The world football ruling body FIFA and the CIES Football Observatory have stated that Nigeria’s Super Eagles paraded the youngest squad among the 32 countries competing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
According to latest statement released on the FIFA’s website, the Super Eagles under the watchful eyes of Gernot Rohr fielded the youngest set of players on the road to the FIFA World Cup qualifiers holding in Russia next year.
The statement reads: “While Nigeria fielded the youngest players (with an average age of 24.9 years) in the qualifiers, followed by title-holders Germany (25.7) and by U-17 and U-20 world champions England (25.9), at the opposite end of the spectrum were two newcomers Panama (29.4 years) and Iceland (29.0), as well as 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica (29.0).
“There were also considerable differences among the teams in terms of the average height of players. At one extreme, seven associations fielded players with an average height of less than 180cm: Peru, Argentina and Uruguay (CONMEBOL), Saudi Arabia and Japan (AFC), Mexico (CONCACAF), and Spain (UEFA). At the other extreme, the average height of the players fielded by four European nations – Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Serbia – was at least 185cm.
“The study also revealed that about 9% of players were born outside of the association they represent. Only seven of the 32 teams did not field any players born abroad. The number of footballers playing for clubs outside of the association they represent also revealed the importance of migration in football. In total, 64.6% of footballers play abroad: from 0% for England and Saudi Arabia, to 100% for Croatia, Sweden and Iceland.”