Egypt's El Hadary at AFCON 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports / AMINAH BABIRYE
[/media-credit] Egypt’s El Hadary at AFCON 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports / AMINAH BABIRYE

Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam Kamal Tawfiq El-Hadary, one of football’s loyal and diligent servant has retired from international football.

El Hadary,45, became the oldest player ever to play at the world’s biggest footballing fiesta – the FIFA World Cup during the 2018 tournament held in Russia.

He leaves behind a legacy worthy to be emulated having served the beautiful game for 22 solid years, winning 159 caps.

El Hadary is by far one of the decent goalkeepers on the African continent.

At 45, El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history when he played against Saudi Arabia at Russia 2018.

Although Egypt lost the match, El Hadary saved a first-half penalty from Fahad Al-Muwallad in the final outing for the Pharaohs on their return to the World Cup following a 28-year absence.

El Hadary debuted for Egypt in 1996.

As quoted by FIFA.com, he bid farewell majestically;

I am very proud to have played with the national team in 159 internationals, participating in unprecedented achievements. I hope that I have succeeded in my mission over the past years. I extend my thanks and gratitude to my family, who have borne the difficulties of my life and supported me in all my steps.

His silverware speak volume of his achievements having won 4 Africa Cup of Nations crowns, 4 CAF Champions League titles, 4 Egypt Premier League titles, 8 Egypt Cup winners’ medals, 4 Egypt Super cup titles, 4 Arab games winners’ gongs, 4 goalkeeper of the year in Africa honours as well.

He was born on January 15, 1973 in Damietta city, Egypt.

El Hadary will continue playing for Egyptian club, Isamialy.

El Hadary Honours:

  • Afcon: 4
  • CAF Champions League: 4
  • Egypt Premier League: 8
  • Egypt Cup Winner: 4
  • Egypt Super Cup Winner: 4
  • Goalkeeper of The Year in Africa: 4
  • Arab Games: 1

*Oldest player ever to grace the World Cup

*Four times on CAF XI

*CAF Save of the year award winner, 2017

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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