Argentina the oldest, Ghana the youngest – the average age of every squad at World Cup 2014

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All 32 national team
coaches have submitted
their final 23-man squads
for this summer’s World
Cup in Brazil.
With an average age of just 25.44, Ghana are, for the
second tournament in a row, taking the youngest
panel of players. Given the Black Stars reached the
quarter-finals four years ago in South Africa, coach
Kwesi Appiah has unsurprisingly maintain the
country’s faith in youth as they look to better that
record this time around. Chelsea’s Michael Essien is
their oldest player at 31 and the only member of the
squad in the team who is older than 29, while Rashid
Sumaila is the Ghana’s youngest representative, at
Argentina, by contrast, have the oldest squad, with
an average age of 28.9, just ahead of Honduras,
Uruguay and Portugal. Sporting’s 24-year-old
defender Marcos Rojo is the Albiceleste’s youngest
player in a group containing a total of eight players
who are 30 or over.
Cameroon’s Fabrice Olinga, 18, is the youngest of all
736 players at the competition. Having been born in
May 1996, he is just 10 months younger than
England’s Luke Shaw. At the other end of the
scale, Colombia’s 42-year-old goalkeeper Faryd
Mondragon is the oldest player in the competition
and will actually turn 43 two days after his side’s
second game.
Average age of each 2014 World Cup squad
Team Youngest player Oldest player Average
Ghana Rashid Sumaila
Michael Essen
(31) 25.44
Belgium Divock Origi (19) Daniel van
Buyten (36) 25.66
Nigeria Kenneth
Omeruo (20)
Joseph Yobo
(33) 25.81
Switzerland Granit Xhaka (21) Steve von
Bergen (31) 26.06
Son Heung-
Min (21)
Kwak Tae-
Hwi (32) 26.19
Germany Matthias
Ginter (20)
Miroslav Klose
(36) 26.31
Australia Adam
Taggart (21) Tim Cahill (34) 26.36
Netherlands Terence
Kongolo (20) Dirk Kuyt (33) 26.46
England Luke Shaw (18) Frank Lampard
(35) 26.56
Algeria Nabil
Bentaleb (19)
Bougherra (31) 26.60
Cameroon Fabrice
Olinga (18)
Samuel Eto’o
(33) 26.61
Bosnia Sead
Kolasinac (20)
Emir Spahic
(33) 27.05
France Lucas Digne (20) Mickael
Landreau (35) 27.08
Croatia Mateo
Kovacic (20)
Pletikosa (35) 27.18
Japan Gotoku
Sakai (23)
Endo (34) 27.23
Mexico Diego Reyes (21) Rafael Marquez
(35) 27.25
Costa Rica Joel Campbell
Pemberton (32) 27.60
Ecuador Carlos Gruezo
Edison Mendez
(35) 27.78
USA Julian Green (19) Tim Howard
(35) 27.81
Ivory Coast Sayouba
Mande (21)
Didier Drogba
(36) 27.83
Colombia Eder Alvarez
Balanta (21)
Mondragon (42) 27.87
Italy Mattia Perin (21) Gianluigi Buffon
(36) 27.90
Russia Maksim
Kanunnikov (22)
Ignashevich (34) 27.97
Chile Miiko
Albornoz (23)
Paredes (33) 27.99
Spain Koke (22) Xavi (34) 28.24
Brazil Bernard (21) Julio Cesar (34) 28.35
Iran Alireza
Jahanbakhsh (20)
Ahmadi (33) 28.49
Greece Stefanos
Kapino (20)
Karagounis (37) 28.49
Portugal Rafa Silva (21) Ricardo Costa
(33) 28.52
Uruguay Jose Maria
Gimenez (19)
Diego Forlan
(35) 28.54
Honduras Luis Lopez (20) Noel Valladares
(37) 28.56
Argentina Marcos Rojo (24)
With a host of bright young talents having emerged
in recent years and taking the English Premier
League by storm, many would have predicted
Belgium to be the youngest side to attend the
summer showpiece and they would have – had
Koen Casteels recovered from his injury on time. The
21-year-old was replaced by Sammy Bossut, who is
seven years older, which raised their average age to
make them the second youngest squad with an
average age of 25.66.

Hosts Brazil have gone for a mix of young and old as
Luiz Felipe Scolari has included eight players who
are 30 or older, while youngsters Bernard (21),
Neymar and Oscar (both 22) bring the average down
to 28.
England had the oldest squad of all teams at the
2010 World Cup but the introduction of young
exciting talents such as Shaw, Ross Barkley, Raheem
Sterling and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain means they
have four players under the age of 21, while Frank
Lampard and Steven Gerrard at 35 and 34,
respectively,provide some experience as the senior
members of the squad.
Making their first ever appearance at the World Cup,
Bosnia-Herzegovina are near the middle of the
spectrum, with an average age of 27.05. Most of
their players are around their mid-to-late 20s, with
Bayer Leverkusen player Emir Spahic the oldest, at
Heading into football’s most prestigious competition,
some teams have adopted a more youthful approach
than others while most have gone for a blend of
each. After the final on July 13, we will see which
tactic works best.

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