Simon Mignolet: I have a lot of respect for Essam El-Hadary
45-year-old Essam El-Hadary could become the oldest player to appear at a World Cup after being named in Hector Cuper’s final 23-man squad.
The record is now being held by former Colombia goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón, when he played against Japan in the 2014 World Cup aged 43 years and 3 days.
And Mignolet, who is also expected to feature for Belguim in the upcoming World Cup, has paid tribute to El-Hadary ahead of his side’s encounter with Egypt on Wednesday.
“I have a lot of respect for El-Hadary, for the way he managed his career, and that he is still the number one goalkeeper of the national team at this age,” Mignolet said.
“I also hope I can have a long – not so long – career like him,” he added.
El-Hadary was one of the key reasons behind Egypt’s qualification for the World Cup, featuring in every group qualifier game, except the last one, which Sherif Ekramy started.
He already made history becoming the oldest player to ever feature in the Africa Cup of Nations when he replaced injured Ahmed El-Shennawy against Mali in Egypt’s recent Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
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