Wily Veterans: A Starting XI Of The Oldest 2018 World Cup Players

By the time most people hit the magic number of forty years of age, you wouldn’t expect them to be taking to the pitch at the highest level. But, for a number of players at the 2018 World Cup, they're looking to defy the social norms. They will be representing their nation in Russia for what could be the final time. 

We’ve come up with a starting eleven of the oldest players that are going to be at the World Cup, and we’ve gone with a classic 4-4-2 formation for this team. 

The Oldest Players at the World Cup Starting XI

GOALKEEPER: Essam El Hadary (45, Egypt) — This guy gets his first and last chance at playing in a World Cup with Egypt, as they qualified for the first time in 24 years. It will be incredible to see El Hadary get his opportunity at the ripe age of 45, but that’s the beauty of the World Cup, isn’t it?

Embed from Getty Images

DEFENDERS: Rafael Marquez (39, Mexico), Sergei Ignashevich (38, Russia), Felipe Baloy (37, Panama), Bruno Alves (36, Portugal) — You can bet there is plenty of experience in this backline, but little to no pace. Imagine playing with these defenders on FIFA. You’re just asking to concede plenty of goals.

Experience does count for something, but depending on who each player is defending against in a match, it could get ugly. Maybe these guys were included in their respective World Cup squads purely for their experience and wisdom. Because, you know, old people are wise and stuff. Marquez already has retired from his club side Atlas, so this World Cup will sadly be the last time we see him on a soccer field. 

Embed from Getty Images

MIDFIELDERS: Olafur Ingi Skulason (35, Iceland), Andres Iniesta (34, Spain), Yuri Zhirkov (34, Russia), Michael Krohn-Dehli (34, Denmark) — There is still a lot of skill left in this midfield, largely thanks to Iniesta and Zhrikov. Iniesta is likely to be the player in this lineup that makes it the furthest in the tournament as well as getting actual playing time, and he could still make an impact. 2010 World Cup final, anyone?

For Zhirkov, at least he will get the opportunity to play at a World Cup in front of his own nation, a very special occasion for any player. 

FORWARDS: Tim Cahill (38, Australia), Blas Perez (37, Panama) — Tim Cahill had a number of petrol stations named after him in Australia, such is his hero status back in the "Land Down Under." This will be his fourth World Cup, and he has also scored in the previous three World Cups he played in, including the absolute screamer that he scored against the Netherlands in 2014. Could he repeat those heroics four years on?

Videos you might like