Essam El-Hadary: debut and leeftijdsrecord at the world CHAMPIONSHIPS(?)

January 15, 1973, which is the date of birth of Essam El-Hadary. With his 45 years old can the Egyptian goalkeeper in Russia, the oldest player at a world cup.

Essam El-Hadary © Belga Image

The Colombian Faryd Mondragon, also a goalie, was 43 years and 3 days old when he was at the world cup 2014 in Brazil under the bar. Well, it was the last five minutes when the 1-4 victory against Japan was already inside, but still. On this wereldbekereditie can record all killed. It will depend on whether Egyptian coach Héctor CúperEssam El-Hadary also actually composing.

Fact is: the fixed number, Ahmed El-Shenawy, is out with an injury. And then comes El-Hadary clearly in the picture, although Cúper in the last friendly matches rotated posteriorly with his goalkeepers.

Fixed value

“Every day I train hard, I don’t know what the word ‘impossible’ means. To the world cup, I will continue to fight for a chance to play, and the colors of my country to defend”, said El-Hadary to BBC Sport. “My age is 45, but to me that is just a number on paper.’

The keeper is already an eternity in the national team. The four victories in the Africa Cup (1998, 2006, 2008, 2010) on his list of victories are a record 156 caps he stands on the third place in the ranking of the players with the most matches for Egypt. Ahmed Hassan (ex-Anderlecht) is at the top of the standings with 184 international matches. In a dressing room with, among others, Trezeguet (ex-Anderlecht), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) he enjoys a lot of respect.

After working in Switzerland, Sudan, and Egypt’s El-Hadary since this season started to work for Al-Taawon in the highest class of the Saudi Arabian football. Not as bankzitter but as a fixed value: six clean sheets and a captain in 25 of the 26 matches, only the last he had to miss due to a slight injury.


In the Africa Cup of 2017 I hurt Ahmed El-Shenawy already after 25 minutes in the first team contest against Mali and had to El-Hadary, the tournament started in a walk-on role, from the bank. The de wolf has accomplished his task with brio: four clean sheets in six matches and two stopped penalty shots in the semi-final against Burkina Faso (1-1 after regular time, 4-5 after penalty shoot-out), whereby Egypt could prepare for the final battle.

It was the Cameroon of Hugo Broos with 1-2 too strong. Collins Fai (Standard) and Sébastien Siani (ex-Oostende, now Antwerp) were ninety minutes on the field.

Egypt came in October for the first time since 1990 for a world cup. Two goals from Salah and a strong performance of El-Hadary sufficient for victory against Congo (1-2) and a ticket in the direction of Russia. We see later a 45-year-old debut in a world cup?

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