SINAN RAJUB SENOGA
Egyptian legendary goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has officially retired from football at the age of 47.
El-Hadary made the big announcement while appearing on TV and said he hung up his gloves because of the endless wrangles in Egyptian football.
“Football is my second wife and I have divorced it. I am not returning to play football again, the entire system has errors and club heads attacking each other,” El Hadary said in a television interview.
“There is nothing to add to my footballing history. There is no goalkeeper in Egypt better than me. I only sat on the bench in 1998 for goalkeeper Nader El-Sayed.”
Before making the announcement, El-Hadary was turning up for Nogoom FC in the Egyptian second tier league after retiring from the Egypt National Team in 2018.
Capped 159 times with the Pharaohs, the veteran goalkeeper won four Africa Cup of Nations titles in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.
In fact, El-Hadary made a record by becoming the oldest player ever to play in the World Cup tournament at the age of 45 years and 161 days breaking Faryd Mondragon’s record of 43 years and three days.
His glittering career started at Damietta in 1993 from where he joined Al Ahly and went on to win 26 titles in 12 seasons including eight Egyptian Premier League titles and four CAF Champions League titles among others.
El-Hadary also played for FC Sion in Switzerland, Zamalek SC, Ismailia SC, Al Merrikh, Al Ittihad Alexandria, Wadi Degla and Al-Taawoun.