full calendar years during the 20th century and was the 2nd to record 2000 hits during the first 10 years in MLB. There’s no doubt that Puckett would have reached much greater heights if his career was not cut short due to his eye condition. He retired at the age of 35 and was given a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

6. Apolo Ohno

Apolo Ohno

Winning a medal in the Olympics is difficult enough, imagine winning one eight times. The one and only Apolo her has turned that imagination into reality. He has won four bronze, two silver, and two gold medals in the Winter Olympics in the sport of short-track speed skating. Ohno began training at an early age and became the youngest US national champion at the ripe age of 14. He has won that title a total of 12 times. He became the youngest skater and the youngest American to win a World Cup event title. Ohno is one of the most cherished Americans at the Winter Olympics and received a place in the U.S Olympic Hall of Fame.

7. Pernell Whitaker

Pernell Whitaker

Even as an amateur, Pernell bagged a silver medal in the lightweight division at the 1982 World Championships, followed by several gold medals too. This professional boxer did not let his height get in the middle of anything and went on to win many accolades in four different weight classes. Whitaker enjoyed the title of Fighter of the Year by The Ring Magazine and the Boxing Writers Association of America. After his career, he served as a boxing trainer and is regarded as one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time.

8. Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy

We previously shed some light on the career of Muggsy as the shortest NBA player but Murphy is the shortest player ever in the history of the NBA to be given a place in the Hall of Fame and also the shortest player to play in the NBA All-Star game. Murphy was considered one of the best free-throw shooters ever, setting a record in NBA for most consecutive free throws. His height did not put curtains on his talent and he went on to achieve new heights in his career.

9. Dylan Postl

Dylan Postl

Dylan, popularly known as Hornswoggle, did not let his significantly short height come in the way of his dreams. He started his career in WWE in 2006 and made history, and this list too. His career started under the name Hardcore Wonder. In 2005, he appeared with National Wrestling Alliance under the title “The Worlds Sexiest Midget”, where he won the NWA Wisconsin X Division Championship. He went on to bag many accolades in his career and didn’t let his height speak for itself.

10. Tich Cornford

Tich Cornford

Walter Cornford was an English cricketer that gained the nickname Tich referring to his short height. Cornford was supposedly barely over five feet was the shortest player in the history of Cricket. Hence he made the list of shortest male athletes. He played as a wicket keeper in 4 test matches in 1930 in New Zealand and also played county cricket for Sussex Country Cricket Club. Cornford had a prominent career but it was cut short due to the breakout of World War II.

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