World of Sport

Hanover shocked by ’9cm too short’ Franca

Franca is shorter than his coach...Hanover were feeling a little short-changed with new signing Franca as the Brazilian does not quite measure up to the towering midfielder the Bundesliga club had expected.

The 21-year-old left Brazilian first-division club Coritiba after signing a deal to 2016 but after arriving in Germany, coach Mirko Slomka discovered Franca was far shorter than the 6'2" man he had been expecting.

In fact he is nine centimetres - or 3.5 inches - less than what the club's sports director Joerg Schmadtke had talked about, Slomka said.

"What can I say, I was totally surprised," Slomka told Bild newspaper after he realised the Brazilian was even shorter than the 6'1" coach himself and ordered an assistant to measure him.

Schmadtke had said at the time of the transfer on January 13 that Franca, "with his 1.90 metres and 88kg frame, has the physical attributes which he uses to great effect in games.

"He is a robust kind of player who, in my opinion, will go a long way with us."

Franca, whose real name Welington Wildy Muniz dos Santos, spent some time on loan at Serie B side Criciuma last season.

It appears that miscommunication between the sporting director and the coach was the problem but with the transfer already signed and sealed, Hanover can now only hope that size does not matter.

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