El-Hadary talks World Cup record, Egyptian football future, retirement
Essam El-Hadary has revealed his delight after becoming the oldest player to ever feature at the World Cup, saying he will decide on his future soon.
The 45-year-old made history with his appearance against Saudi Arabia, becoming the oldest player to play at a World Cup and the oldest goalkeeper to save a penalty in the competition.
He broke the record held by Faryd Mondragon who represented his Colombia against Japan in the Brazil 2014 competition at the age of 43 years and 3 days.
However, his efforts couldn’t help Egypt get their first point in the competition as the Pharaohs suffered a 2-1 late defeat to the Saudis.
El-Hadary spoke about his historic achievement and has given an advice to his teammates following the World Cup elimination.
“Thanks to God, this is a great achievement for Egypt more than for me personally. It’s an achievement for all Egyptians,” El-Hadary told FIFA.com.
“I’ve been the Pharaoh’s goalkeeper for years, including during the qualifiers for this World Cup. Our efforts reaped fruit and we returned to the world stage after a 28-year absence.
“That feat has now been crowned by my breaking the world record.
“What I accomplished in this tournament was the result of years of hard work, dedicated training, and suffering that only a few know about.
“God helped me crown my football career with a participation in the World Cup.
“This in itself is an accomplishment. We must benefit from both the positive and negative aspects. There are many lessons to learn,” El-Hadary added.
El-Hadary then spoke about the future of Egyptian football and whether he will retire after the World Cup, saying: “Egypt players must continue to work hard.
“I call on the next generation of players to work diligently to raise Egypt’s profile and to view what I achieved throughout my football history as an incentive for them and an example of persistence and sacrifice.
“I will make my decision (about retirement) after the World Cup. There will be many decisions concerning my long journey with this delightful game,” he concluded.
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