Every World Cup squad ranked by average age – oldest to youngest

15 Jul
Every World Cup squad ranked by average age – oldest to youngest
France international Kylian Mbappe will be one of the youngest players at the World Cup

We all know the famous line – ‘you can’t win anything with kids’.

Alan Hansen was talking about Manchester United in the Premier League back in August 1995, but many believe the same about football on the international stage.

Received wisdom suggests you need a few elder statesmen who have experienced not only international tournaments but the highs and lows of the beautiful game.

With all the World Cup 2018 squads confirmed there are plenty of differences in the average ages of those nations participating in Russia.

But which countries have the youngest average age? Scroll down to find out…

31= The average age of Panama’s squad is 29.6-years-old

31= The average age of Costa Rica’s squad is 29.6-years-old

30. The average age of Mexico’s squad is 29.4-years-old

29. The average age of Argentina’s squad is 29.3-years-old

28. The average age of Egypt’s squad is 29-years-old

27. The average age of Russia’s squad is 28.8-years-old

26. The average age of Saudi Arabia’s squad is 28.7-years-old

23= The average age of Brazil’s squad is 28.6-years-old

23= The average age of Iceland’s squad is 28.6-years-old

23= The average age of Japan’s squad is 28.6-years-old

22. The average age of Spain’s squad is 28.5-years-old

21. The average age of Portugal’s squad is 28.4-years-old

20. The average age of Poland’s squad is 28.3-years-old

19. The average age of Sweden’s squad is 28.2-years-old

16= The average age of Australia’s squad is 28.1-years-old

16= The average age of Uruguay’s squad is 28.1-years-old

16= The average age of Colombia’s squad is 28.1-years-old

15. The average age of Croatia’s squad is 27.9-years-old

14. The average age of South Korea’s squad is 27.8-years-old

13. The average age of Belgium’s squad is 27.6-years-old

12. The average age of Peru’s squad is 27.4-years-old

8= The average age of Morocco’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Iran’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Switzerland’s squad is 27.2-years-old

8= The average age of Senegal’s squad is 27.2-years-old

6= The average age of Denmark’s squad is 27.1-years-old

6= The average age of Germany’s squad is 27.1-years-old

5. The average age of Serbia’s squad is 26.8-years-old

4. The average age of Tunisia’s squad is 26.5-years-old

2= The average age of England’s squad is 26-years-old

2= The average age of France’s squad is 26-years-old

1. The average age of Nigeria’s squad is 25.9-years-old

England 6-1 Panama: Harry Kane nets hat-trick as Three Lions create history in Nizhny Novgorod

24 Jun

England secured their biggest ever World Cup victory on Sunday afternoon, beating Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod to book their place in the last 16.

Harry Kane became the third player after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker to score a finals hat-trick for the Three Lions, while John Stones added a brace of his own. Jesse Lingard also scored with a fine long-range effort that was England’s first proper open play goal of the tournament.

Kane became just the third England player to score a World Cup hat-trick

England have never before scored more than four goals in a World Cup match, and even Felipe Baloy’s late consolation strike will not take away from the history made by Gareth Southgate’s side.

Panama started brightly, Anibal Godoy wasting a fine chance to put his nation ahead when he wildly shot over after being played through on goal. Yoel Barcenas also went close a few moments later, but his curling effort flashed just wide of Jordan Pickford’s far post, with the keeper at full stretch.

Despite these chances in the final third, Panama were amateurish at the back, with Stones opening the scoring with a free header from a corner.

Kane grabbed his first of the game, from the penalty spot, after Fidel Escobar and Gabriel Torres pulled Lingard down inside the area, before Lingard himself netted from outside the box after a lovely give-and-go with Raheem Sterling.

Stones added England’s fourth four minutes later, after a brilliantly worked free-kick routine. Kieran Trippier laid the set-piece off to Jordan Henderson, who curled a first-time ball to the far post. Kane headed the ball back across the face of goal, only to see Sterling head straight at goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

However, the rebound fell straight to Stones, who headed past Penedo into the roof of the net.

Stones scored his first two goals for England against Panama

Just minutes later, the lead was extended again, with Kane scoring a perfect replica of his opening penalty to make it 5-0 at the break.

Understandably, England turned down the pace after the restart, but it took less than 10 minutes for Kane to complete his hat-trick – in the most fortuitous of circumstances. Ruben Loftus-Cheek worked his way into space on the edge of the Panama area, and he managed to get a shot off, but it travelled only a few yards before it hit the back of Kane’s foot and looped over Penedo into the back of the net.

Michael Murillo did threaten to pull one back for Panama, but Pickford did well to deny the wide player after a well-worked move saw him through on goal.

Torres should have scored after a cut-back fell to him at the far post, yet he poked the ball slightly wide, but Felipe Baloy made up for Torres’ error by netting Panama’s first ever World Cup goal when he broke England’s offside trap from a free-kick and slotted the ball into the corner of Pickford’s goal.

Baloy made history by scoring this debut goal for Panama, but England were the real history makers in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.


As in England’s World Cup opener, the defeat of Tunisia, Kieran Trippier put in a truly superb performance down the right flank.

Trippier played 70 minutes before being replaced by Danny Rose

The wing-back was challenged defensively even less in this match than he was against Tunisia, but that meant he could dominate the right flank when England were on the attack. He sent in the corner from which Stones scored the opening goal, and was a constant menace with some excellent crosses from open play. Trippier has also developed into a fine set-piece taker, and Gareth Southgate has utilised this talent remarkably well at the tournament.


Any one of the goals could be regarded as the finest moment of the match – even Panama’s debut strike at a World Cup finals – but Kane’s hat-trick finish will go down in history. He was ridiculously lucky to score in the manner he did, as Loftus-Cheek’s shot flicked of Kane’s boot into the back of the net, but that strike made Kane the first England player to score a hat-trick at the World Cup since Gary Lineker in 1986.


England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier (Rose 70′), Loftus-Cheek, Henderson, Lingard (Delph 63′), Young, Sterling, Kane (Vardy 63′)
Subs not used: Butland, Dier, Welbeck, Cahill, Jones, Rashford, Alli, Alexander-Arnold, Pope

Panama: Penedo, Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis, Barcenas (Arroyo 69′), Cooper, Gomez (Baloy 69′), Godoy (Avila 62′), Jose Luis Rodriguez, Perez
Subs not used: Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Ovalle, Tejada, Alex Rodriguez


talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

England vs Panama: Team line ups, preview, key players, and more for the World Cup 2018 clash

24 Jun

England earned a dramatic win over Tunisia in their opening game of the 2018 World Cup and can book their place in the last 16 when they take on Panama at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

However, the Central American nation will be determined to get a result to keep their hopes of staying in the tournament alive.

There were jubilant scenes at the end of England’s first game

Team news

Dele Alli, who sustained a thigh injury during the Tunisia game, is the only injury concern England have and is likely to sit this one out.

The England XI has been a big story across the world’s media after a ‘leaked’ picture of the potential team v Panama made the rounds which appeared to suggest Raheem Sterling will be dropped for the game.

It’s a move Southgate initially criticised but he has since apologised for this.

Sterling now looks likely to start, with Marcus Rashford remaining on the bench.

Meanwhile, Panama boss Hernan Dario Gomez announced he would be fielding the same team that lost to Belgium on Monday.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be given the nod by Southgate to start in place of Alli

What the players are saying

Harry Kane (England) – “At the end of the day we’re all here for the same reason. We just want to win as many games as possible and he just popped up with two goals that got us all three points.

“You’ve just got to keep going, make sure you’re putting the effort in on the training field, getting in the manager’s plans and hopefully if you get the chance make sure you stay there.

Kane celebrates England’s victory over Tunisia

Harold Cummings (Panama) -“We are going there to play hard.

“We are going there to compete. We will do our job against any team we face.”

Predicted line-ups

England: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier, Rose, Henderson, Lingard, Loftus-Cheek, Sterling, Kane

Panama: Penedo, Murillo, Torres, Escobar, Davis, Gomez, Barcenas, Cooper, Godoy, Rodriguez, Perez

Where can I stream England v Panama?

The match will be live on talkSPORT. We’ll bring you commentary from 1pm.

You can listen live by clicking this link – England v Panama 

England know that a victory will guarantee their place in the last 16 of the World Cup

Key player

England: Although this is a game where England are not expected to drop points, it’s clear that the form of Harry Kane is what takes the Three Lions up another couple of gears.

It was the Tottenham striker’s two goals that earned England the points against Tunisia and he will be licking his lips at the prospect of increasing bhis World Cup goal tally against the minnows of Group G.

Can captain Kane lead England to World Cup glory?

Panama: Gomez has said he expects England to be Panama’s toughest opponents of the group so this suggests goalkeeper Jaime Penedo could be in for a busy afternoon. He could be a national hero by the end of the game, you never know.

talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

World Cup 2018: Panama coach names unchanged line-up on eve of clash against England

23 Jun

Panama manager Hernan Dario Gomez made light of the drama surrounding England’s leaked training notes by naming his own starting XI on the eve of the match.

Opposite number Gareth Southgate has questioned the English media’s decision to publish pictures which hinted a possible team for Sunday’s clash in Nizhny Novgorod, suggesting it could provide rival teams with an advantage.

But Gomez has no such qualms and revealed within seconds of his pre-match press conference that he would be retaining the same side which lost 3-0 to Belgium.

“The line-up will be exactly the same,” he said.

“I like how my team worked. The team that starts the match is the one with the most experience, that’s one of our assets. As a starting XI we are very organised and tactical.”

The veteran Colombian coach, who is at his third World Cup, also dismissed the notion that an early tip-off about Harry Kane’s strike partner – be it Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford – helped his cause.

Panama lost their first ever World Cup match on Monday

“It doesn’t give me or afford me any advantage,” he said.

“I think each and every coach needs to make sure they’re 100 percent prepared and ready regardless of the opposition.

“It doesn’t matter who plays, because if one doesn’t play the other is just as good.”

Gomez has a healthy respect for Gareth Southgate’s side, ranking them as a tougher proposition than the higher-ranked Belgians.

Gomez predicts England to be Panama’s most difficult opponents in Group G

Yet he was clear to point out that Panama are not in Russia for the ride and will be fighting to over-turn every expectation of what they can achieve at their first World Cup.

“England are going to be our hardest match by far,” he said.

“They don’t have a lot of individual stars like Belgium and (Eden) Hazard, but they work well as a team, especially on ball recovery, and are an excellent team. This is going to be a very tough nut to crack.

“We could lose 3-0 again or even worse, but mathematically we still have the possibility to progress. I told my players today that they can still qualify.

“If we play in an organised way we know how we can make their individual players have a hard time – we admire them but we can’t give them any space. There is only one ball on the pitch and we’re going to fight for it.”

Panama’s battling performance against Belgium was warmly received back home and, although Gomez realises there are no guarantees the goodwill will remain, he is hoping for the best.

“Just as the country is pleased now, tomorrow or the day after they could hate us and we lose four years of work,” he said.

“But 90 minutes of football can change your life.”

Predicted England starting line-up for Panama World Cup 2018 clash without Dele Alli or Ashley Young, but featuring Ruben Loftus-Cheek

21 Jun

England got their World Cup campaign off to the the perfect start by defeating Tunisia courtesy of Harry Kane’s late, late winner.

Kane followed up his first-half opening goal to score the winning header in second-half injury time, moving the Three Lions to second in Group G, behind Belgium on goal difference.

Captain Kane saved England with a brace on his World Cup debut

Gareth Southgate‘s side return to action on Sunday, and they could book their place in the knockout stage of the competition with a win over Panama.

The Panamanians were defeated in their opener, 3-0 by Belgium, and are likely to do against England what they did against the Red Devils – keep it tight and hope to keep a clean sheet for as long as possible.

Southgate has some big questions about his big players ahead of the match, with Dele Alli a doubt due to injury, and public calls for Raheem Sterling to be dropped for Marcus Rashford, who was a lively presence when introduced from the bench against Tunisia.

So, how will England line-up for Sunday’s match, which you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT? Look below to see talkSPORT.com’s predicted Three Lions’ XI…

The expectation is that the majority of the team will remain unchanged, with Southgate only looking to tweak what proved to be a successful line-up.

The absence of Alli through injury is likely to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek come in, following his lively cameo against Tunisia. He can provide the same sort of role as Alli, linking play between midfield and attack, while also providing an aerial threat due to his sheer size.

There are still no guarantees Dele Alli will be fit for the Panama clash

Sterling’s woes in front of goal have led to calls for him to be dropped for the Panama clash, but Southgate must keep faith in England’s second-best player, behind Harry Kane. He did miss a couple of chances – as expected – but Sterling’s greatest strength is in his position and ability to get into those goalscoring positions. As long as he continues terrorising defenders in the final third, Sterling plays a vital role for England.

Marcus Rashford has emerged as a potential replacement for Sterling, but there is no reason for him to come into the starting XI as of yet.

The final question mark for Southgate resides over Ashley Young, who played the full match against Tunisia at left wing-back. He was solid defensively and did get forward, but attacks constantly slowed down when they went through Young due to his need to cut-back onto his right foot.

Danny Rose should come in to provide natural width and an ability to cross the ball with his left foot, mirroring Kieran Trippier on the right flank, who was perhaps England’s best player against Tunisia. If England can deliver crosses from both flanks, rather than just the right, they will become a much more fearsome side when on the offensive.

talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

Panama World Cup 2018 team guide – opponents and fixtures, kits, key player, plus likely line-up

18 Jun

Panama take part in their first World Cup this summer. talkSPORT.com take an in-depth look at the Group G nation…


Hernan Dario Gomez was named as Panama manager in 2014, taking over from ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Cagliari striker Julio Dely Valdes. Gomez has overseen 66 games in charge, guiding Panama to 24 victories (W24, D18, L24). Taking nations to their debut World Cup finals is no new feat for coach Gomez; he successfully led his home nation Colombia to the 1998 finals in France Ecuador to the 2002 edition in Japan and South Korea. As a player he did not represent Colombia, but he enjoyed a relatively prosperous domestic career, appearing for both Medellin (1975-80) and Atletico National (1980-84).


Roman Torres was named Panama captain for the first time in 2015, when his nation reached the semi-finals of that year’s Gold Cup. Torres is perhaps Panama’s most reliable defender, playing his domestic football for Seattle Sounders of MLS. The 32-year-old has made 108 appearances for his country since debuting in 2005, and it was his 88th minute winning goal against Costa Rica in Panama’s final qualifying match, played in October 2017, that booked the nation’s place at their first ever World Cup finals.


Panama’s top scorer throughout qualifying with 11 goals was forward Blas Perez. The 37-year-old has played in a number of countries throughout his 20-year career, including his homeland, as well as Uruguay, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and the United States. He has represented Municipal of Guatemala since 2017, and has totalled an impressive 14 goals in just 13 appearances this season. Perez made his international debut in 2001, and has gone on to win 113 caps for Panama, scoring 43 goals in the process.


Panama’s squad is set to be one of the oldest at the entire World Cup, but one of the brightest sparks is 22-year-old Michael Amir Murillo. The right-back plays for New York Red Bulls in MLS, and has so far won 21 caps for his nation. He joined NYRB last February, and now appears to have fully established himself as a starter for the club. His tactical flexibility is impressive, as he can play either as a traditional right-back, or as a right-sided centre-back in a three-man defence, or even in a holding midfield role. PSV of Eindhoven are said to be interested in Murillo, and a strong showing in Russia could tempt other European clubs to make a move for the youngster.


Monday, June 18: BELGIUM v Panama (Fisht Stadium, Sochi) – kick-off 16:00

Sunday, June 24: ENGLAND v Panama (Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod) – kick-off 13:00

Thursday, June 28: Panama v TUNISIA (Mordovia Arena, Saransk) – kick-off 19:00



Panama finished third in the CONCACAF fifth round qualification stage, also known as the ‘Hexagonal’. They claimed the final automatic qualification spot on goal difference, with Honduras – equal with Panama on 13 points – forced into an inter-confederation play-off against Australia which they lost.

Panama’s final group game, a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica which secured them enough points to reach the World Cup, was mired in controversy. Johan Venegas’ opening goal was cancelled out by Blas Perez, who was credited with a goal that appeared to be both a hand-ball and in fact didn’t cross the goal line at all. But the strike stood, and with just minutes remaining, Roman Torres scored the all-important winning goal.

Despite that victory, the USA still could have overtaken Panama to book their place in Russia later that day, but they were defeated in Trinidad and Tobago thus failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1986.


Panama had one home and one away match prior to the big kick-off. They hosted Northern Ireland in Panama City on May 29, played out a goalless draw, and then visited Oslo to face Norway on June 6, losing 1-0.


Olympic Sports Centre, Saransk.


talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.