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World Cup 2018 soccer mania begins – A month long tournament with 32 teams playing a total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.

When Scotland failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, their ex-manager, Gordon Strachan blamed the loss on their height and strength disadvantage.  This spurred a discussion; does height come into play in soccer?

BBC News – Reality check reported: Seven out of the 10 tallest teams in 2017, either qualified automatically – Serbia, Iceland, Belgium and Germany – or made the play-offs – Sweden, Greece and Denmark.

While it appears leading to the World Cup, some of the tallest teams in Europe were in good form this year, it is not a forgone conclusion these teams were successful because of their stature.

It does appear that size may have given advantage to the Iceland national team, the tallest at the World Cup with an average height of just over 6 feet. Iceland made their World Cup debut against the favored  two-time World Cup victors Argentina squad and shocked the world by getting a draw with a score of 1 – 1.  Standing an average two and a half inches taller certainly comes into play in aerial defense and attack.

All these tall tales made us curious –who are the tallest slim dudes on the pitch? Here is what we found.

Of the top 10 tallest players  in the 2018 World Cup, three players come in at 6 feet 5.5 inches, two measure 6 feet 5.9 inches, two at 6 feet 3.5 inches, second runner up is 6 feet 6.7 inches, and the tallest player, Lovre Kalinic of Croatia, rises to 6 feet 7.1 inches.

It is not surprising that the position claiming the highest heights is that of goalkeeper.