Egypt’s Iconic Goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary Hangs his Gloves at the Age of 47

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Egypt’s Iconic Goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary Hangs his Gloves at the Age of 47
Nwolu Obiajulu

Egypt’s legendary goalkeeper, Essam El Hadary announced his retirement from football in a television show on Thursday.

El-Hadary last played for Egyptian second division club, Nogoom, based in Giza.

El Hadary’s last club was Nogoom, an Egyptian second division club based in Giza. He said football was experiencing a lot of conflict of interest at the top level.

“Football is my second wife and I have divorced it. I am not returning to play football again, the entire system has errors and club heads attacking each other, and may God be in the help of the players,” El Hadary said.

Despite his surprise at the present circumstances surrounding the game, El Hadary was in no doubt of his status as the Egypt’s greatest goalkeeper.

“There is nothing to add to my footballing history. There is no goalkeeper in Egypt better than me. I only sat on the bench in 1998 for goalkeeper Nader El-Sayed,” he said.

El Hadary played much of his club football with Egyptian giants Al Ahly where he won several titles, including eight Egyptian Premier League titles, four Egyptian Cups and Super Cups, four CAF Champions League titles, three CAF Super Cups and one Arab Club Champions Cup.

The shot-stopper lined up in goal for other clubs in Egypt including Al Ahly’s bitter rivals Zamalek, Ismaily, Wadi Degla and Al-Ittihad. Outside Egypt, he played in Sudan for Al Merreikh and in Switzerland for Sion.

After his debut for the pharaohs in 1996, El Hadary went on to represent his country 159. He won four Africa Cup of Nations titles as a key figure in the national team, emerging best goalkeeper thrice at the tournament (2006, 2008 and 2010).

He made it to the record books as the oldest player in history to feature in a world cup match in 2018, his sole appearance at the showpiece. At 45 years and 161 days, he broke Colombian Faryd Mondragón’s record of 43 years and three days.

While announcing his retirement from international football in August 2018, he said, “saw it as the best moment to hang up my gloves.”

Source: CGTN Africa

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