Small fortune: Sportsmail pays tribute to Maradona, Zola, Wise and the rest of the diddy men who mad

22 February 2009 11:42
Little and large: Arshavin tries to get the better of England giant Peter Crouch

Andrei Arshavin may not be the biggest player in the world, but the Arsenal new boy will be hoping to make a huge impression on Emirates debut against Sunderland on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger is adamant that size isn't everything - even if he thinks his new Russian is 11 centimetres shorter than he really is.

So Sportsmail  takes the opportunity to pay tribute to 10 of the best little guys.

Ruel Fox5' 6" - Norwich 1986/1994 - Newcastle 1994/1995 - Tottenham 1995/2000 - West Bromwich Albion 2000/2002

Ruel carved out a career as a flying winger at Norwich before moving to Kevin Keegan's Newcastle. Keegan described Fox as 'the best player in the world in his position' and whilst we remain uncertain about that, we are positive his nickname was never 'Lofty'. Fox finished his career at West Bromwich Albion and now runs a restaurant in his home town of Ipswich.

Nobby Stiles5' 7" - Manchester United 1960/1971 - Middlesbrough 1971/1973 - Preston North End, 1973/1975

This World Cup-winning Manchester United hero lacked just two things. Height and teeth. Just as famous for dancing over the Wembley turf with the Jules Rimet trophy in his hand as he was for needing a set of ladders to reach the lightswitch. Played more than 400 games in his career before a brief spell in management at Preston, Vancouver and West Bromwich Albion.

Little gems: Nobby Stiles and Ruel Fox (right)

Pick on someone your own size: Dennis Wise, playing for Leicester, goes toe to toe with Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira

Dennis Wise 5' 6" - Wimbledon 1985/1990 - Chelsea 1990/2001 - Leicester 2001/2002 - Millwall 2002/2005 - Southampton 2005/2006 - Coventry 2006

One of the original Crazy Gang, this battling midfielder won honours throughout his career and his stature in the game grew and grew but, unfortunately, his legs didn't follow suit. An F.A Cup winner as a player with Wimbledon and Chelsea and an appearance as player-manager with Millwall. After leaving Millwall, Wise managed at Southampton, Swindon and Leeds and is now executive director (football) at St James' Park.

Javier Saviola 5' 6" - River Plate 1998/2001 - Barcelona 2001/2007 - Monaco 2004/2005 loan - Sevilla 2005/2006 loan - Real Madrid since 2007

Great footballer, awful nickname. El Conejito which means 'The Little Rabbit' has been reconised as one of the best footballers of his generation but has won relatively few trophies with just the one La Liga title at Real. In his 44 games for Argentina, Saviola (left) has scored 12 times and his current national manager features further down this list.

Actual size

Alan Wright 5' 4" - Blackpool 1989/1991- Blackburn 1991/1995 - Aston Villa 1995/2003 - Middlesbrough 2003/2004 - Sheff Utd 2003/2004 loan,  permanent 2004/2007 - Derby 2006 loan - Leeds 2006 loan - Cardiff 2006/2007 loan - Doncaster 2007 loan - Nottm Forest 2007 loan - Cheltenham since 2007

We can safely say that Alan Wright is the personification of a journeyman with the list of clubs he played for stretching further than his legs. Still playing and is currently plying his trade in League One at Cheltenham Town.

Shaun Wright-Phillips 5' 5" - Manchester City 1999/2005 - Chelsea 2005/2008 - Manchester City since 2008

The adopted son of Arsenal legend Ian Wright made what some thought was a bad decision by moving to Chelsea and it would seem they were right. Now back at Eastlands the winger is enjoying regular football for his club and country in between trips to Mothercare for new trousers.

Lying low: City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips

Michael Owen 5' 8" Liverpool 1996/2004 - Real Madrid 2004/2005 - Newcastle United since 2005

Almost a giant compared to some of the others in this list, Mickey will always have a place in our hearts for that jinking run at World Cup '98 through the Argentine defence on his way to a memorable goal. Seemingly injured ever since that moment Owen is now a part-time Newcastle United player, full-time racing horse trainer and spending time with his equally diminutive jockeys.

Michael Owen

Roberto Carlos 5' 6" - Uniao Sao Joao 1990/1993 - Palmeiras 1993/1995- Internazionale 1995/1996 - Real Madrid 1996/2007 - Fenerbahce since 2007

Brazilian League champion, La Liga champion, World champion and renowned shorty. A stalwart of Real Madrid's 'Galacticos' and famed free-kick taker, the Brazilian full-back almost signed for Brian Robson's Middlesbrough in 1996 but chose Inter instead which, with hindsight remains a decent choice. Still short and still playing in the Turkish Super League.

Little and, er, littler: Zola makes Spurs' Stephen Carr look a relative giant

Gianfranco Zola 5' 5" - Nuorese 1984/1987 - Torres 1987/1989 - Napoli 1989/1993 - Parma 1993/1996 - Chelsea 1996/2003 - Cagliari 2003/2005

The man with the widest smile and shortest legs to have ever graced the Kings Road, Zola played in 599 senior matches, scoring 194 goals and, to this day, remains a hero in West London. Managed the Italian under-21 side between 2006 and 2008 before moving to East London and transforming the relegation stricken club into European hopefuls.

Don't look down: Maradona is hoisted to new heights after leading Argentina to the World Cup in 1986

Diego Armando Maradona 5' 6" - Argentinos Juniors 1976/1981 - Boca Juniors 1981/1982 - Barcelona 1982/1984 - Napoli 1984/1991 - Sevilla 1992/1993 - Newell's Old Boys 1993 - Boca Juniors 1995/1997

The ultimate in short football player. With a career dotted with so many incidents it's little wonder the little fella never had time to grow. World Cup victories, heart attacks, divorce, the Hand of God, friendships with revolutionaries and now management of his national side. In 590 senior appearances, scoring 311 goals, Maradona has never done things by halves and he now sits at the top of this list, looking down on others, for perhaps the first time in his life.

 Things are getting hairy for new Arsenal star Arshavin - so he flies in a friend of Miss Universe to keep him a cut above the rest

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Source: Daily_Mail