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Monday, 21 September 2020

World Cup gloves of Egypt's legendary keeper Essam El-Hadary join FIFA museum collection

The 46-year-old El-Hadary, who is widely regarded as the best ever keeper in Egyptian football history, made his sole World Cup appearance last year at the prestigious tournament's edition in Russia

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 24 Dec 2019
Essam El-Hadary
Egypt keeper Essam El-Hadary broke World Cup record after playing at the age of 45 against Saudi Arabia at the 2018 World Cup (Reuters)
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The gloves of Egypt's legendary goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, which he wore during the 2018 World Cup, joined the collection on display at the FIFA Museum, the world football governing body’s museum announced on Monday night.

"After making his international debut in 1996, Essam El-Hadary waited 22 years and 158 caps before stepping onto the FIFA World Cup stage for Egypt in 2018," reads a short statement on the FIFA World Football Museum's official Facebook page.

The 46-year-old El-Hadary, who is widely regarded as the best ever keeper in Egyptian football history, made his sole World Cup appearance last year at the prestigious tournament's edition in Russia.

Egypt made their first World Cup appearance in 28 years at the 2018 edition, but were eliminated from the first round after three back-to-back losses to Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

At the age of 45 years and 161 days, Hadary made history by becoming the oldest player to appear at the World Cup after starting against Saudi Arabia in his team's final Group A game, which ended with a 2-1 loss.

"He did so as the oldest player to play in a FIFA World Cup match, and showed the young 'uns a thing or two by saving a penalty in the first half," the FIFA Museum statement added.

"His gloves from that game are now in our collection at the FIFA Museum, and are currently proudly on display as part of our ‘Foot et Monde Arabe’ exhibition with Institut du monde arabe," the statement said.

After his "biggest dream came true" in playing at the World Cup, as well as breaking the record for the oldest player in history to feature at the tournament, El-Harady announced in August 2018 his retirement from international football at the age of 45.

El-Hadary, who made 159 appearances with the Pharaohs, won the African Cup of Nations four times with Egypt in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010; playing an instrumental role in winning the last three titles. The former Egypt skipper was named the tournament’s best goalie on three occasions.

The veteran keeper also played a key role in steering Egypt to a place in the Nations Cup final in early 2017 after a stroke of luck saw him come off the bench in the opening game against Mali, replacing the injured Ahmed El-Shennawi.

El-Hadary is currently a free agent since departing the 10th club in his glittering football career, Nogoum FC, last summer.

Joining from boyhood club Damietta, El-Hadary enjoyed a trophy-full 12-year career with Cairo giants Ahly since 1996; winning a host of both domestic and continental titles.

He also played for a host of Egyptian clubs, including Zamalek, Ismaily, Ittihad of Alexandria and Wadi Degla.

Hadary also had three stints abroad; playing for FC Sion of Switzerland, Sudan's Merreikh and Saudi Arabia's Al-Taawon.

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