Four-time AFCON winner retires aged 47


Egypt legend Essam El Hadary has announced his retirement from professional football after a glittering career that's spanned over nearly three decades.

The 47-year-old is widely considered as one of the greatest goalkeepers in African football history and has officially hung up his gloves due to the alleged politics that's plaguing Egyptian football.

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Having started his professional career in 1993 with Damietta, El Hadary was snapped up by Al Ahly three years later where he won 26 major titles, which includes eight league trophies and the CAF Champions League four times over 12 seasons.

He then ventured off to Europe for a brief but controversial spell with FC Sion that was marred by contractual disputes with Ahly. However, he returned to Egypt a year later to join Ismaily before enjoying a nomadic career over the past 10 years.

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"Football is my second wife and I have divorced it. I am not returning to play football again, the entire system has errors and club heads attacking each other," El Hadary said after announcing his retirement during a television interview.

"There is nothing to add to my footballing history. There is no goalkeeper in Egypt better than me. I only sat on the bench in 1998 for goalkeeper Nader El-Sayed."

The 157-time capped Pharoes icon who won four Africa Cup of Nations titles retired from international football last year after being snubbed for the 2019 AFCON squad hosted in his homeland.