- An Egyptian football legend has finally retired from international football
- Essam El-Hadary made his debut in 1996 and has featured 159 times for the African giants
- He has won four African Cup of Nations and is a four-time Best Goalkeeper
Egypt legend Essam El-Hadary has retired from international football, the player has confirmed.
The 45-year-old made his debut in 1996 and featured in 159 matches in a career that spanned over two decades.
He won four African Cup of Nations [1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010], but was denied a fifth in 2017 after Cameroon’s sensational triumph. Also, he was named the best goalkeeper in Africa four times.
El-Hadary made history earlier this summer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia as he became the oldest player to feature at the mundial as he was between the sticks in the Pharaohs’ last group game against Saudi Arabia .
In that game, he saved a penalty in his side's 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.
The veteran shot stopper announced his intention in a statement, saying:
"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.
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 every one of you for your support that helped me a lot to reach all these achievements."
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