Essam El Hadary pleased with World Cup experience

Essam El-Hadary has expressed his pleasure at playing at the 2018 Fifa World Cup after a 22-year wait.

The 45-year-old has hoped to feature in a World Cup since commencing his international career in 1996. But he had to wait till June 25, 2018 as he made history with his appearance against Saudi Arabia, becoming the oldest player to play at a World Cup and the oldest goalkeeper to save a penalty in the competition.

Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon who represented Los Cafeteros against Japan at the Brazil 2014 competition at the age of 43 years and 3 days, held the record.

Egypt were eliminated from the World Cup with zero points after losing to Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia. El-Hadary, through his Twitter handle, apologized for the poor results but has also expressed delight in for playing in Russia.

“I played with many generations during my journey. I am proud of being part of this generation of players and coaching staff, who helped us achieve 100 million Egyptians’ dream, and my own, of taking part in the World Cup after 28 years.

“I am sorry about the results, but I’m still proud of being part of this group of players,” he added.

El-Hadary is returning to former club Ismaily, following the departure of their first-choice keeper Mohamed Awad who joins Saudi side Al Wehda on a one-year deal.

The three-time Afcon winner has no plans of retiring this season.

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