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The Story Of Elton Arabia, The World's Shortest Professional Footballer, Proves Size Doesn't Matter

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The Story Of Elton Arabia, The World's Shortest Professional Footballer, Proves Size Doesn't Matter

An endless list of players have been told they wouldn't make it in football for being "too small" but Elton, a pint-sized Brazilian midfielder, must have got it a lot.

He stands at 5ft 1 (1.54 m) and makes Lionel Messi - six inches taller - look like he is of average height.

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Going off Transfer Markt, Elton is the shortest professional player in the world and to give you a further indication of how small he is, he would below the average height in an Under 14's game - as per information from World Health Organization (WHO).

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You may or may not be aware that when Messi was waving waves as a youngster, there were concerns that his maximum height after complete growth would be 4ft 7.

That deterred clubs like River Plate and Buenos Aires but Barcelona believed in his talent and agreed to cover the costs for hormone injections that the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner did himself every night.

Elton, only slightly taller than pop sensation Ariana Grande, was born in the state of Alagoas in Brazil and started out with giants Corinthians despite growing up supporting Palmeiras.

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He won the Serie A championship in 2005 and played alongside Argentina legend Carlos Tevez before moving to Europe with Steaua Bucharest at the age of 21.

The left-footed maestro made just eight appearances but made such a big impression in Romania that he was voted in the team's Best XI for the last decade in 2009.

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He ended up getting the nickname 'Elton Arabia' thanks to his time in Saudi Arabia, with spells at Al-Nassr, Al-Fateh, Al-Qadisiyah and Al-Wehda.

It was at Al-Fateh where he had his most productive stint, scoring 48 goals in 121 games across five years and firing the club to their first league title.

However he did have a worrying moment when he was nearly arrested for taking photos with female supporters and only got out of it when he phoned the sheikh running the club he was playing for.

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Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

The pocket rocket spent plenty of team in the Middle East, turning out for teams in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar but occasionally returning back to his native country with the likes of Fortaleza, Sport Recife and CRB.

Although than smaller than everyone else, Elton has been blessed with a lovely left peg, as well as supreme dribbling ability and set-piece prowess that allowed him to forge an impressive career in the game.

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It also meant he was something of a gem on FIFA Ultimate Team, where he was a rare silver with five-star skills.

Image: EA Sports
Image: EA Sports

Now 36, he is without a club after leaving Al-Hamriyah. But for a small player, he's achieved a lot of big things.

Featured Image Credit: Image: YouTube

Topics: Lionel Messi

Josh Lawless
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