Essam El-Hadary’s agent Mohamed Shiha has revealed that the veteran Egypt goalkeeper snubbed “attractive offers” from Chinese and American clubs, instead opting to return to the Egyptian Premier League.
Writing off retirement at the moment, El-Hadary is expected to boost Ismaily’s return to the Caf Champions League for the first time in eight years next season.
Clubs in China and the Unites States took interest after his history-making heroics in becoming the oldest player to feature in a World Cup match. That was when he guarded goal against Saudi Arabia in the Pharaoh’s closing Group A match.
El-Hadary returned to Ismaily, whom he last turned out for in the 2014-15 season, having also had another spell at the club between 2009 and 2010.
“Essam rejected attractive offers to play in China and USA, and preferred to return to Ismaily SC,” Shiha exclusively told Goal.
“After he became the oldest player in World Cup history (against Saudi Arabia) a marketing perspective has been added to his transfer benefits as El-Hadary’s name will help Ismaily commercially especially, during this season with Ismaily playing in the Caf champions league. What I can confirm is he’s looking forward to continue playing and not thinking about retirement.”
The well-travelled goalkeeper has before had a lengthy spell with Egyptian giants Al-Ahly, whom he won four Caf Champions League titles with.
He has also played for Swiss side Sion as well as other Egyptian clubs Wadi Degla, Al-Ittihad Alexandria and giants Zamalek.
By Michael Madyira
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