'Congratulations to arguably best goalkeeper from Africa' - Onyango lauds retired El-Hadary

Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango and Hossam El Hadary.
Goal Kenya.
The 47-year-old Egyptian decided to quit the game after several milestones with the national team

Uganda captain Denis Onyango has paid tribute to Egypt legend Essam El-Hadary, who retired recently.

The veteran custodian hung up his boots at the age of 47 with a host of records during his football career and the Mamelodi Sundowns shot-stopper has taken to his social media accounts to laud the Egyptian.

"Congratulations to arguably the best goalkeeper in Africa of all time on a happy retirement," Onyango tweeted.

"Essam El-Hadary, thanks for the inspiration and memories. You have earned a long and happy retirement. "A true legend in every sense of the word. Good luck legend."

The goalkeeper announced his retirement from football on July 24 after 27 years in the game.   

"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, and may God be in the help of the players," El-Hadary said in a statement.

"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 former Egypt goalkeeper made 159 appearances for the Pharaohs after making his debut in 1996.

During this time, he helped his country win the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) four times - in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

He was named the best goalkeeper in the competition thrice - in 2006 in Egypt, in Ghana 2008 and in Angola in 2010.

The custodian made history when he became the oldest player to play in the Fifa World Cup in 2018 at 45 years and 161 days of age.

During his 27-year-old career, the Egypt legend played for more than 10 clubs in and out of the country.

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In 2018, he announced his retirement from the national team.

"This is a moment I didn’t want to come, I trained hard day and night to reach high performances and to be with the Egyptian team, I am very proud to play 159 matches with Egypt, won the African Cup of Nations four times, reached the final in 2017, won the best goalkeeper in Africa four times, won the Arab games in 2007 and finally reach the World Cup," the custodian said in a statement to the press upon his international retirement.

“Finally, thank God for everything. I want to thank my family for always helping me, especially my father and thank every one of you for your support that helped me a lot to reach all these achievements."