Egypt’s veteran and record-breaking goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary announced on Monday (6 August) his retirement from international football.
This summer, El-Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history when he lined up against Saudi Arabia at Egypt’s final group stage game in Russia.
For this match, he was 45 years and 161 days old, taking the record from Colombian goalie Faryd Mondragon, who appeared at Brazil 2014 just three days after his 43rd birthday.
The 45-year-old took to his Facebook page to announce that he was hanging up his international gloves.
“There is an end for every start. After a lot of thinking I took my decision to international retirement 22 years, 4 months and 12 days from my first match with Egypt and I saw that this is the right moment to hang my gloves after we made the Egyptian people happy by participating in the World Cup,” the veteran goalkeeper stated.
“This is a moment I didn’t want to come, I trained hard day and night to reach high performances and to be with the Egyptian team, I am very proud to play 159 matches with Egypt, won the African Cup of Nations four times, reached the final in 2017, won the best goalkeeper in Africa four times, won the Arab games in 2007 and finally reach the World Cup.
“Finally, thank God for everything. I want to thank my family for helping me always especially my father and thank everyone of you for your support that helped me a lot to reach all these achievements.”
El-Hadary, 45, became the oldest player to feature at the World Cup finals when he played against Saudi Arabi at Russia 2018.