The much awaited Euro 2020 is around the corner and the national team managers have announced their squads for the tournament.
For reasons related to Covid-19, the countries were required to name 26-man squads instead of the usual 23 players. This is likely to reduce the workload on players and prepare managers in case players test positive for the Corona virus.
The 26-man squad has eased out tensions for managers with three additional players allowed to be part of the set-up. These players probably would not have received a call-up in normal conditions. England manager Gareth Southgate has benefitted the most from this decision by UEFA.
Chelsea and Manchester City are the most represented clubs at Euro 2020 with 15 players each. Meanwhile, German giants Bayern Munich are runners-up with 14 players on national duty this Euro 2020. With 12 players, Juventus ranks third on the list.
It is hardly surprising to see Chelsea and Manchester City players in demand for their national teams considering they were in the Champions League finals last month. However, one of the most interesting results of the squad selections is the tournament's oldest and youngest squads.
The youngest squads at Euro 2020
The youngest squad in the tournament is Luis Enrique's Spain national team with an average age of 24.1 years. Barcelona midfielder Pedri is the youngest player on the team at 18 years old. Meanwhile, fellow Blaugrana teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are the oldest players in the squad at age 32. Notable absentees in the squad include Ansu Fati and Sergio Ramos.
Turkey are a close second with a squad average age of 24.6 years. The Turks boast a wide range of star power in the likes of Merih Demiral, Zeki Celik, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Çağlar Söyüncü, Ozan Kabak, and captain Burak Yilmez.
Gareth Southgate's England squad, with an average age of 24.8 years, is just behind the Turkish national team. Former Birmingham City teen sensation Jude Bellingham is the youngest player called up for Euro 2020 by Southgate at age 17. Other prominent young stars include Phil Foden (21), Jadon Sancho (21), Bukayo Saka (19), Mason Mount (22), and defensive midfielder Declan Rice (22).
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The oldest sqauds at Euro 2020
Roberto Martinez's Belgium and Zlatan-less Sweden teams are the oldest squads in this edition of the European championship.
Belgium's squad, with a combined age of 28.7 years and 1300+ national caps among themselves, is the most experienced side at Euro 2020. Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Axel Witsel, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are all well into their 30s. Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois are in their late 20s.
This could also be the last chance for the golden generation of Belgian football to stake a claim at silverware. Belgium will face Finland, Denmark and Russia in the group stage of the Euro 2020.
Sweden are just days behind Belgium in compiling the tournament's most experienced team. Janne Andersson's squad will be without their greatest player of all time- Zlatan Ibrahimović as the 39-year-old opted out due to a knee injury.
This could be an opportunity for Dejan Kulusevski to take center stage for his country. The 21-year old is already an integral figure for Juventus. Regarded as a hardworking player, physically strong, and versatile, Kulusevski is capable of playing in several positions in midfield and attack.
Poland's Kacper Kozłowski is the youngest player to be called up for Euro 2020. Meanwhile, former Real Madrid and current Portugal central defender Pepe holds the distinction of being the oldest outfield player to be named in the 26-man squad.
Had Zlatan been fit for the Euro 2020, it could have been a possibility for him to become the oldest outfield player to feature in the tournament beating Lothar Matthäus' record at 39 years 91 days.
Meanwhile, if there is one age-related record that is likely to be broken it has to be England's youngest player to ever feature in the Euros. Jude Bellingham, who doesn't turn 18 before 29th June, could break his teammate Marcus Rashford's record for the youngest appearance holder for the Three Lions at 18 years and 229 days.