It’s no secret that 32 teams, including the host nation of Qatar, will compete in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which kicks off this Sunday, November 20. The tournament, which has been held every four years since 1930 (excluding 1942 and 1946 owing to World War II), has quickly risen to become one of the most popular and widely viewed sporting events on the planet.
On November 20th, Doha will host the world’s attention for the start of the World Cup 2022. Below are some intriguing tidbits about the players who will represent their countries:
#1. Youngest player (17 years old) – Youssoufa Moukoko, Germany
The youngest player at this year’s World Cup in Qatar is also the brightest prospect to come out of Germany since Jamal Musiala’s breakout season with Bayern. For Borussia Dortmund, he has been phenomenal this Bundesliga season, contributing to six goals and three assists.
Grabbing the world’s and Germany’s manager’s attention would be the winner he scored off the bench in the Revierderby for Dortmund against Schalke. Moukoko was included in Hansi Flick’s last Germany squad thanks to Timo Werner’s injury.
#2. Mexico’s Alfredo Talavera, age 40, is the oldest player
Dani Alves, 39, and Thiago Silva, 38, are just two of the many seasoned veterans participating in this year’s World Cup. Other notable names include Luka Modric, 37, and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, among many more. But in Qatar, FC Juarez and Mexico goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera have the oldest player mantle.
In goal for his national team, he is joined by fellow veteran Guillermo Ochoa, also 37. He will be looking to demonstrate his worthiness as a successor to the more promising young Carlos Acevedo. Tata Martino, the team’s manager, decided not to include Acevedo in the traveling party to Mexico.
#3. Lionel Messi of Argentina has played the most games (19)
In an interview before the tournament in Qatar, the much-loved legend of Argentina and global celebrity revealed that this would be his last tournament playing for his country. Messi has played 165 times for Argentina and has scored 91 goals. At the Doha finals, he hopes to add the World Cup to his already impressive collection of hardware and cement his place in history.
#4. Ilias Chair, a Moroccan, is the shortest player in the league at 5 feet 2 inches
Despite his small stature, Morocco’s crafty and talented No. 10 hopes to play a significant role for his national side. In Group F, Morocco competes alongside Belgium, Canada, and Croatia. Like his current team, QPR of the English Championship, they will hope to utilize his unique talents. He has contributed to his club this season with three goals and six assists.
#5. Andries Noppert, of the Netherlands is the tallest player at 6 feet, 6 inches
The massive goaltender made Louis van Gaal’s final Netherlands team. Heerenveen, the team he played for, showed great improvement under his watch, posting six shutouts in fourteen Eredivisie games. Because of his height and reach, Louis Van Gaal and his Dutch teams will be counting on him in a World Cup penalty shootout — a circumstance they have faced before.
#6. Thomas Muller led the team in scoring and assisting with ten goals and six, respectively
Within the German team, he is better known by his alias, “Radio Muller.” The former Germany and Bayern Munich star has never been one to hold his tongue. He has a great sense of humor and isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind to his teammates, opponents, or referees, contributing to his widespread acclaim. In addition, he left an indelible mark on the 2014 FIFA World Cup stage for his country, helping them win the silver ball.
His country has repeatedly relied on him to score the winning goals. Both his National Team coach and his teammates have depended greatly on him. He considers himself a “Raumdeuter,” or “space investigator,” because he preferred playing in the tight quarters between the opposing defense and midfield.