By Gbenga Jolaosho
The world football governing body, FIFA has named the Super Eagles as the youngest team of the 32 teams who qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia, according to statistics published by the organization yesterday in Zurich, Switzerland .
The Eagles were also among the top 10 teams to play with the most foreign-based players in the qualifiers
CIES Football Observatory in conjunction with FIFA profiled the 32 World Cup qualifiers.
Nigeria fielded the youngest players (with an average age of 24.9 years) in the qualifiers, followed by title-holders Germany (25.7) and by U-17 and U-20 world champions England (25.9), at the opposite end of the spectrum were two newcomers Panama (29.4 years) and Iceland (29.0), as well as 2014 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists Costa Rica (29.0).
Croatia, Sweden and Iceland lined up completely foreign-based pros for the qualifiers, while Nigeria used 91.4% foreign players to reach Russia 2018.
Nigeria were also in the second half of the 32-team tournament in terms of average height of the players who featured in the qualifying tournament – 181.2 metres – 19th tallest team to the 2018 World Cup.
Serbia were the tallest with an average height of 185.6 metres.