New Hannover signing arrives 9cm shorter than they were told | inside World Soccer

Hannover 96 coach Mirko Slomka has been left gobsmacked after discovering that new Brazilian signing Franca is nine centimetres shorter than he had been told.

A 1.87m tall Mirko Slomka stands side by side with a '1.90m' tall Franca
A 1.87m tall Mirko Slomka stands side by side with a '1.90m' tall Franca

Photo: Getty Images

Franca, full name Welington Wildy Muniz dos Santos, signed from Brazilian side Coritiba for €1.3 million on January 13.

Having been told the 21-year-old defensive midfielder is an imposing presence at 1.90m and 88kilos, Slomka initially spoke with optimism on Franca's potential impact.

"I look forward to working with Franca and I am sure that he is motivated and ambitious and looking to seize his chance," Slomka stated on Hannover's website.

"I have great experience working with South Americans and I appreciate their commitment and their enthusiasm for learning. I am convinced Franca is no different."

However, when Slomka actually met his new signing in Hannover's locker room, it quickly became apparent he was not the midfield destroyer he thought he had bought.

The 45-year-old coach noticed the discrepancy when he, 1.87m tall, stood next to the man he'd been told was 1.90m and found that he could see the top of the Franca's head.

That realization led Slomka to ask his assistant to measure the Brazilian, who, as it turned out, was only 1.81 m tall.

"What can I say? I was totally surprised," Slomka told German daily Bild.

"The one criterion had been to pay attention to the body size."

The error appears to have been the fault of the club's sporting director Jörg Schmadtke, who stated in the transfer announcement: "Franca, at 1.90m and 88kgs, has a physical presence he brings with great passion into his game."

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