Belfast Telegraph

Egypt's Essam el-Hadary becomes oldest ever World Cup player

At the age of 45, Egyptian goalkeeper Essam el-Hadary has become the oldest player to ever feature in a World Cup finals match.

The Pharaohs stopper broke the record by two years and 158 days when he was named in the starting line-up for Egypt's final group game against Saudi Arabia.

Colombia's Faryd Mondragon held the previous record when he played at the 2014 World Cup, but el-Hadary has smashed that out of the park.

El-Hadary, who featured five times during the qualifying stage, will get the chance to play on football's biggest stage for the dead rubber match in Group A.

Amazingly, el-Hadary, who plays his club football for Saudi Arabian side Al-Taawoun, is older than three managers at the World Cup: Belgium's Roberto Martinez, Serbia's Mladen Krstajic and Senegal's Aliou Cisse.

Of course, the youngest player to ever feature at a World Cup was Northern Ireland's own Norman Whiteside, who played against Spain at the 1982 World Cup aged just 17 years and 41 days old.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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