Only three teams have won the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) title four or more times – Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana, but for the Egyptian duo of Ahmed Hassan and Essam El Hadary, they have individually won the continent’s most prestigious title four times each.
Both helped Egypt to Afcon glory in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010, with Hassan playing in the four editions, while El Hadary was an unused sub in 1998.
Hassan played 22 matches in the process, scoring eight goals. He was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament twice, in Egypt 2006 and Angola 2010. While El Hadary played 18 matches, and was the shootout hero in 2006 final, saving two penalties from Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and his teammates. He was named as best goalkeeper three times in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
Burkina Faso 1998
While El Hadary deputised for the unused sub to Nader El Sayed, Hassan played in five of Egypt’s six games in the tournament, missing only the group stage defeat to Morocco. He scored the opening goal in the 2-0 win over South Africa in the final.
Both El Hadary and Hassan played in all Egypt’s six games in the tournament. The goalkeeper conceded three times, while Hassan scored four goals; against Libya, DR Congo (two) and Senegal.
He also missed a penalty in the final against Ivory Coast during the extra time before scoring from the spot in the shootout. El Hadary was the hero stopping two of the Ivorians kicks from Drogba and Bakary Kone. They were both included in the team of the tournament, while Hassan was named Most Valuable Player.
While El Hadary played every minute of Egypt’s six games on their way to the title conceding five times, Hassan missed the first group game against Cameroon, playing five games without scoring. El Hadary was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper for the second time in a row.
El Hadary once again played every minute in Egypt’s road to the seventh title, conceding two goals in the process. Hassan also took part in Egypt’s six games, scoring three goals. He opened Egypt’s account against Nigeria in the group stage, before scoring a brace against Cameroon in the quarterfinals.
He was once again named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while El Hadary was the best goalkeeper for the third time running.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo