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Egypt's record-breaking El-Hadary hangs up his gloves

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By Reuters
Egypt's record-breaking El-Hadary hangs up his gloves
Soccer Football - Egyptian Premier League Derby - Al Ahly v El Ismaily - Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt - August 2, 2018 - Essam El-Hadary goalkeeper of El Ismaily in action. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh   -   Copyright  AMR ABDALLAH DALSH(Reuters)

(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)