- Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has at 45-years of age become the oldest ever player to play in the FIFA World Cup
- El-Hadary led his side in their final group match against Saudi Arabia on Monday
- The legendary goalkeeper was 45 years and 161 days old when he took to the field on Monday
While his side might have had a World Cup to forget, legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is likely to remember the tournament for the rest of his life, this as he became the oldest player to ever compete in a match at any FIFA World Cup tournament.
El-Hadary led the Egyptian team in their final group stage match against Saudi Arabia on Monday night. El-Hadary was 45 years and 161 days old when he took to the field.
The previous record was held by another goalkeeper. In the 2014 tournament, Columbia’s Faryd Mondragon played his last match when he was 40 years and three days old.
Briefly.co.za gathered that El-Hadary has completed 157 matches for the Egyptian national side, although the 2018 World Cup is the first time he has played in the sport’s showpiece.
The Egyptian team as a whole will not remember the 2018 tournament fondly. The team failed to register a win and could lose talisman Mohamed Salah who said he was considering retirement from international duties.
El-Hadary will have bittersweet memories of (what is likely) his last match in the World Cup. He showed he still had the class and brilliance to perform at the top of his game when he saved a penalty.
Huffingtonpost.co.za reported that he was powerless to save a second penalty and also failed to stop a last-minute goal which meant his side went down 2-1 to the Saudi team.
The result means African teams are having a shockingly bad run at the 2018 tournament. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco have already been knocked out of the tournament.
Nigeria and Senegal are Africa’s last best hopes in the 2018 tournament.
Nigeria will face Lionel Messi’s desperate Argentine side in what is a must-win match for both teams. The match will start at 20:00 South African time on Tuesday night.
Senegal faces Columbia on Thursday at 16:00.
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