Yet another World Cup milestone is set to fall today when Egypt’s stalwart goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary officially becomes the proud new holder of the record for the oldest player to have ever turned out at the finals.
Egypt have confirmed that El-Hadary will be starting their last group stage match against Saudi Arabia after remaining on the bench for their first two games.
So, when that first whistle sounds in Volgograd, El-Hadary – at the grand old age of 45 years and 161 days – will surpass Colombian goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon (who was 43 in 2014) to become the most senior player in World Cup history.
El-Hadary is actually older than three of the coaches in charge at the 2018 tournament in Roberto Martinez (Belgium), Aliou Cisse (Senegal) and Mladen Krstajic (Serbia).
He’s also older than Ryan Giggs and Brendan Rodgers, which is utterly, hopelessly bonkers.
Whether or not El-Hadary retires after the match remains to be seen, but either way he’s definitely earned himself a celebratory party of some description.