Belgium should be one of the exciting teams to watch in this year’s World Cup in Qatar. The team seeking to clinch its maiden World Cup trophy on its 14th attempt is the oldest at the showcase.
The Red Devils who are currently ranked second in the FIFA Coca Cola World Ranking, have participated in 13 FIFA World Cup finals and are in for their 14th campaign at the Qatar 2022. Their best performance was recorded at Russia 2018 edition when they finished third after beating England 2-0
in the Third-Place match.
According to a Safebettingsites analysis of the average ages of participating teams at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, Belgians’ average age of 28 years is the highest at the event.
The Belgians’ seniority could be a boon Safebettingsites’ Edith Reads has shared her thoughts on the data. She reckons the Belgians’ “seniority” in age could be a boon for the team.
“There’s a lot that goes into team selection, and one important factor is experience. At 27-28 is when most players are in their prime. It’s an age that comes with a certain maturity mentally. And that maturity is key in handling the pressures associated with such tournaments,” she said.
Experience and youth
Belgian head coach Roberto Martinez and his staff have opted for a good blend of experience and youth. So, on the one hand, you have battle-hardened workhorses like Jan Vertonghen and Dries Martens, who are 35.
And on the other, you’ve budding talent in Charles De Ketelaere(21) and Loïs Openda (22). In between, you have a good spread of players in their mid to late twenties.
How other teams compare
Japan, Australia, and Argentina are the second oldest teams after Belgium. The three have an average age of twenty-seven and a half years each. South Korea and Switzerland then follow with mean ages of 27.4 and 27.2 years, respectively.
At the other end of the scale, we have the youngest teams in the tournament. These have average ages of under 25. Ghana (25) is the third-youngest team in the World Cup. Only the U.S (24.5) and Mexico (24.8) are more youthful than the African representatives.
Although Edith espouses the value of a mature squad, she’s quick to mention that being older isn’t a guarantee for success. Youthful teams have at times pulled surprises on more experienced opponents.