World Football Freaks: The Fastest, Tallest, Shortest Players and More

Blake ThomasCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2011

World Football Freaks: The Fastest, Tallest, Shortest Players and More

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    The world of football is full of unique characters, from the wacky and obsessive fans to the crazy commentators. 

    Then there are the players, who can vary so greatly. From a humble Xavi to a Mario Balotelli, or from a skillful Messi to a perhaps less talented Titus Bramble.

    Some players are tall, short, fat, skinny, fast, etc.

    Let's take a look at some of the highs and lows of world football.

Shortest: Élton Jose Xavier Gomes

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    A talented Brazilian player, Elton Jose Xavier Gomes stands at a record-low 5'1/2".

    The attacking midfielder had a short stint with Steaua Bucuresti in Europe, before moving around until eventually finding his home at Goias.

    The former Corinthians star is noted for his dribbling and ball control despite his small size.

Tallest: Kristof Van Hout

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    Standing at 6'10", Standard Liege goalkeeper Kristof van Hout is officially the tallest footballer in the world.

    He's only 23 years of age, and his height gives him a definite advantage when he's playing in goal. 

Fattest: Sergio Ballesteros

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    You were expecting Fat Ronaldo, weren't you? To be honest I was, too.

    But after watching some La Liga action last weekend, I stumbled upon this guy, Sergio Ballesteros.

    Weighing in at 93 kg (205 lbs.), he has a good 16 kg (35 lbs.) on Ronaldo himself!

    The 35-year-old is currently captain of Levante and is one of their starting centre backs.

Skinniest: Peter Crouch

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    It's not official, but I think everyone knows Peter Crouch is the skinniest footballer alive.

    At 30 years old and 6'7", Tottenham and England striker Crouch weighs in at a petite 70.6 kg (156 lbs.).

    Sure, it makes sense because he's tall, but just look at the guy! He's practically skin and bones!

Ugliest: Wayne Rooney

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    According to a survey taken before the World Cup, Wayne Rooney is the ugliest player on the planet.

    While it may be a little harsh to rank him below the likes of Franck Ribery, 20,000 members of, thought he was that ugly.

    The dating site voted on the best and worst looking football players participating in the World Cup, and Rooney's English team was ranked second most unattractive only behind Algeria.

Best Looking: Fabio Cannavaro

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    In the same survey as Wayne Rooney, Italian captain Fabio Cannavaro ranked as the most beautiful player on the planet.

    The World Cup winner beat out Spain's Fernando Torres and David Villa, who finished second and third respectively.

    Cannavaro pulled off quite a feat, even managing to beat out the oh-so-lovely Cristiano Ronaldo.

Smartest: Frank Lampard

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea in action during the E.on sponsored FA Cup 5th Round match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on February 13, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Football players aren't exactly the smartest people on Earth. I'm not saying they're stupid, it's just they aren't very often associated with intelligence.

    Well, Chelsea and England star Frank Lampard is one exception to that rule!

    He took an IQ test and reportedly scored over 150, which puts him in the top 0.1 percent in all of England, technically making him a genius, off the pitch and on it.

Fastest: Cristiano Ronaldo

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 13:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid controls the ball during the quarter-final Copa del Rey first leg match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 13, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Jas
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    According to a 2009 study conducted by German magazine Der Spiegel, Real Madrid's Crisitano Ronaldo is the fastest elite player in the world.

    He can reach a top spead of 33.6 km/h, or 20.88 mph, with a ball at his feet.

    The next closest footballers are Arjen Robben at 32.9 km/h, Theo Walcott at 32.7 km/h, Wayne Rooney at 32.6 km/h and Robin Van Persie at 32.1 km/h. 

Oldest: Dickie Borthwick

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    He's 75 and he still plays football on a regular basis. Surprising, huh?

    Well, it's just part of life for Dickie Borthwick, who's been playing since 1947. That's a total of 63 years!

    Currently playing for Wyke Rangers veteran team, Dickie plays with teammates up to 50 years younger than himself.

    Speaking on his career he said, "'I have lost a bit of speed, but my thoughts are quick and that really counts. I intend to keep on playing, my legs and knees are still good and sturdy."