Average player age of the 2014 World Cup squads - additional information
There were a total of 736 players across 32 teams in the World Cup, picked from domestic leagues in 52 countries. The Cameroon squad had an average age of 26.9, which matched the average age of all of the players at the tournament. This overall average marks a small change from the average of 27 years and 5 months at each of the last three FIFA World Cups. 58 players celebrated their birthday over the course of the tournament, including Argentina’s Lionel Messi, the most valuable player at the World Cup, who turned 27 on 24th June.
Argentina, who had the fifth most valuable team at the World Cup also went into the tournament with the oldest team on average (28.5 years). This squad included Martín Demichelis, Hugo Campagnaro and Maxi Rodríguez, all of whom were 33 at the start of the tournament, thus making them the joint 32nd oldest players in the World Cup. Ghana had the most youthful squad with the team’s average age standing at 24.9. AC Milan’s Michael Essien, aged 31, was the only squad member over the age of 30.
The oldest player at the whole tournament was Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, aged 43. By coming on as a substitute in the 85th minute of Colombia’s final group game against Japan, he became the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup game at the age of 43 years and 3 days, surpassing the record set by Cameroon’s Roger Milla at the 1994 World Cup in the USA.
The youngest player at the 2014 tournament was 18 year old Cameroonian forward Fabrice Olinga, although he remained an unused substitute throughout. Had he been selected, Olinga would have become the ninth-youngest player in World Cup history. The youngest-ever is Norman Whiteside, who played for Northern Ireland at Spain 1982 just 41 days after turning 17.