Mattersburg players are the mightiest

A struggling Austrian Bundesliga team have the tallest squad in Europe, new figures show.The Professional Football Players Observatory (PFPO) said today (Fri) that SV Mattersburg and Ukrainian Premier League club FC Volyn Lutsk have the tallest players on the continent with an average height of 186 centimetres.The PFPO added that its third Demographic Study of Footballers in Europe also showed that Spanish Primera Division giants FC Barcelona have the shortest players (177 centimetres). The organisation checked data of more than 13,000 footballers under contract with nearly 550 clubs in 36 top-flight leagues across Europe.Other findings are that 2010 UEFA Champions League winners Inter – who are expected to finalise a contract with Austrian Under-21s national team star Christoph Knasmüllner next week – have the oldest squad with an average age of 29.6 years. Latvian Virsliga team Olimps / RFS are the youngest squad in Europe (19.02).PFPO research also shows that London-based Tottenham Hotspur have more internationals than any team in Europe. Coach Harry Redknapp could field two full teams of capped players with 23 national team players on his books.Mattersburg manager Franz Lederer said with a smile today (Fri): “I gratefully accept the ‘award’ for the tallest team in Europe. It doesn’t happen that often that you’re better than Barcelona, does it?”Centre back Alexander Pöllhuber is Mattersburg’s tallest player at 200 centimetres, while keepers Thomas Borenitsch and David Schartner also helped their team gain the the unusual title with a height of 193 centimetres each.Mattersburg are currently ninth in the 10-team Bundesliga. They will face LASK Linz when the league continues on 12 February after a nine-week break.LASK said today they signed Spaniard Ramon Ruano Santana. The 27-year-old midfielder will join the team managed by Helmut Zellhofer from UD Alzira. LASK announced only some days ago that they had agreed with Czech side FK Teplice on the transfer of 32-year-old defender Petr Lukas.Title-holders Red Bull Salzburg signed defenders Laszlo Bodnar and Douglas da Silva while striker Robin Nelisse decided to leave.Sturm Graz, which won the ÖFB Cup last season, signed Patrick Wolf from league rivals Magna Wiener Neustadt. The winger previously played for Austria Kärnten.Kapfenberg revealed striker Deni Alar, 20, has been targeted by Austria Vienna, while sport press reports have it that city rivals Rapid Vienna are also considering signing the former DSV Leoben ace.The Austrian Bundesliga table after 19 rounds:SV Ried, 37 pointsSturm Graz, 33Red Bull Salzburg, 33Austria Vienna, 32Rapid Vienna, 30Magna Wiener Neustadt, 28Wacker Innsbruck, 26Kapfenberg, 23SV Mattersburg, 12LASK Linz, 10