By Chineze Ogugua
Egyptian goalkeeping legend Essam El-Hadary has announced his retirement from international football.
The 48-year old who made history at Russia 2018 World Cup as the oldest player at the tournament, released a statement written in Arabic, saying:
“There is an end for every start, after a lot of thinking I took my decision to international retirement 22 years, 4 months and 12 days from my first match with Egypt and I saw that this is the right moment to hang my gloves after we made the Egyptian people happy by participating in the World Cup.
“This is a moment I didn’t want to come, I trained hard day and night to reach high performances and to be with the Egyptian team, I am very proud to play 159 matches with Egypt, won the African Cup of Nations four times, reached the final in 2017, won the best goalkeeper in Africa four times, won the Arab games in 2007 and finally reach the World Cup.
“Finally, thank God for everything. I want to thank my family for helping me always especially my father and thank every one of you for your support that helped me a lot to reach all these achievements.”
El-Hadary made his debut in 1996 and went on to play in 159 matches in which he won four African Cup of Nations [1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010). In those Nations Cup, he was named the best goalkeeper in Africa.
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