The Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El has become the oldest player ever to play in a World Cup match.

Hadary played the entire 90 minutes of Egypt's final group A clash against Saudi Arabia which the North Africans lost 2-1.

At 45 years and 161 days, El Hadary is now the oldest World Cup player ever.

Until now, the record for the oldest player was held by the former Colombia goalkeepr Faryd Mondragon.

"I apologise to the Egyptian people on my behalf, and for my colleagues, after the three defeats," he said.

"I'm proud of what I have achieved and this achievement is worthy of Egypt.

"We tried and did not have luck - this is football."

In a thrilling final group game Egypt - appearing at their first World Cup finals for 28 years - took the lead thanks to Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah's lob in the 22nd minute, their first World Cup goal from open play since 1934.

But Salman Al Faraj scored a spot-kick for Saudi Arabia seconds before half-time, just five minutes after El Hadary had saved Al Muwallad's effort, and Al Dawsari fired in the winner with seconds left to secure the Saudis' first World Cup win since 1994.

Egypt coach Hector Cuper says he hopes "everyone in Egypt is happy" that El Hadary beat the record of Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon, who was 43 years and three days old when he appeared at Brazil 2014.

"There is not much between our three goalkeepers but he was the right person to play today," said Cuper.

He also dismissed suggestions Salah could retire from international football because he is unhappy about being over-used for publicity purposes.

"I don't think that's true. He really appreciates every opportunity he gets to play for the national team," insisted the manager.

Egypt finished bottom of Group A and failed to pick up a point, losing against Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Milla last played at the 1994 World Cup in the United States, when he was 42.

With the exception of Milla, most veteran players have been goalkeepers.

Among them is Northern Ireland's Pat Jennings, who played at 41, the England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who played at 40, and Italy's Dino Zoff.

Zoff is the oldest winner ever of the World Cup, which he earned as captain of the Italian team in the 1982 tournament in Spain, at the aged 40.