Meet 45-year-old Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary set to make history at the World Cup this summer
El-Hadary earned the first of his 157 caps in 1996 – 10 months before his youngest teammate in Russia was born.
The oldest player at this year’s World Cup will be 45-year-old Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary.
And, should he play, he will become the oldest player to ever appear in the competition’s coveted history.
El-Hadary made his first-team debut all the way back in 1993 as a fresh-faced 20-year-old while playing for Damietta in his native Egypt.
He went on to join Al-Ahly where he won eight titles and four CAF Champions Leagues.
El-Hadary earned the first of his 157 caps in 1996 – 10 months before his youngest teammate in Russia, Stoke’s Ramadan Sobhi, was born.
The former FC Sion shot-stopper is still going strong in 2018 – playing for Al-Taawoun, for whom he made 27 appearances this term.
El-Hadary had a brief flirtation with English football, undergoing a trial at Hull City, but never signed terms with the Tigers.
Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon is currently the oldest player to have appeared at a World Cup having stood between the sticks aged 43 in 2014.
But he will be usurped by El-Hadary should he keep goal for Egypt in Russia.
El-Hadary came on as a substitute in Egypt’s most recent friendly, a 0-0 draw with Colombia on June 1.
He is joined by Egypt talisman Mo Salah in the Pharaohs’ squad for the 2018 tournament.