The 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup kicked off this past week amidst much fanfare. The Suzuki Cup has always provided opportunities for a whole variety of players to shine – from aged veterans and young, enthusiastic talents, to towering defenders and diminutive, fleet-footed forwards, the competition provides a great platform to shine.
Talking of towering presences, there is no player taller than Thailand’s Pansa Hemviboom, who stands at a whopping 191 cm. The shortest player on the other hand, among the five contenders for the trophy, is Indonesia’s Irfan Jaya, who is just 162 cm.
On that note, we have decided to rank the contenders based on the average height of each team’s 23-man squad (from shortest to tallest).
#1 Indonesia (average height: 173.34 cm)
Indonesia are the shortest team in terms of average height in the competition. The five-time runners-up have the shortest player among the 5 teams on this list – Irfan Jaya – and their tallest player, Fachruddin Aryanto, who plays for Madura United, stands at just 183 cm.
Their captain, Hansamu Pranata is 180 cm tall, well over the average of the squad.
#2 Malaysia (average height: 175.39 cm)
The second shortest team is, quite surprisingly, the 2010 champions, Malaysia, whose average height of the 23-member squad is just 175.39 cm. Malaysia have as many as 6 players who stand at over 180 cm, including Kenny Palraj, Irfan Zakaria and Adam Nor Azlin.
Their captain, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, is one of the taller players in the squad, standing at 178 cm. While both Amirul Azhan Aznan and Nazirul Naim Che Hashim measure 168 cm – the two shortest players in the squad – the tallest players are midfielder Syamer Kutty Abba and goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy, measuring 185 cm each.
Malaysia eked out a narrow 1-0 win in their opening game against Cambodia and will look to build on that result going forward.
#3 Vietnam (average height: 176.34 cm)
Vietnam have one of the youngest teams in the competition, and also one of the shortest. With an average height of 176.34 cm, Vietnam will know they cannot rely on physicality to win them games, but instead must utilise their mobility and swiftness.
Captain Nguyễn Văn Quyet is among the shorter players in the squad at just 170 cm. However, that accolade is shared by three players – Nguyễn Phong Hong Duy, Nguyễn Công Phượng, and Nguyễn Quang Hải, all of whom measure 168 cm.
In comparison, Đặng Văn Lâm is a towering figure indeed, standing at a whopping 188 cm.
#4 Singapore (average height: 177.82 cm)
For the Singapore Lions, who are 4-time champions, defender Baihakki Khaizan, who has been capped a whopping 133 times, stands as the tallest player in the 23-man squad, measuring 189 cm.
Captain Hariss Harun, who scored the winner for Singapore in their opening fixture against Indonesia, is just 178 cm tall while the shortest player in the side is m27-year-old Nazrul Nazari, who measures 165 cm.
#5 Thailand (average height: 180.08 cm)
Thailand are by far the tallest team among the contenders in the competition, with a solid 2 cm advantage over Singapore.
At 191 cm, Pansa Hemviboon is the tallest player in the squad – and on this list – and he is followed by the two goalkeepers Saranon Anuin (187 cm) and Chatchai Budprom (184 cm).
Six-goal hero Adisak Kraisorn stands at 182 cm. The shortest player in the squad is Nurul Sriyankem at just 165 cm, while captain Chalermpong Kerdkaew measures 181 cm.
(Image Credit: AFF; Changsuek)