1998 FIFA World Cup France™

10 June - 12 July

1998 FIFA World Cup™

Players Facts & Figures: Eto's the youngest, Leighton the oldest

During the World Cup, FIFA On-Line will be providing a daily feed of facts and figures with statistical information on the participating teams and the World Cup competition.

5Only five teams have all their players in their national league: England, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain. Nigeria is at the other extreme : all 22 players are on the books of foreign clubs.

**13**CF Barcelona is the club with most players selected for the final phase. Here is the list of the top clubs in this classification :

CF Barcelona ESP 13
Internazionale Milan ITA 11
AC Milan ITA 10
Celtic Glasgow SCO 10
PSV Eindhoven HOL 9
Real Madrid ESP 9
Chelsea ENG 8
Etoile Sportive du Sahel TUN 8
Juventus Turin ITA 8
Manchester Utd. ENG 8
Parma ITA 8
Pirouzi IRN 8
Tottenham Hotspur ENG 8

15Fifteen players have not yet reached the age of 20 by the beginning of the finals: 4 Cameroonians, 2 each in the squads of England, Nigeria and the Korean Republic, 1 each in the teams of Belgium, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Jamaica and Japan.

17Samuel Eto'o (CMR) is the youngest of the 704 France '98 players. Eto'o had his 17th birthday on 10 March this year. The record for the youngest player in the history of the World Cup final competition therefore stays unbeaten. This record is held by Norman Whiteside (NIR), who made his World Cup debut at the age of 17 years and 42 days on 17 June 1982 in the Yugoslavia-Northern Ireland match (0-0), played in Saragosse.

40Jim Leighton is by far the oldest player in the France '98 finals. The goalkeeper for Aberdeen (SCO) will celebrate his 40th birthday on 24 July. This is the 4th time he is taking part in the World Cup finals. Leighton was one of the 22 players in Spain '82 (0 caps), in Mexico '86 (3) and in Italy '90 (3). He has played a total of 540 minutes and conceded 6 goals. When the Cameroon legend Roger Milla came on for part of the match against Russia in the 1994 tourna-ment, he was 42 years and 39 days of age - almost exactly 25 years older than Whiteside in 1982.

75Of the France '98 players, 75 are currently signed up with an English club. England is the country with the most players selected for the World Cup, followed by Italy and Spain, both with 70 players. Germany is 4th with 54 players, while France and Japan are 5th with 30 players each. Turkey, while 11th in this list with 19 players, has not qualified for the finals.

181Out of the 704 France '98 participants, 181 are aged 30 or over. 35 other players will reach 30 some time this year. All the 32 qualified teams have at least 2 players over 30.

  • No of players aged 30 or over

Germany 12

Italy 5
Austria 11
Mexico 5
Belgium 11
Norway 5
England 10
Spain 5
Scotland 9
Tunisia 5
Bulgaria 8
Netherlands 4
Croatia 8
Chile 3
Denmark 8
Jamaica 3
Romania 8
Japan 3
Brazil 7
Saudi Arabia 3
Colombia 7
South Africa 3
Nigeria 6
Argentina 2
Cameroon 2
Yugoslavia 6
Korean Republic 2
France 5
Morocco 2
Iran 5
Paraguay 2

447Out of the 704 World Cup players, 447 are signed up with a European club; 90 play in Asia, 67 in South America, 61 in Northern and Central America, 37 in Africa (the clubs of two players still remain unknown). The 704 players come from 38 different countries: 20 in Europe, 6 in South America, 5 in Asia, 4 in Africa, and 3 in Northern and Central America. The 704 players are currently signed up with 276 different clubs: 21 are English, 20 are Spanish, while France, Italy and Germany each have 16 clubs containing World Cup players.