Golden oldies: today's winners will buck the trend
Either Italy or France will today buck the trend and lift the FIFA World Cup with a team showing an average age considerably older than any other winners over the past 44 years.
In none of the last ten tournaments have the winners possessed a squad with an average age of more than 28. Today's two line-ups are expected to pass that mark comfortably. If they are unchanged from the teams that won their semi-finals, France will emerge from the Olympiastadion dressing-room showing an average 30 years and 0.5 months (oldest player Fabian Barthez - 35 years and 12 days; youngest: Frank Ribery - 23 years and 3 months) and Italy 29 years and 7 months (oldest: Marco Materazzi - 32 years and 10m months; youngest: Andrea Pirlo - 27 years and 1 month).
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The last winning squad with an average age of more than 28 was way back in 1962 when Brazil triumphed in Chile with a party with an average of 30 years and one month, 17 months older on average than the next oldest squad.
Since then the average age of the winning squads has been: England (27/01); Brazil (25/02); Germany (27/03); Argentina (26/03); Italy (27/04); Argentina (26/10); Germany (27/09); Brazil (27/11); France (27/04) and Brazil (26/09).
As a comparison the average age of the French squad is 29/02 and Italy's 28/09. That makes France the second oldest squad on duty in Germany - Trinidad and Tobago topping that particular ranking at 29/05. Italy were fifth highest in terms of squad average ages; the youngest squad were Ghana at 25/02