FIFA president Infantino says Egypt's Hadary is a 'legend' in birthday wish

Ahram Online , Sunday 15 Jan 2023

FIFA president Gianni Infantino described Essam El-Hadary as a legend in a birthday wish he sent to Egypt's iconic goalkeeper on Sunday.

Essam El-Hadary


El-Hadary, who turned 50, is widely considered as Egypt's best ever goalkeeper.

His records and milestones include an appearance at the 2018 World Cup which saw him become the oldest player ever to feature in the prestigious showpiece after he took part in Egypt's final group-stage game against Saudi Arabia.

At 45 years and 161 days, El-Hadary beat the record set by Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon when he participated at the 2014 World Cup at the age of 43 years and three days.

"Happy birthday, @alhadary - a true legend of Egypt and the FIFA World Cup," Infantino said in an Instagram story.

The gloves El-Hadary wore in the dead-rubber World Cup game against Saudi Arabia has been displayed at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich since 2019.

"In all honesty, I never imagined I'd be a part of any museum (smiles). In Egypt we have a lot of historical museums that include artefacts dating back thousands of years, but to see myself 'included' in a museum is really special," he told at the time.

"Frankly, this museum in Zurich is quite different. I never dreamed of being there, but hard work pays off, and thankfully my name will remain in the museum. That’s something I’m proud of."

El-Hadary, who played for Cairo giants Ahly and Zamalek among several other clubs, brought an end to his glittering career when he announced his retirement in November 2020.

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