A total of 54 players at the World Cup were born after the 45-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper made his debut for the Pharaohs in 1996.

By 90Min
June 15, 2018

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary will create World Cup history if he makes it onto the pitch during the tournament. Not only is the 45-year-old the oldest of the 736 players who are representing their countries in Russia this month, he would become the oldest player in World Cup history, breaking the record set by 43-year-old Colombian Faryd Mondragon in 2014.

El-Hadary, who has played close to 160 times for Egypt since making his debut in a game against South Korea in March 1996 (RSSSF), has actually been playing senior international football for longer than many others at this year's World Cup have even been alive.

Since El-Hadary's bow in 1996, just shy of 22 years and four months ago, as many as 54 players at this summer's World Cup have been born, grown up and become international footballers.

Spain and Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio was just two months old when El-Hadary stepped onto the pitch for Egypt for the first time. But Russian hero from the opening game Aleksandr Golovin wasn't born, neither was €145m Barcelona and France winger Ousmane Demebele, who didn't arrive on the planet until May 1997.

England's Marcus Rashford wasn't born until October 1997, while Trent Alexander-Arnold arrived in October 1998. By the time Australian midfielder Daniel Arzani was born in January 1999, making him the youngest player at this year's World Cup, El-Hadary had been playing international football for nearly three years and already had 15 caps to his name.

Gabriel Jesus, Dele Alli, Kylian Mbappe, Andreas Christensen, Goncalo Guedes, Youri Tielemans, Davinson Sanchez, Julian Brandt - all big name players who have been tipped to make a big impact in Russia - are all younger than El-Hadary's international career.

There as many as seven Moroccan players on the list - 30% of their squad - and 28 of the 32 competing countries have at least one player born after El-Hadary's international debut in their squad. The only nations that do not are Spain, Peru, Sweden and Japan.

All 54 World Cup Players Born Since El-Hadary's International Debut (March 1996):

Player Country Date of Birth
Aleksandr Golovin Russia 30th May 1996
Abdullah Al-Khaibari Saudi Arabia 16th August 1996
Ramadan Sobhi Egypt 23rd January 1997
Rodrigo Bentancur Uruguay 25th June 1997
Maxi Gomez Uruguay 14th August 1996
Goncalo Guedes Portugal 29th November 1996
Ruben Dias Portugal 14th May 1997
Achraf Hakimi Morocco 4th November 1998
Hamza Mendyl Morocco 21st October 1997
Youssef Ait Bennasser Morocco 7th July 1996
Amine Harit Morocco 18th June 1997
Sofyan Amrabat Morocco 21st August 1996
Youssef En-Nesyri Morocco 1st June 1997
Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti Morocco 5th April 1996
Saeid Ezatolahi Iran 1st October 1996
Majid Hosseini Iran 20th June 1996
Benjamin Pavard France 28th March 1996
Kylian Mbappe France 20th December 1998
Ousmane Dembele France 15th May 1997
Daniel Arzani Australia 4th January 1999
Andreas Christensen Denmark 10th April 1996
Kasper Dolberg Denmark 6th October 1997
Giovani Lo Celso Argentina 9th April 1996
Albert Gudmundsson Iceland 15th June 1997
Duje Caleta-Car Croatia 17th September 1996
Wilfred Ndidi Nigeria 16th December 1996
Alex Iwobi Nigeria 3rd May 1996
Chidozie Awaziem Nigeria 1st January 1997
Francis Uzoho Nigeria 28th October 1998
Gabriel Jesus Brazil 3rd April 1997
Nico Elvedi Switzerland 30th September 1996
Breel Embolo Switzerland 14th February 1997
Denis Zakaria Switzerland 20th November 1996
Ian Smith Costa Rica 6th March 1998
Andrija Zivkovic Serbia 11th July 1996
Marko Grujic Serbia 13th April 1996
Nikola Milenkovic Serbia 12th October 1997
Luka Jovic Serbia 23rd December 1997
Julian Brandt Germany 2nd May 1996
Edson Alvarez Mexico 24th October 1997
Lee Seung-woo South Korea 6th January 1998
Youri Tielemans Belgium 7th May 1997
Ismael Diaz Panama 12th May 1997
Ricardo Avila Panama 4th February 1997
Jose Luis Rodriguez Panama 19th June 1998
Bassem Srarfi Tunisia 25th June 1997
Marcus Rashford England 31st October 1997
Dele Alli England 11th April 1996
Trent Alexander-Arnold England 7th October 1998
Jan Bednarek Poland 12th April 1996
Dawid Kownacki Poland 14th March 1997
Ismaila Sarr Senegal 25th February 1998
Moussa Wague Senegal 4th October 1998
Davinson Sanchez Colombia 12th June 1996

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