Egypt Pharaohs legendary goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has been included in the 2020 Guiness Book of Records for being the oldest player to participate in the World Cup finals.
Many other footballing records have been included in the book, most notably: Kylian Mbappe as the youngest player to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or (18 years, 293 days). Ada Hegerberg as the first winner of the Women’s Ballon d’Or. Rafael Marquez as the player with most World Cup finals as captain (5). And Liverpool’s Alexander Arnold who became the first Premier League defender to provide 12 assists in one season.
Since the end of Hassan Shehata’s era with the Egyptian national team in 2011, El-Hadary has been in and out of the squad.
Nonetheless he started recuperating his form over the years and became once again a regular with the Pharaohs under Argentinian manager Hector Cuper.
Despite not being Cuper’s first choice goalkeeper, the 46-year-old still managed to play all of Egypt’s games during the 2017 AFCON, due to Ahmed El-Shennawy’s injury, guiding them to their first final in seven years.
Additionally, the former Al Ahly goalkeeper was also able to participate in the 2018 World Cup , something most of his teammates during Egypt’s golden era (between 2006 and 2010) failed to do.
El-Hadary played just one game during the tournament, when they lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia . But these 90 minutes were enough to grant him a spot in the 2020 Guinness Book of Records after becoming the oldest player to participate in the World Cup finals with 45 years of age and 161 days.
Additional reporting by KingFut