There is no correlation between the average height of a team’s players and its success, says a new report.
A study by CIES Football Observatory found the average height of a player in 31 European top flights was 5ft 9.7in.
Manchester City and Everton were found to be the shortest teams on average in the Premier League, with West Brom and Huddersfield the tallest.
“The gaps observed rather reflect different approaches to the game,” said the report’s authors.
“While some coaches prefer tall players, other give priority to shorter ones. However, very short players will struggle to establish themselves as professionals.”
Barcelona, Lyon, Nice, Sevilla and Real Madrid are also among the teams to field shorter-than-average players, with Bulgaria’s Ludogorets the shortest.
FC Copenhagen were named as the tallest team in Europe, while Schalke, Atalanta and Roma also have notably tall players on average in their squads.
The English top flight ranked 11th tallest among Europe’s top 31 divisions, with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United the third tallest team on average in the Premier League.
Joining Manchester City and Everton among the shortest teams in the league are Bournemouth, Liverpool and Watford, while champions Chelsea rank slightly taller than average.
Following Scotland’s failure to qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup, former head coach Gordon Strachan pointed to his team’s lack of height and physicality after a 2-2 draw with Slovenia.
“Genetically, we are behind,” he said. “In the last campaign we were the second smallest, apart from Spain.”
While clearly it does not contain solely Scottish players, the country’s Premiership is the 13th smallest on average, while Spain’s La Liga came in as the second shortest behind the Bulgarian top flight.
Meanwhile, Swansea City’s Sam Clucas, who is 5ft 8in, told Football Focus’ Mark Clemmit last month how his height hindered him through academy football and nearly prevented him from turning professional.
Clucas was told by coaches he was not tall enough to make it at the highest level.
The 27-year-old moved from Hull City to Swansea City in the summer of 2017 for an undisclosed fee.