On Sunday, January 27th, Essam El Hadary revealed to ON Sport’s Seif Zaher, that he’s no longer committing to his international retirement decision.
El Hadary officially announced his international retirement on August 6th, 2018. Posting an emotional statement; the decision came after the former Ismaily goalkeeper participated with the National Team in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Hadary broke the record for being the oldest goalkeeper to ever play in the history of the World Cup; and not just that, but also the oldest one to save a penalty in the Egypt vs Saudi Arabia game on June 25th, 2018.
However as soon as Egypt was officially announced as the hosting country of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the 46-year-old started hinting about the possibilities of his return.
“I’m like a soldier waiting for his country’s call.”
Of course, he was referring to himself and the National Team; and by ‘call’, he definitely meant whether the new coach Javier Aguire decides to include him in the AFCON 2019 team.
Keeping in mind that the current starting goalkeeper for the Egyptian National Team is Al Ahly player, Mohamed El Shennawy.
“Honestly, my ambition is to be one of the 23 soldiers on the AFCON 2019 list; I’ll always be there for my National Team at any time.”
On another note, according to his tweets, El Hadary is incredibly close to signing a contract with Al Nogoum FC.
In a related context to the AFCON 2019, it was officially announced that the Kickoff will be moved to June 21st instead of June 14th, for the tournament to end on July 19th.
The official draw for the tournament will reportedly take place on April 12th near the Giza Pyramids.
What do you guys think about this? Is it a good thing that El Hadary could be featured in the National Team’s starting lineup in AFCON 2019?
Or is it better to finally give someone else the chance? Like El Shennawy who was named ‘Man Of The Match’ in the Egypt vs Uruguay’s World Cup match, or maybe even Mohamed Awad for a change?
Is it time for El Hadary to sit back, let others shine and stick to his international retirement decision or do we still need the guy to finish the job?