Football is often considered to be a young man’s game. But the performance of age-less players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, whose outings in the Qatar World have questioned our sensibilities of age and declining footballing abilities.
Pepe surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo to become the second-oldest player to score a goal in a FIFA World Cup game, when he headed in a corner against Switzerland in the round of 16 game on Wednesday.
Here we look at the youngest and oldest players and squads from the Qatar World Cup.
Uruguay’s Diego Godin became the oldest player from the country to feature in a FIFA World Cup. At 36 years and 281 days, Godin broke the record of Obdulio Varela.
Mexican goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera, at 40 years and 63 days, is the oldest player in Qatar 2022.
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.
Germany’s teen prodigy Youssoufa Moukoko is the youngest player at the Qatar World Cup. The Borussia Dortmund attacker turned 18 on November 20, the day the World Cup kicks off.
he also became 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.
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 of age.
Ghana’s hopes 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 second 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 Fati - seems to have helped Spain in this regards.
Get all the results for the FIFA World Cup 2022 here:Full list of all matches, scores, results, goalscorers
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