Essam El-Hadary (Arabic: عصام الدين كمال توفيق الحضري; born 15 January 1973) is an Egyptian goalkeeper, playing for Egyptian Premier League club Wadi Degla and Egypt national football team.
He is regarded as one of the best African goalkeepers of all time. In April 2012, Didier Drogba told Chelsea FC Magazine that he is the "best opponent" he has ever played against.
Swiss club FC Sion announced that they had signed El-Hadary on a four-year contract in February 2008, despite claims to the contrary from his club Al-Ahly. El-Hadary was fined and suspended by Al-Ahly, before world governing body FIFA stepped in to give permission for Sion to complete the deal.
On 20 July 2009, it was announced that the Egyptian national team goalkeeper had joined Egyptian Premier League side Ismaily.
On 1 July 2010, El Hadary signed for Zamalek SC, but he was later suspended for 4 months by FIFA for his earlier contract with FC Sion.
In December 2010, he moved to Sudanese club Al-Merreikh.
During the summer of 2011, Hadary received multiple offers from European clubs which made him express his wish to leave Merreikh. In August he went to try out for Hull City. Al-Merreikh however did not let him go, having him signed for three years. His representative Bryan Yeubrey has spoken of interest from other English clubs in El-Hadary.
El-Hadary has represented Egypt 144 times, winning the African Cup of Nations four times with his country. He was chosen as the best goalkeeper in the 2006 African Cup of Nations, held in homeland Egypt and in the 2008 African Cup of Nations, held in Ghana and he was the best goalkeeper for the 2010 African Cup of Nations, held in Angola.
In January 2013 his agent tweeted that El-Hadary had retired from international football after being benched for a run of games, being the 23rd most capped international player in history and also the player with most African Cup of Nations titles. He returned to the national team in a match against Bosnia Herzegovina on 5 March 2014, winning 2-0.
On 4 June 2016, El-Hadary played the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win against Tanzania which secured Egypt's qualification for 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. On 17 January 2017, two days after his 44th birthday, he became the oldest player to ever appear in an Africa Cup of Nations match after replacing Ahmed El-Shenawy in Egypt's first match of the tournament.
- Statistics accurate as of match played 31 May 2014.
- Egyptian Premier League: 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08
- Egypt Cup: 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2006–07
- Egyptian Super Cup: 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
- CAF Champions League: 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008
- CAF Super Cup: 2002, 2006, 2007
- Arab Club Champions Cup: 1996
- Arab Super Cup: 1997, 1998
- Swiss Cup: 2008–09
- Sudan Premier League: 2011
- Sudan Cup: 2012
- All-Africa Games: 1995
- Africa Cup of Nations: 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010
- Pan Arab Games: 2007
- Africa Cup of Nations Team of all Tournaments: 2006, 2008, 2010