NEWS
26/06/2018 10:31 SAST | Updated 26/06/2018 10:31 SAST

Egypt's Essam El-Hadary Becomes The Oldest Player In A World Cup Ever 🇪🇬

El-Hadary, at 45 years and 161 days old, is at his first World Cup with the Pharaohs – although Monday's match marked his 157th national cap

Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary made history on Monday when he became the oldest man to play in any Fifa World Cup — he led his side against Saudi Arabia in Egypt's final match of the tournament at the Volgograd Arena.

I want to thank my teammates. It was a great honour for me to play.

El-Hadary, 5 years and 161 days old on Monday, was surprisingly competing in his first World Cup — although it was his 157th cap for the Pharaohs. He eclipsed the record set by Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon at the 2014 World Cup, who was 43 years and 3 days old in his final match.

It was a bittersweet moment for El-Hadary — his historic moment came in defeat, when Egypt conceded a last-minute goal and lost 2-1. In a moment to savour, however, El-Hadary had earlier saved a penalty from Fahad Al-Muwallad, proving that he still had gas in the tank.

Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

But a second penalty and a goal at the death meant the Pharaohs bowed out of Russia without a win. Three of Africa's five teams have now been eliminated from the competition — Morocco and Tunisia could not make it past the first round either.

The continent's last hopes now rest on Nigeria and Senegal. The Super Eagles take on Argentina in a do-or-die match tonight, needing a victory to guarantee them a place in the knockout stages. Kick-off is scheduled for 8pm South African time.

Toru Hanai / Reuters

Senegal probably has a steeper hill to climb — they take on another colossal South American giant, Colombia, on Thursday. Kick-off is scheduled for 4pm.