El-Hadary debuted for the Pharaohs during the 1996 World Cup against South Korea, according to him, he’s “very proud” after playing in 159 international matches.
The previous record for oldest World Cup player was also a goalkeeper, the Colombian Faryd Mondragón, who retired after the 2014 tournament aged 43.
El-Hadary will still be the goalkeeper for Egypt’s Ismaili team. He’s a celebrity at home since Egypt won three straight African Cup titles with him as goalie between 2006 and 2010. He was also named the tournament’s best goalkeeper three times.
El-Hadary began his goalkeeping journey with Egypt’s local Damietta team.