World of Sport

England’s World Cup squad is oldest ever

World of Sport

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Fabio Capello's England squad is the oldest and most capped ever
sent by the nation to the World Cup.

Despite the absence through injury of 35-year-old David
Beckham, Capello's squad still average out at 28.7 years old. That beats the previous
record set in 1954, according to The Guardian, when the presence of 39-year-old
Stanley Matthews lifted the average age to 28.4 years.

And the current crop of players also boasts far more caps than
any other squad, with the 23 players having clocked up 900 international appearances
between them - averaging out at almost 40 caps each.

That smashes the previous record set by Bobby Robson's squad
for the 1990 tournament in Italy, where the players had an average of 32 caps

But rather than worrying about players having brittle bones or
needing afternoon naps, the omens suggest greater experience is an asset for a
World Cup squad: in 2006 Italy sent their oldest ever squad to the tournament in
Germany, and promptly won the tournament for the first time in nearly a quarter
of a century.

And that's not all: the ageing England rugby squad that won
the World Cup in 2003 was dismissed by the Australian press as "Dad's
Army", but used their age and experience to turn over the Wallabies in the

Will history repeat itself? Let's hope so - because we've
all been growing old waiting for England to lift the trophy.

And if they do, as The Guardian reminds us, let's hope that
the ageing players remember their bus passes for the inevitable open-top parade...


England's Elder Statesmen England's Young Guns
Goalkeepers: David James, 39; Robert Green, 30 Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, 23
Defenders: Jamie Carragher, 32; Rio Ferdinand, 31 Defenders: Glen Johnson, 25
Midfielders: Frank Lampard, 31; Steven Gerrard, 30 Midfielders: Aaron Lennon, 23; James Milner, 24
Forwards: Emile Heskey, 32 Forwards: Wayne Rooney, 24
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