Socceroos win age-old battle of young guns
IT'S official; Socceroos winger Daniel Arzani is the youngest player at the World Cup.
The 19-year-old is the only man born in 1999 to be heading to Russia after FIFA released the final squad lists of each of the 32 nations.
Poland had selected Sebastian Szymanski, five months Arzani's junior, in its extended group, but the midfielder has missed the cut for the final squad. That move confirms Arzani as the youngest man at the 2018 tournament.
Arzani's run to the Socceroos squad has been spectacular and unexpected since making a first start for Melbourne City last August in the FFA Cup.
The raw talent has just 16 starts in his professional career and made a debut for Australia off the bench in Friday's 4-0 friendly win over Czech Republic.
Arzani is joined by Kylian Mbappe, of group stage opponents France, and England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold as one of just seven teenagers at the tournament.
Another of Australia's opponents, Denmark's Christian Eriksen, was the youngest player at the 2010 World Cup at 18 years and four months of age.
At the other end of the spectrum, striker Tim Cahill is the fourth oldest player to be heading to Russia.
The oldest player honour belongs to Egypt captain and goalkeeper Essan El-Hadary, who will debut at the World Cup as a 45-year-old.
Meanwhile, Germany star Leroy Sane has been left out of the World Cup squad after stunning teammates with his big-time attitude while in camp.
The Manchester City forward was heading back to England after Joachim Low left him out of his squad for Russia.
And Sane's behaviour around the holders' camp was a major factor.
The 22-year-old played poorly in last weekend's defeat by Austria but was still a shock exclusion.
It came after Sane lifted the title with City and was named PFA Young Player of the Year. A change in his attitude was noticed in team meetings and around the German camp.
It is believed Low risked upsetting other members of his squad by picking Sane - and was happy to stand by his brave decision.
Sane only broke into the Germany team after they won the last World Cup.
The City star was tipped to join the likes of Brazilian Neymar as one of football's biggest personalities in Russia.
Lukewarm Serbia have stumbled 1-0 to Chile while Morocco have downed Slovakia 2-1in World Cup warm-ups.
Meanwhile, Italy and the Netherlands, two of the biggest names to miss out on Russia, have continued their rebuilding work with a 1-1 draw in Turin.
Serbia, who face Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland in their group, looked vulnerable every time the South American champions - who surprisingly failed to qualify for the World Cup - came forward.
Guillermo Maripan headed in an 89th-minute winner for Chile, a fair reward for their more adventurous display.
Morocco, who face Iran, Portugal and Spain in World Cup Group B, produced plenty of slick passing against Slovakia as they extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.
Although they fell behind to a long-range Jans Gregus effort in the 59th minute, Morocco replied with goals from Ayoub Kaabi and Younes Belhanda in a 10-minute spell.
Poland's preparations suffered a blow when defender Kamil Glik seriously injured his shoulder in training on the same day as being named in their 23-man squad.
Coach Adam Nawalka said the 30-year-old, who fell awkwardly after attempting an overhead kick, would be replaced by VfB Stuttgart's Marcin Kaminski if he did not recover in time to travel to Russia.