Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has retired from international football after 22 years of service.
At 45, the Ismaily SC player became the oldest player ever to grace the World Cup.
The former Al Ahly SC custodian made the history in a group match against Saudi Arabia during the 2018 Russia World Cup.
“After 22 years, 4 months and 12 days since wearing the Egyptian National Team Shirt, I felt it was the right moment for me to hang my gloves,” he said.
El Hadary played 159 times for the Pharaohs, winning the Afcon four times in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010 and finishing runners-up in the 2017 edition.
He was named the best goalkeeper in Africa four times.
The veteran shot stopper spent the majority of his career with Cairo-based club Al-Ahly, where he has won eight Egyptian Premier League titles, four Egypt Cups, four Egyptian Super Cups and four CAF Champions League titles.
El Hadary regards qualifying for the World Cup with Egypt after close to three decades as the greatest achievement of his career.
He thanked his family who “has endured the difficulties of my life and supported me.”
Do you have a story you want told? Do you know of a sensitive story you would like us to get our hands on? Email your news TIPS to [email protected]