Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary (Reuters)
Former Egypt goalkeeper coach Ahmed Nagi has expressed his pride in longtime goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary after the latter announced his retirement from international football.
"I am really proud of what El-Hadary achieved in his career. He wrote a big chapter of the Egyptian football history book. What he accomplished is a true miracle. He is an international model of a very hard working player," Nagi told a radio station on Tuesday morning.
After his "biggest dream came true" in playing in the World Cup this summer, as well as breaking the record for the oldest player in history to feature at the World Cup, El-Harady announced on Monday his retirement from international football at the age of 45.
El-Hadary who played 159 games with the Pharaohs, expressed his pride in winning the Africa Cup of Nations four times in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The former Egypt skipper was named the tournament’s best goalie on the four occasions.
The popular guardian moved to Ismaily in a free transfer last month after finishing his one-season contract with Saudi outfit Al-Taawoun this summer.
"El-Hadary can work in any career after hanging his gloves," Nagi stated.
Nagi compared the player with Italy's Gianluigi Buffon, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 40 because he wants to play until 45.
El-Hadary’s international retirement came just days after Javier Aguirre was unveiled as Egypt’s new coach, succeeding Hector Cuper, who had a disappointing World Cup campaign.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)