FIFA World Cup: Youngest, oldest players and teams in Qatar 2022

Football is often considered to be a young man’s game. But the performance of age-less players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric in recent times has questioned our sensibilities of age and declining footballing abilities.

Here we look at the youngest and oldest players and squads from the Qatar World Cup.

Oldest Player

Mexican goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, at 40 years and 63 days, will be the oldest player at Qatar 2022, when the tournament gets underway

The Mexican, if he plays, will become just the eighth player to play in the men’s World Cup in his 40s after Dino Zoff, Peter Shilton, Ali Boumnijel, Pat Jennings, Roger Milla, Faryd Mondragon and Essam El Hadary. 

Youngest Player

Germany’s teen prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko will be the youngest player at the Qatar World Cup. The Borussia Dortmund attacker will turn 18 on November 20, the day the World Cup kicks off. 

If he makes an appearance for Germany, he will become the second-youngest European to appear in the World Cup surpassing Christian Eriksen

Norman Whiteside is the youngest-ever player to appear in the World Cup. He turned up for Ireland against Yugoslavia in 1982, when he was 17 years and 41 days. 

Oldest Teams

Iran comes into the World Cup with the oldest squad with an average age of 29.4. Mexico at 28.9 and Tunisia t 28.5 have the second and third oldest squads in Qatar.

Interestingly, two of the heavily favoured sides, Argentina and Brazil have the same average age of 28.4, which tilts towards the older side.

Uruguay, which has an average age of 28.3, has the biggest core of players above the age of 35. The two-time champion has six players- Martin Caceres, Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez, Sebastian Sosa, Fernando Muslera and Diego Godin – at more than 35 years old.

Youngest Teams

Ghana’s hope of becoming the first African side to enter the World Cup semifinals will be pinned on its young squad – the youngest in this year’s World Cup at 25.2.

USA’s football revolution seems to be ticking along nicely with its squad ranking seond youngest at 25.5. The young core of USA – led by Christian Pulisic, Timothy Weah and Giovanni Reyna will be looking to push the boundaries in Qatar.

Among major teams, Spain comes into the World Cup with an average age of 26.1. The presence of Barcelona’s young prodigies – Pablo Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fat – seems to have helped Spain in this regards.

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