Sports
1.7k voters

The Best Short Male Athletes

Updated June 3, 2020 3.1k votes 1.7k voters 31.8k views21 items

List RulesProfessional male athletes under 5'10" from all sports, excluding horse racing

The best short male athletes include World Series champions, Super Bowl winners, Stanley Cup hoisters and Olympic gold medalists but they all share one thing in common, their shorter stature. The best short athletes prove that despite their height, people of all shapes and sizes can be successful professional athletes. All 5'10" or shorter, these athletes are not just the best at their height but also among the best athletes of all time.

For a lot of these athletes, their height can work in their advantage or at least not pose a hindrance on their playing ability. Football players like Barry Sanders, Wes Welker and Ray Rice embrace their height and use it to run fast down the field to rack up yardage and touchdowns. Top boxers, such as the shorter ones like Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., are the same way with height not much of a factor to their sport.

But for others, being the short guy on the team means you are already at a disadvantage before you even step on the court. That surely didn't stop great short basketball players like Spud Webb, Earl Boykins and Calvin Murphy from having successful careers.

So while these short athletes might have faced adversity and been told that they would never make it, like legendary NFL player Doug Flutie was, they all worked harder and pushed further to achieve their dreams. These best short male athletes really do show that good things definitely do come in small packages.
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  • 1
    Diego Maradona
    555
    195

    BirthplaceLanús, Argentina

    ProfessionTalk show host, Manager, Coach, Footballer

    Height5'4"

  • 2
    Bruce Lee
    285
    162

    Bruce Lee

    Dec. at 33 (1940-1973)

    BirthplaceChinatown, California, United States of America

    ProfessionMartial Arts Instructor, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Martial artist

    Height5'7"

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  • 3
    Lionel Messi
    406
    195

    BirthplaceRosario, Argentina

    ProfessionFootballer

    Height5'6"

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  • 4
    Jesse Owens
    76
    18

    Jesse Owens

    Dec. at 67 (1913-1980)

    BirthplaceOakville, Alabama, United States of America

    ProfessionAthlete

    Height5'10"

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  • 5
    Pelé
    167
    118

    Pelé

    Age: 79

    BirthplaceTrês Corações, Brazil

    ProfessionActor, Footballer

    Height5'8"

  • 6
    Andrés Iniesta
    117
    60

    BirthplaceFuentealbilla, Spain

    ProfessionFootballer

    Height5'6"

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  • 7
    George Best
    23
    14

    George Best

    Dec. at 59 (1946-2005)

    BirthplaceBelfast, United Kingdom

    ProfessionFootballer

    Height5'8"

  • 8
    Muggsy Bogues
    162
    77

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland, United States of America

    ProfessionBasketball player, Coach, Actor

    Height5'2"

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  • 9
    Spud Webb
    183
    110

    Spud Webb

    Age: 57

    BirthplaceDallas, Texas

    ProfessionBasketball player

    Height5'6"

  • 10
    Romário
    9
    7

    Romário

    Age: 54

    BirthplaceRio de Janeiro, Brazil

    ProfessionPolitician, Manager, Footballer

    Height5'5"

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    #44 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#7 of 137 The Greatest South American Footballers of All Time

  • 11
    Gianfranco Zola

    BirthplaceOliena, Italy

    ProfessionSoccer Player, Manager, Coach

    Height5'6"

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  • 12
    Demetrious Johnson

    BirthplaceMadisonville, Kentucky

  • 13
    Tyler Ulis

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  • 14
    Garrincha
    8
    12

    Garrincha

    Dec. at 50 (1933-1983)

    BirthplaceMagé, Brazil

    ProfessionActor, Footballer

    Height5'6"

  • 15
    Devonta Freeman
    3
    2

    Devonta Freeman

    Age: 28

    BirthplaceBaxley, Georgia

    Height5'8"

  • 16
    Mark McMillian
    2
    1

    Mark McMillian

    Age: 50

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    ProfessionAmerican football player

  • 17
    Neal Broten
    5
    8

    BirthplaceRoseau, Minnesota

    ProfessionIce Hockey Player

  • 18
    Henry Cejudo
    9
    15

    BirthplaceColorado Springs, Colorado

    Height5'3"

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  • 19
    Danny Gare
    2
    6

    Danny Gare

    Age: 66

    BirthplaceNelson, Canada

    ProfessionIce Hockey Player

    Height5'8"

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  • 20
    Garo Yepremian

    BirthplaceLarnaca, Cyprus

    ProfessionAmerican football player

  • 21
    Dickie Post
    1
    6

    BirthplaceSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California

    ProfessionAmerican football player