Veteran keeper El-Hadary completes move to Egypt’s Ittihad

Mahmoud Mohamed, Saturday 21 Jan 2012

Egypt’s veteran goalkeeper joins Ittihad of Alexandria on a two-and-a-half year deal after resolving his dispute with Sudan’s El-Merreikh

Essam El-Hadary
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary

Egypt and Merriekh goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has completed his move to Ittihad of Alexandria, the Egyptian Premier League struggling outfit announced on Saturday.

The 39-year-old, who said more than once he did not contemplate retirement, has penned a two-and-a-half year deal with Ittihad, whose Spanish coach Jose Maqueda abruptly resigned from his post earlier in the day.

“El-Hadary signed for Ittihad, coming from Merreikh for $700,000. The player will earn LE5 million,” Ittihad chairman Effat El-Sadat said during a press-conference on Saturday.

The Pharaohs’ long-serving guardian has not attended training with Merriekh since October, claiming that he had not received his salary for months, which club officials deny.

He made no secret of his desire to leave and return to the Egyptian Premier League, where he had a highly-successful spell with Cairo giants Ahly before experiencing less successful stints with Zamalek and Ismaily.

El-Hadary, who played an instrumental role in helping Egypt win three successive African titles, will be hoping to cement his regular place in the national team’s starting line-up after joining Ittihad.

Egypt’s new coach Bob Bradley played promising goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shennawy in the team’s 2-0 friendly defeat by Brazil in November last year due to El-Hadary’s lack of competitive action.

Ittihad lie 12th in the 19-team league table with 15 points from as many games.

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