Doha: Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan equalled the record for the most international appearances after earning his 178th cap in a 2-0 friendly defeat by Brazil in Doha on Monday.
The 36-year-old, who made his national team debut aged just 20 at the end of 1995, now shares the record held by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohamed Al Deayea, who last played in 2006.
Hassan replaced Hosni Abd Rabou in the 73rd minute and was immediately welcomed in regal fashion by his team mates, given the captain`s armband by Wael Gomaa who came over to the touchline to hand it to him.
Hassan`s latest achievement continues his revered status in Egyptian football and follows other personal milestones, including four African Nations Cup titles and success in the CAF Champions League.
The midfielder, whose phenomenal work rate has endeared him to fans, played at Besiktas in Turkey and for Anderlecht of Belgium.
Hassan has never appeared at the World Cup finals and was released by Cairo giants Al Ahli in June, only to promptly join their arch rivals Zamalek.
In a recent Egyptian television appearance, Hassan said he hoped to play until the age of 40.
According to FIFA`s list of most national team appearances, Hassan is out on his own among still active internationals.
Next on the list is Argentine fullback Javier Zanetti, who had a brief comeback for his country in June, to take his tally to 141 caps.