The Flying Eagles have their youngest-ever assembly at the New Zealand Fifa U20 World Cup, while Frank Wormuth’s lads are at the opposite end of the spectrum
The stage is set for the twentieth edition of the Fifa U20 World Cup with all the participating teams submitting their final list for the championship.
With an average age of just 18.9 years, Nigeria are, for the first time ever, taking the youngest panel of players to the championship in which they have twice contested the final.
Owing to their exploits at the African Youth Championship, where they emerged as champions, coach Manu Garba has kept faith in majority of the players who won the World U17 championship in UAE – with Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Muhammed and goal machine Taiwo Awoniyi leading the pack.
Enyimba’s Kingsley Sokari is their oldest player at 20 years and one day, while Zaharaddeen Bello is Nigeria’s youngest representative, at 17 years five months.
Germany, on the other hand, have the oldest squad, with an average age of 19.9 years, just ahead of Portugal, Ukraine and Korea DPR.
Bayern Leverkusen’s 19-year old forward Julian Brandt is the European’s youngest player in a group containing a total of 19 players who are 20 or over.
Senegal’s Moussa Wague, 16 years seven months, is the youngest of all 504 players at the competition. Having been born in October 1998, he is just a month older than Ghana’s Kingsley Fobi. At the other end of the scale, Argentina’s 20 years five months forward Alejandro Romero is the oldest player in the competition.
|Average age of each 2015 U20 World Cup squad
|Argentina||Emiliano Buendia (18)||Alejandro Romero (20)||19.6|
|Austria||Konrad Laimer (17)||Jakob Kreuzer (20)||19.8|
|Brazil||Gabriel Jesus (18)||Alef Dos Santos (20)||19.3|
|Colombia||Andres Tello (18)||Daniel Londono (20)||19.7|
|Fiji||Mataiasi Toma (19)||Praneel Naidu (20)||19.7|
|Germany||Julian Brandt (19)||Grischa Proemel (20)||19.9|
|Ghana||Kingsley Fobi (16)||Barnes Osei (20)||19.04|
|Honduras||Dabirson Castillo (18)||Bryan Rochez (20)||19.5|
|Hungary||Patrik Demjen (17)||Bence Mervo (20)||19.3|
|Korea DPR||RI In Hak (18)||Kim Yu Song (20)||19.80|
|Mali||Lassine Konate (18)||Ichaka Diarra (20)||19.4|
|Mexico||Erick Aguirre (18)||Victor Guzman (20)||19.5|
|Myanmar||Than Paing (18)||Htike Htike Aung (20)||19.4|
|New Zealand||Noah Billingsley (17)||Joel Stevens (20)||19.1|
|Nigeria||Zaharaddeen Bello (17)||Kingsley Sokari (20)||18.9|
|Panama||A’berto Carrasquilla (17)||Fidel Escobar (20)||19.1|
|Portugal||Goncalo Guedes (18)||Tiago Sa (20)||19.9|
|Qatar||Tarek Salman (18)||Serigne Abdou (20)||19.05|
|Senegal||Moussa Wague (16)||Elimane Cisse (20)||19.2|
|Serbia||Ivan Saponjic (17)||Filip Jankovic (20)||19.4|
|Ukraine||Artem Biesiedin (19)||Artem Habelok (20)||19.8|
|Uruguay||Marcelo Saracchi (17)||Facundo Castro (20)||19.3|
|USA||Cameron Carter (17)||Paul Arriola (20)||19.3|
|Uzbeskitan||Sarvar Karimov (18)||Javokhir Sokhibov (20)||19.5|
Hosts New Zealand have gone for a mix of young and old as coach Darren Bazeley has included seven players who are 20 or older, while Clayton Lewis and Moses Dyer (both 18) bring the average down to 19.1.
The award for tallest player at the 2015 Fifa U20 World Cup goes to Serbia’s 18-year-old goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, with a staggering height of 202 cm. Should the FK Vojvodina man be at his best in New Zealand, chances are that he might just stop all the attacking forays of opposing strikers.
Ghana’s defender Patrick Asmah is the shortest player in the competition at 152 cm.
Heading into prestigious competition, some teams have adopted a more youthful approach than others while most have gone for a blend of ages. After the final on July 20 at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, we will see which approach works best.
Culled from goal.com