(Reuters) – Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who became the oldest player in World Cup history in Russia, has announced his retirement from international soccer aged 45.
El-Hadary earned the last of his 159 caps for the national team in a 2-1 group stage defeat by Saudi Arabia as Egypt crashed out of the tournament with three losses.
The veteran overtook Colombia’s Faryd Mondragn, who played the last five minutes of a group game in Brazil four years ago, at the age of 43 years and three days.
“After 22 years, four months and 12 days, I saw it as the best moment to hang up my gloves,” El-Hadary said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
“I’m proud to have played with the national team in 159 internationals, participating in unprecedented achievements.
“I hope I have succeeded in my mission over the past years. I extend my thanks and gratitude to my family, who have borne the difficulties of my life and supported me in all my steps.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)