Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary 45, becomes oldest player to compete in FIFA World Cup 2018

El Hadary 45, broke the record previously held by Colombia's Faryd Mondragon, who played in the 2014 World Cup three days after his 43rd birthday.

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary 45, becomes oldest player to compete in FIFA World Cup 2018
Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt in Volgograd, Russia, June 25, 2018. EPA-EFE/SERGEI ILNITSKY

Volgograd, Russia: Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, age 45, on Monday became the oldest player ever to compete in a World Cup match, after taking the field against Saudi Arabia as part of his team's starting lineup for their final Group A match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

At 45 years, four months and nine days old, El Hadary, also known as the "High Dam," broke the record previously held by Colombia's Faryd Mondragon, who played in the 2014 World Cup three days after his 43rd birthday.

El Hadary is the most decorated Arab and African player, with four African Cup of Nations wins, as well as eight Egyptian Premier League titles, four Egyptian Cups, four Egyptian Super Cups and four CAF Champions League crowns.

During his 20-year career, he also won three CAF Super Cups, one Arab Club Championship, two Arab Super Cups, one Sudanese league win, one Sudanese Cup and one Swiss Cup, and spent most of his career with the Egyptian team Al Ahly.

El Hadary's poise in the face of danger, combined with excellent placement and reflexes that have barely lost steam with age, made him a fundamental pillar in Egypt's three consecutive African Cup of Nations wins in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

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