There will be a healthy blend of youth and experience at this summer's World Cup as the Black Stars have opted for a younger squad while Alejandro Sabella has gone the other wayAll 32 national team coaches have submitted their final 23-man squads for this summer's World Cup in Brazil. Some sides have chosen a more youthful squad than others, as Ghana are taking the youngest of all 32 teams, while Argentina are taking the oldest.
With an average age of 25.44, Ghana have a very youthful squad, repeating their record from the 2010 competition in which they also had the youngest squad. As the African country reached the quarter-finals four years ago in South Africa, coach Kwesi Appiah has ensured they maintain their faith in youth as they look to better that record this time around. Chelsea's Michael Essien is their oldest player at 31-years-old and the only player in the team who is older than 29, while Rashid Sumaila is the Black Stars' youngest member at 21.
Meanwhile, Sporting's 24-year-old defender Marcos Rojo is Argentina's youngest player and the South Americans have a total of eight players who are 30 or over as they have an average age of 28.9, just ahead of Honduras, Uruguay and Portugal.
Cameroon's Fabrice Olinga 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, Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon is the oldest of the entire tournament by five years at 42 and will turn 43 two days after his side's second game of the competition.
|Average age of each 2014 World Cup squad
|Ghana||Rashid Sumaila (21)||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|
|South Korea||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)||Madjid 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)||Stipe Pletikosa (35)||27.18|
|Japan||Gotoku Sakai (23)||Yasuhito Endo (34)||27.23|
|Mexico||Diego Reyes (21)||Rafael Marquez (35)||27.25|
|Costa Rica||Joel Campbell (21)||Patrick Pemberton (32)||27.60|
|Ecuador||Carlos Gruezo (19)||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)||Faryd Mondragon (42)||27.87|
|Italy||Mattia Perin (21)||Gianluigi Buffon (36)||27.90|
|Russia||Maksim Kanunnikov (22)||Sergei Ignashevich (34)||27.97|
|Chile||Miiko Albornoz (23)||Esteban Paredes (33)||27.99|
|Spain||Koke (22)||Xavi (34)||28.24|
|Brazil||Bernard (21)||Julio Cesar (34)||28.35|
|Iran||Alireza Jahanbakhsh (20)||Rahman Ahmadi (33)||28.49|
|Greece||Stefanos Kapino (20)||Giorgos 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)||Hugo Campagnaro (33)||28.92|
With a host of bright young talents having emerged in recent years and taking the 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 are the oldest members of the group and provide some experience.
Making their first ever appearance at the World Cup, Bosnia are near the middle of the spectrum, with an average age of 27.05 a most of their players are around their mid-to-late 20s with Bayer Leverkusen player Emir Spahic the oldest at 33.
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.