Russia 2018: El-Hadary eyes historical appearance at the age of 45
The Pharaohs veteran goalkeeper, Essam El-Hadary is hopeful of making into the team’s squad for the FIFA World Cup finals to start on the 14th of June in Russia. El- Hadary, 45, would become the oldest player in history to appear in the world cup finals after Faryd Mondragon of Colombia featured against Japan in Brazil in 2014 aged 43 years and 3 days.
"My age is 45 years old, but for me, this is just a number on paper. I train hard every day, I don't know what the word 'impossible' means. I will keep fighting until the World Cup to have the chance to play and defend my homeland colours." - Essam El-Hadary
The Egyptian shot stopper has build his name on the continent, mostly remembered for amazing reflexes, vocal attitude and penalty stops in the Pharaohs’ three consecutive African Cup of Nations triumphs in 2006, 2008 and 2010. He currently plays for Al-Taawoun FC in the Saudi Professional League and did feature a lot in Egypt’s world cup qualifying rounds, most notably in the 2-1 win against Congo Brazzaville that sealed their spot.
When asked about what he thinks of their group stage opponents in Russia, he said;
"All the teams in our group are very strong. Saudi Arabia is an Arabic team and our matches with them will be very interesting, so it will not be easy.Russia will play in front of their fans and in their grounds, and when you talk about Uruguay you talk about an amazing team and big names like Edinson Cavani and Luis Suárez, so it will not be easy at all." - Essam El-Hadary
Even with so much respect for an opponent, we have to know El-Hadary to be a competitor and certainly a winner. June promise to produce nothing but fireworks.