The 2006 World Cup final saw the tournament's two oldest rosters—France and Italy—battle it out for the title of world champions.
The winner was Italy—the older of the pair.
History shows that experience counts for a lot at international level, especially as teams have limited training time in which to learn how to play together.
Which teams heading for South Africa have the experience that can help them become world champions?
Find out as we rank the rosters based on their average age, from the youngest to the oldest.
Note: figures are based on a players age at the start of the tournment - June 11.
Oldest player: Hans Sarpei (34)
Sarpei’s 10 years of experience in the Bundesliga is not quite matched at international level.
He has only 28 caps for Ghana, but was a member of the 2006 World Cup roster.
Youngest player: Jonathan Mensah (19)
Part of the Ghana team that won the Under-20 World Cup.
The promising defender plays his club football in South Africa for Free State Stars
Oldest player: Ji Yun-nam (33)
The left-back only featured in the later stages of qualifying but was instrumental in helping North Korea reach their first finals since 1966.
Youngest player: Pak Sung-hyok (20)
The defensive midfielder plays for Sobaeksu in the North Korean league and has played three times for his country.
Oldest player: Hans-Jorg Butt (36)
The Bayern Munich player was a late addition to the German squad, after the injury to regular goalkeeper Rene Adler.
Takes penalty kicks and scored in a Champions League match against Juventus this season.
Youngest player: Toni Kroos (20)
Exciting playmaker who won the Golden Ball and scored five goals at the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Made his senior debut in March’s friendly defeat to Argentina.
Oldest player: Souleymanou Hamidou (36)
The veteran goalkeeper made his Cameroon debut over 10 years ago but has never managed to secure the number one shirt on a regular basis.
Youngest player: Vincent Aboubakar (18)
The teenage striker is the only home-based player in the Cameroon squad, though has since agreed a deal with France’s Valenciennes.
Oldest player: Kanu (33)
The striker may be past his best but he still made some effective cameos for his club side Portsmouth this season.
Played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.
Youngest player: Haruna Lukman (20)
The Monaco midfielder did not feature in the qualifying matches but a good season at club level has seen him included in Lars Lagerback’s roster.
Oldest player: Pablo Contreras (31)
Controversial defender who was once banned for 10 games by the Chilean FA for an incident during the 2007 Copa America.
Youngest player: Alexis Sanchez (21)
Exciting striker who has won titles with Colo-Colo and River Plate.
Now plays in Italy for Udinese.
Oldest player: Joan Capdevila (32)
The Villarreal defender is a steady choice at right-back having established himself in the team during the victorious Euro 2008 campaign.
Youngest player: Sergio Busquets (21)
The midfielder has become a regular feature of the Barcelona team this season and will be challenging for a starting place in Vincente Del Bosque’s side at the World Cup.
Oldest player: Zdemo Strba (34)
The midfielder showed his versatility when he played in defense during Slovakia’s qualifier against Poland that secured his country’s place in South Africa.
Youngest player: Vladimir Weiss (20)
Son of Slovakia’s coach—also called Vladimir—Weiss is a Manchester City player.
However the winger spent 2010 on loan at Bolton Wanderers.
Oldest player: Dejan Stankovic (31)
Serbia’s captain had an outstanding year with his club side Inter as they collected an historic treble.
Youngest player: Radosav Petrovic (21)
A surprise choice as he does not feature regularly for club side Partizan Belgrade, the midfielder is highly regarded by Serbian coach Raddy Antic.
Oldest player: Andres Scotti (34)
The Colo-Colo player is a key part of the Uruguayan defense and scored one goal in the qualifying campaign.
Youngest player: Nicolas Lodeiro
The Ajax midfielder came into the national team for the first leg of the qualifying play-off against Costa Rica.
Oldest player: Rafik Saifi (35)
The veteran striker scored three goals in qualifying and has 19 in total for his country.
He featured in this year’s African Cup of Nations but is not likely a likely starter at the World Cup.
Youngest player: Ryad Boudebouz (20)
Born and raised in France, Boudebouz played at under-19 level for his native country but recently opted to play for the country of his parents.
Oldest player: Simon Elliott (36)
Recently released by MLS side San Jose Earthquakes, the midfielder has also played in the Premier League for Fulham.
Youngest player: Chris Wood (18)
The teenage striker’s club side West Bromwich Albion recently gained promotion to England’s Premier Division.
Oldest player: Blaise Nkufo (35)
The veteran striker was part of the Twente team that recently won the Dutch league.
Born in Congo DR, his family moved to Switzerland when he was seven.
Youngest player: Xherdan Shaqiri (18)
The teenage winger plays for Basel, with whom he whom the Swiss Cup this season.
Make his Swiss debut in a recent friendly against Uruguay.
Oldest player: Jasmin Handanovic (32)
The veteran goalkeeper is likely to sit on the bench as his cousin Samir Handanovic is Slovakia’s number one.
Youngest player: Rene Krhin (20)
The midfielder played a small part in his club side Inter’s league title this season.
Made his international debut last year in a friendly against England.
Oldest player: Didier Drogba (32)
The Elephants captain looked set to miss the World Cup when he fractured an elbow in a friendly match with Japan.
However he has since rejoined the team following an operation and may yet play.
Youngest player: Seydou Doubmia (22)
The striker plays for Young Boys in Switzerland and has twice finished as the league’s top scorer.
Oldest player: Marcus Hahnemann (37)
An excellent goalkeeper with plenty of experience in England’s Premier League, Hahnemann has always been USA’s second choice behind Tim Howard.
Youngest player: Jozy Altidore (20)
USA coach Bob Bradley is still sweating on the fitness of his star striker, who recent injured an ankle in training.
Oldest player: Matthew Booth (33)
The only white player in the South Africa team, Booth is a favourite amongst the fans though is not likely to start the host's opening game against Mexico.
Youngest player: Anele Ngongca (22)
The defender plays for Genk in the Belgian league and coach Carlos Alberto Parreira may use him as a right-back.
Oldest player: Martin Palermo (36)
The Boca Juniors striker secured his place in coach Diego Maradona’s roster with a crucial late winner against Peru in qualifying.
Youngest player: Javier Pastore (20)
Talented young midfielder who made his Argentina debut in a recently friendly against Canada.
The Palermo player turns 21 during the World Cup.
Oldest player: Cuauhtemoc Blanco (37)
A Mexican legend, Blanco is not likely to feature in Javier Aguirre’s first eleven but will be called upon as a game-changing substitute.
Youngest player: Giovani Dos Santos (21)
One of the game’s most exciting talents, Dos Santos has yet to prove his potential after disappointing spells at Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur.
Oldest player: Lee Woon-jae (37)
The veteran goalkeeper remains South Korea’s first choice and will be playing in his fourth World Cup.
Youngest player: Kim Bo-kyung (20)
The promising young midfielder plays his club football for Oita Trinita in Japan.
Oldest player: William Gallas (32)
The French captain has had numerous injury concerns ahead of the World Cup but the defender should be fit in time for the opening match against Uruguay.
Youngest player: Hugo Lloris (23)
France’s youngest player is considered by many to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Helped his club side Lyon reach the semifinals of this season’s Champions League.
Oldest player: Martin Jorgensen (34)
The midfielder played in the 1998 World Cup and scored in the quarterfinal defeat to Brazil.
Youngest player: Christian Eriksen (18)
Denmark’s brightest young talent, the Ajax teenager made his international debut against Austria in March.
Oldest player: Sander Boschker (39)
The second oldest player at the World Cup behind England’s David James, the Twente goalkeeper made his international debut last month.
Youngest player: Gregory Van Der Wiel (22)
The Ajax defender has quickly established himself as Holland’s first-choice right-back.
Was named Holland’s Young Player of the Year in 2010.
Oldest player: Kostas Chalkias (36)
The veteran goalkeeper was a non-playing member of the Greece team that won Euro 2004.
Played in some of the World Cup qualifiers but unable to hold down the number one spot.
Youngest player: Sotiris Ninis (20)
Greece’s youngest ever goal-scorer, the Panathinaikos midfielder found the net on his international debut at the age of 18.
Oldest player: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (34)
Japan’s captain broke his leg playing in the J-League earlier this season and looked set to miss the World Cup.
However a quick recovery has seen the goalkeeper included in the roster.
Youngest player: Takayuki Morimoto (22)
The striker plays for Catania in Serie A and was described by Milan’s Alexandre Pato as one of best young players in Italy.
Oldest player: Deco (32)
The diminutive playmaker has lost some of his magic but remains one of the most creative players in Portugal’s first team.
Youngest player: Fabio Coentrao (22)
The Benfica midfielder made his international debut in the first leg of the qualifying play-off against Bosnia.
Oldest player: Carlos Pavon (36)
The veteran striker is a Honduran legend and the country’s record scorer with 57 goals. Recently collected his 100th cap.
Youngest player: Roger Espinoza (23)
The midfielder plays for Kansas City Wizards in the MLS and has never played in his country’s domestic league.
Oldest player: Denis Caniza (35)
The defender is a veteran of Paraguay’s 1998 World Cup campaign though is no longer guaranteed a place in the first 11.
Youngest player: Rodolfo Gamarra (21)
The striker has been in excellent form for his club side Libertad this season, though is not likely to displace Paraguay’s other experienced forwards from the first team.
Oldest player: Fabio Cannavaro (36)
The World Cup winning captain has endured a difficult season with Juventus and has recently signed for Al-Ahli Dubai in the Emirates as a free agent.
Youngest player: Leonardo Bonnuci (23)
Oldest and youngest look set to form the heart of Italy’s defense.
Bonnuci has played himself into Lippi’s plans with a great season for his club side Bari.
Oldest player: Mark Schwarzer (37)
The veteran goalkeeper has had one of his most successful seasons at club level, featuring prominently during Fulham’s run to the Europa League final.
Youngest player: Nikita Rukavytsya (22)
Born in Ukraine, Rukavytsya’s family moved to Australia when he was 14. The striker was part of Australia’s Olympic soccer team at Beijing 2008.
Oldest player: David James (39)
The oldest player at the World Cup, the Portsmouth goalkeeper has spent much of this season injured but should still retain his place as England’s number one.
Youngest player: Joe Hart (23)
Considered by some as England’s most talented goalkeeper, this World Cup has probably come too early for Hart to be considered first choice.
Three days younger than Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon.
Oldest player: Gilberto (34)
The Cruzeiro full-back was part of the Brazil squad at the 2006 World Cup and scored against Japan in the group stages.
Had a brief spell in England with Tottenham Hotspur.
Youngest player: Ramires (23)
The Benfica midfielder played in all of Brazil’s matches in last year’s Confederations Cup.
Scored his first international goals in the recent friendly against Tanzania.