Veteran Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary is happy to have joined new club Wadi Degla, relishing the opportunity to once again return to the national team.
Free to join any club after his contract with Sudanese side El-Merreikh expired in November, the 40-year-old guard officially signed a one-year contract for the Egyptian outfit Degla on Monday.
"I have great ambitions with Degla whether at the Egyptian league or the African Confederation Cup," Hadary said during the press conference that witnessed his presentation to the Egyptian media.
"I received offers from other Egyptian clubs and also from Congolese club TP Mazembe, but I preferred to join Degla with its professional administration. That will allow me to put all of my concentration in football alone.
"Wadi Degla is the second professional club in Egypt after Ahly and I am happy to play here under the guidance of Coach Hany Ramzy," the former Ahly, Zamalek and Ismaily keeper added.
Hadary joined El-Merreikh in 2011, winning the Sudanese league in the same year and helping the side clinch two cup titles in 2012 and 2013.
International career not over yet
Hadary played a key role in helping Egypt win three consecutive African Cup of Nations titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010, but abruptly fell out of favour after rejecting a bench role during a friendly game against Chile in February.
He has not been called up to the national team since, with the Pharaohs' former coach Bob Bradley relying on Ahly’s Sherif Ekramy in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
The Pharaohs' new head coach, Shawky Gharib, recently said the door was still open for Hadary to rejoin his squad.
"My Performance with Wadi Degla will be my gate to the national team again under new coach Gharib," the experienced keeper concluded.
Wadi Degla joined the Egyptian premier league since the 2010-11 season. They will be representing Egypt at the African Confederation Cup's new season.
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