Essam El Hadary, the oldest player in World Cup history, made a phenomenal penalty save in Egypt’s clash with Saudi Arabia on Monday.
The goalkeeper appeared five times in qualifying and, at the age of 45, made his finals debut in Volgograd, and he soon grabbed the headlines for on-pitch reasons.
With the score at 1-0 after Mohamed Salah’s opening goal, a penalty was awarded for Saudi Arabia. El Hadary, though, would not be beaten, and made a truly brilliant save, tipping Fahad Al Mulwallad’s spot-kick onto the bar and keeping his clean sheet intact.
Unfortunately for the veteran stopper, another penalty was awarded before half-time, with Salman Al-Faraj stepping up to score and sending the two sides into the interval level at 1-1.
El Hadary takes the record of oldest player to appear at the tournament from Faryd Mondragon, who appeared in goal for Colombia in 2014 just three days after his 43rd birthday.
There are three managers at Russia 2018 – Serbia’s Mladen Krstajic, Aliou Cisse of Senegal and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez – who are younger than the Pharaohs keeper.
El Hadary began his professional career in 1993 with Damietta in his native country, but he is perhaps best known for his 12-year spell at Al Ahly between 1996 and 2008, during which time he made over 400 appearances. He currently plays for Al-Taawoun, a club based, ironically, in Saudi Arabia.
Both sides are out of the competition – Saudi lost 5-0 to Russia, where Egypt fell to a 3-1 defeat, while each side were beaten by a solitary Uruguay strike.