Egypt iconic goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary retires after 27-year career

Essam El-Hadary, the oldest keeper in history to play at a World Cup and Egypt’s iconic shot-stopper, announced on Wednesday that he is retiring from the game after a hugely successful career characterized by on-field heroics and unyielding determination to carry on in his 40s.

The 47-year-old, who has been without a club for over a year, moved to formally announce that he is quitting football to quell widespread reports linking him with a couple of Egyptian Premier League clubs, including the newly-promoted Ceramica Cleopatra.

“I’m today bringing down the curtain on my footballing career,” El-Hadary said on his social media accounts.

“I’m not joining a new club; I’m instead on the verge of a new challenge. I took coaching training courses in Europe … and I’m ready to begin a new career as a coach.”

El-Hadary’s distinguished never-say-die attitude was key in helping him defy critics over and over again.

He proved doubters wrong on many occasions, not least when he stepped in as a substitute for the injured Ahmed El-Shennawi in Egypt’s opening game of the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

At 45 years and 161 days, El-Hadary beat the record set by Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon when he participated at the 2014 World Cup at the age of 43 years and three days.

Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is the lead Combat Sports writer for AfroBallers. He is an expert in Boxing, Mixed Martial Art and Wrestling reportage. Isaac is a journalist with newfound love for athlete management and digital media.

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