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Simon Mignolet: I have a lot of respect for Essam El-Hadary

Simon Mignolet: I have lot of respect for Essam El-Hadary

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Belguim and Liverpool goalkeeper  has praised Egypt international , hoping to have a long career like him.

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.

READ: Essam El-Hadary: My age only exists on the passport

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.

READ: Essam El-Hadary on World Cup dream, his age, Mohamed Salah

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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