Essam El Hadary is now the oldest player ever to play at AFCON and the World Cup Credit: Courtesy
  • El Hadary celebrated his 44th Birth Day on Sunday
  • He made his national team debut in 1996 and has been part of the team for 20 years
  • He has won four Africa Nations Cup trophies with the Pharaohs 
[/media-credit] Essam El Hadary is now the oldest player ever to play at AFCON Credit: Courtesy

Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary is officially the oldest player ever to play at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The veteran goalkeeper, who made 44 years over the weekend beat the record set by his former teammate on the national team Hossam Hassan who featured in the AFCON while 39 years, five months and 24 days.

But the four- time African champions with the Pharaohs had to start on the bench against Mali in a goalless draw at Port Gentil until 24 minutes when Ahmed El-Shennawy picked a hamstring.

El Hadary is a veteran of Egypt’s victories on home soil in 2006, in 2008 and in 2010, before the Pharaohs failed to qualify for any of the last three tournaments.

The experienced custodian made his debut in 1996 and has so far made seven appearances at the AFCON final tournament only one adrift of former Egypt skipper Ahmed Hassan and ex-Cameroon defender Rigobert Song who played in eight editions.

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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