Egypt has qualified for and participated during the FIFA World Cup on three occasions, in 1934, 1990 and 2018. What is peculiar about the team this year is that, their goal keeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player to appear at the World Cup.
Nicknamed the “High Dam,” he made his first professional appearance in 1993 for a local club Damietta and played his first game for Egypt three years later.
The veteran has 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.
Here are 6 interesting things you need to know about The Pharaohs goalkeeper;
- El-Hadary has made 153 international appearances for his nation since his debut in 1996.
- He has won the African Cup of Nations four times.
- He has been named the African Cup of Nations’ best goalkeeper on three occasions. He was chosen as the best goalkeeper of the 2006 African Cup of Nations, held in Egypt, the 2008 African Cup of Nations, held in Ghana and the 2010 African Cup of Nations, held in Angola.
- On 17 January 2017, two days after his 44th birthday, he became the oldest player to ever appear in an Africa Cup of Nations match after replacing Ahmed El-Shenawy in Egypt’s first match of the tournament.
- Age is but a number for him. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, at the age of 45 years and 161 days, El-Hadary became the oldest player in history to play in a World Cup match.
- He is the oldest man to save a penalty in a FIFA World Cup game.