World Cup stats: The tallest, youngest and most prolific players in Brazil

Barnaby Read 13:47 12/06/2014
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Old guard: Colombia's Faryd Mondragon could become the World Cup's oldest ever player if he gets on to the pitch in Brazil.

    With just hours to go until the World Cup opener we look at a few of the quirkier stats about some of the tournament's stars that are sure to catch the eye.

    Oldest players

    Faryd Mondragon

    (Colombia, pictured above): 42 years and 356 days

    Mondragon was Colombia's first choice at their last World Cup in 1998 and will break Roger Milla's record for the oldest player to play in the tournament if he gets on the pitch in Brazil.

    Mario Yepes
    (Colombia): 38 years and 150 days

    Mondragon's international team-mate and captain, Yepes is the oldest outfield player at this summer'scompetition. It is the first time Yepes has played at a World Cup.

    Noel Valladares
    (Honduras): 37 years and 40 days

    Another goalkeeper, Valladares is Honduras' second most capped footballer of all-time and captain of the side. The 37-year-old also led the team in 2010.

    Giorgos Karagounis
    (Greece): 37 years and 98 days

    Greece's captain Karagounis will be heavily relied upon if his side is to make any sort of impression.

    Miroslav Klose
    (Germany): 36 years and 3 days

    At 36 Klose is still Germany's main man and is his side's only out-and-out striker selcted for Brazil. 

    Most capped

    Iker Casillas
    (Spain): 154

    Playing in his fourth World Cup, Iker Casillas has remained Spain number one since making his debut in 2000. Fourteen years later he will lead his side once more in Brazil.

    Yasuhito Endo 
    (Japan): 144  

    The Gamba Osaka midfielder is regarded as one of the finest players his country has ever produced and has been a mainstay in their side for nearly 12 years.

    Javad Nekounam
    (Iran): 140

    Nekounam has been a part of Iran's last two World Cup squads and the 33-year-old remains an important player for his country.

    Giorgos Karagounis
    (Greece): 135

    The former Fulham man is his country's most capped player of all-time.

    Miroslav Klose
    (Germany): 132

    Not only is Klose his country's second most capped player of all-time, he is also Germany's leading goalscorer.

    (Spain): 132

    Barcelona's midfield maestro remains one of the game's finest players and will still remain a major component of Spain's chances of defending their World Cup crown.

    Most World Cup goals

    Miroslav Klose
    (Germany): 14

    Klose's fine World Cup record includes 14 goals in 19 games across three tournaments in 2002, 2006 and 2010. The Germany striker is just one goal away from Ronaldo's all-time record and will be the outright leading World Cup scorer if he is to grab two goals or more in Brazil.

    David Villa
    (Spain): 8

    The Spanish striker was pivotal in his side's victory in South Africa, netting five times as he shared the top of the goal scoring charts.

    Diego Forlan
    (Uruguay): 6

    Five of Forlan's World Cup goals came in 2010 where he was central to Uruguay's efforts. He will take a back seat due to the emergence of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani but will be desperate to add to his tally if given the opportunity in Brazil.

    Thomas Muller
    (Germany): 5

    In his first World Cup, at just 20 years of age, Muller scored five times and took home the golden boot. Four years on he has a very real chance of bettering the records of Ronaldo and team-mate Klose.

    Lukas Podolski
    (Germany): 5

    Another prolific German forward, Arsenal man Podolski makes up a fearsome front line for one of the European favourites.

    Wesley Sneijder
    (Netherlands): 5

    The attacking midfielder heads into his third World Cup with little expected of his side and his experience will play a key role if the Netherlands' young team can make an impact.

    Youngest players

    Fabrice Olinga
    (Cameroon): 18 years and 31 days

    Olinga is just shy of Northern Ireland man Norman Whiteside's record for youngest player at a tournament. The Northern Ireland star was 17 years and 41 days old when he made his debut and if Olinga features in his side's opener tomorrow he will become the tournament's most youthful player in history.

    Luke Shaw
    (England): 18 years and 325 days

    The Southampton left-back beat off competition from England stalwart Ashely Cole to feature in Roy Hodgson's side and may well get minutes deputising fro Leighton Baines.

    Julian Green
    (USA): 19 years and 6 days

    Bayern Munich's American starlet was somewhat of a surprise selection having never played for the German giants' first-team but he is held in high regard by the club.

    Carlos Gruezo
    (Ecuador): 19 years and 54 days

    The Stuttgart midfielder has three caps to his name and there is a distinct possibility he could feature in Brazil.

    Divock Origi
    (Belgium): 19 years and 55 days

    Of Kenyan descent, Origi represents Lille in the French Ligue 1 and has played for his country twice so far.

    Tallest players

    Fraser Forster
    (England): 2.01m

    The Celtic man is the only player to top the 2m mark in Brazil but his opportunities are limited due to Joe Hart's hold on the number one shirt.

    Asmir Begovic
    (Bosnia): 1.98m

    Another of the giant goalkeepers Begovic is one of four players just 4cm below Forster's eyeline.

    Jasmin Fejzic
    (Bosnia): 1.98m

    Alongside Begovic, the pair make up the tournament's biggest pairing.

    Thibaut Courtois
    (Belgium): 1.98m

    The most saught after 'keeper in the world is also none of the tallest.

    Per Mertesacker
    (Germany): 1.98m

    Germany and Arsenal centre-half Mertesacker is the tallest of the outfield players in Brazil, breaking the goalkeeping monopoly of this list.

    Shortest players

    Lorenzo Insigne
    (Italy): 1.63m

    One of the most promising talents in world football, Insigne will be dwarfed by many of his team-mates and opponents.

    Edgar Salli
    (Cameroon): 1.63m

    The 21-year-old is level pegging with Insigne and performs in a similar role to the Italian.

    Dries Mertens
    (Belgium): 1.64m

    Napoli winger Martens is part of an exciting front line for Belgium accompanied by Eden Hazard and contrasted by Romelu Lukaku.

    Javier Aquino
    (Mexico): 1.65m

    Aquino, who plays for Villarreal, will be providing width for his Mexico side.

    Marco Verratti
    (Italy): 1.65m

    PSG's Marco Verratti will be a familiar face for fans of European football, having risen as one of the continents most talented central midfielders.