Essam El Hadary is one of the best goalkeepers in Africa. As he anticipates featuring at the 2018 world cup, Essam will be recognized as the oldest player at a World Cup.
The current holder of that honor is a Columbian counterpart, Faryd Mondragon. He was 42 when he participated for the 2014 FIFA world cup in Brazil. Essam El Hadary is soon to break this record as he will be 45 years by the time of the next world cup in 2018.
The African goalkeeping champ says he “will fight to reach the world cup”. Keeping up with that mission, Essam, played in the recent Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
“I don’t care about my age, I train like I am 20 years old.”
“It’s time for me to play in World Cup. That is what I say to myself every morning and before every training session.”
“It is my biggest goal now. I will not lose hope to play at the World Cup, I will not give up and I will keep training hard.”
Essam El Hadary has made over 100 international appearances. With the recent victory over Tanzania with a 2-0 score few days ago, he topped his international appearances to 144.
Already, the skillful soccer star seems to be gathering a whole lot of achievements for himself. According to BBC, he has “become the second oldest African player to feature with his national team, behind Kersley Appou of Mauritius who played when he was 43 years and 361 days old.”
He is a 4-time winner of the Nations Cup title with Egypt -1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. 3 of those times he was acclaimed to be the best keeper excluding the 1998 tournament.
The confessions of the Egyptian goalkeeping coach proves that Essam might just be on his way to fulfill his world cup dream.
Coach Ahmed Nagy says that Essam was not exactly in the list of potential goalkeepers for the upcoming world cup. However his efficiency in playing for his club Wadi Degla, qualified him to be shortlisted.
“When we called him last March for the match against Nigeria he was number four for us, now he is number one. He played against Tanzania and was amazing.”
The coach is certain that the champ will possibly remain active in soccer till he is 50. He believes he will do a great job at the world cup.