Egypt football legend Essam El Hadary has revealed he would not be coming out of retirement.
The goalkeeping great called time on his illustrious career after a short stint with former Egyptian Premier League side Nogoom FC.
Over the past week, reports in the media suggested the 47-year-old would return to the beautiful game to represent Egyptian fourth-tier side ZED FC.
However, El-Hadary in a series of tweets maintained that he has officially hung up his gloves and is now focused on coaching.
“I won’t join any club and all these rumours are completely false. I took many courses in Europe and trial periods with some world-class teams. And now, thanks to your support, I’m ready to start my coaching career,” the former Al Ahly, Sion and Zamalek goalkeeper tweeted.
“I want to thank my fellow teammates, whom I shared the pitch with throughout the generations. I also would like to thank every coach I’ve worked with as well as the administration and medical staff.
“And to all the workers, whom I consider brothers, who helped me throughout my career. And a special thanks to my country, Egypt. I hope to one day to close the curtain on my footballing career and look back with no regrets.”
El Hadary began his professional career in 1993 with Damietta, but he is perhaps best known for his 12-year spell at Al Ahly between 1996 and 2008, during which time he won 21 titles.
On the international scene, he was handed his debut in 1996 and went on to feature in 159 games, winning four Africa Cup of Nations titles, but was denied a fifth in 2017 following Cameroon’s triumph in Gabon.
The veteran appeared five times in qualifying and, at the age of 45, made his Fifa World Cup 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.
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.