Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary broke the record for the oldest player ever to appear at the Africa Cup of Nations as he kept a clean sheet in their draw against Mali.

The Pharaons captain –  turned 44 on Sunday –  was left out of the starting line-up for their Group D opener against Mali but he came on as a 25th-minute substitute after Ahmed El Shennawy, who collided with the post following Moussa Marega’s cross, was forced off injured.

El Hadary beats the previous mark set by his fellow Egyptian Hossam Hassan, who was a mere 39 years, five months and 24 days old when he played at the 2006 Cup of Nations.

Legendary goalkeeper El Hadary has now played 148 international games for Egypt, winning African Cup of Nations on four occasions.

El-Hadary won his first African title in 1998 and was named as the best goalkeeper in the tournament when Egypt won on home soil in 2006 and defended their crown successfully in both 2008 and 2010.

He is widely regarded as one of Africa’s best-ever goalkeepers and was named by Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba as Didier Drogba as the “best opponent” he has ever played against.

Hadary, currently playing for Egyptian Premier League club Wadi Degla, won the domestic league title eight times, as well as the domestic cup and African Champions League on four occasions each.