Thursday, November 24 2022

Lisandro Martinez has completed his move to Manchester United.

After weeks of negotiations with Ajax, Erik ten Hag has finally reached a deal with his man worth a total of around £55m.

Martinez is considered by most to be a fantastic signing for the Red Devils. The Argentine is the perfect modern-day centre-back, one who is also more than capable of playing as a left-back or at the base of midfield.

However, some have lingering doubts about the 24-year-old due to his height.

Martinez is 5ft 9in which is relatively short for a centre-back.

But being over six feet tall isn’t really the end of the line as far as the job is concerned, as many have proven over the years.

Some of the greatest centre-backs in history have had a similar height to Martinez, which we’ve chosen to highlight in a 10-man list below.

Thanks later, United Fans…

10 world-class centre-backs who are ‘short’

Franz Beckenbauer (5 feet 11 inches)

Arguably the greatest defender in history. Beckenbauer has won numerous trophies at Bayern Munichwas the key to West Germany world Cup triumphed in 1974 and twice won the Ballon d’Or.

Fabio Cannavaro (5ft 9in)

Another Ballon d’Or-winning centre-back who has been ‘challenged vertically’. Cannavaro is at the same height as Martinez, but that didn’t stop him from crushing it with Italy, Juventus and real Madriddid it?

BARI, ITALY – DECEMBER 12: Fabio Cannavaro of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between AS Bari and Juventus FC at Stadio San Nicola on December 12, 2009 in Bari, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Carles Puyol (5’10”)

A true world-class operator for Barcelona and Spain, the tenacious Puyol hasn’t let his slightly smaller stature stop him from gobbling up forwards for fun during his career.

David Alaba (5ft 11in)

One of the best centre-backs in world football right now – who was crucial to Real Madrid’s 2021/22 Champions League win – is no taller than 6ft or taller. Like Martinez, Alaba is equally comfortable playing at left-back or in midfield.

David Alaba with Real Madrid
BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 24: David Alaba of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on October 24, 2021 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Franco Baresi (5ft 9in)

Another ‘short’ player who is in the running to be called the best central defender in history, who would have thought? The brilliant Baresi has won a ridiculous number of trophies at AC Milan and finished second in the 1989 Ballon d’Or.

Ronald Koeman (5ft 11in)

The greatest goalscoring centre-back the game has ever seen was not (you guessed it!) six feet or more. In the 1993/94 season when he was at Barcelona, ​​Koeman even finished top scorer in the Champions League – which is just crazy.

Ronald Koeman with Barcelona
April 27, 1994: Ronald Koeman of Barcelona in action during the European Cup semi-final match against Porto played at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, ​​Spain. The game ended in a 3-0 win for Barcelona. Mandatory Credit: Shaun Botterill/Allsport

Thiago Silva (5ft 11in)

Silva still dominates Premier League forwards at 37 with chelsea, although he’s not too tall for a centre-back. So Lisandro, you should be fine in the English top flight.

Javier Mascherano (5ft 8in)

Mascherano is actually smaller than Martinez, but was still a world-class centre-back at Barcelona after moving there from midfield. Yes, he was playing in a great team, but Mascherano still had to do the dirty work that a six-footer would have to do.

Javier Mascherano with Barcelona
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 08: Javier Mascherano of Barcelona in action during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou on March 8, 2017 in Barcelona, in Spain. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ivan Córdoba (5 feet 8 inches)

Like Mascherano, Cordoba was smaller than Martinez and also a high quality defender. The former Colombian captain spent 12 successful years at InterMilan and was part of their triple team under Jose Mourinho.

Frank de Boer (5ft 10in)

A star at Ajax, Barcelona and on the international stage, De Boer’s slightly smaller height hasn’t hindered his career as a professional player at all.

La Liga quiz: Can you name these 30 players from the 2000s?

We’ll start slowly…


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