Egypt's Ahmed Hassan equals appearance record in Brazil defeat



DOHA // Ahmed Hassan, the Egypt midfielder, equalled the record for the most international appearances after earning his 178th cap in a 2-0 friendly defeat by Brazil in Doha last night.

The 36 year old, who made his national team debut at 20 at the end of 1995, now shares the record held by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohamed Al Deayea, who last played in 2006.

Hassan replaced Hosni Abd Rabou in the 73rd minute and was immediately welcomed in regal fashion by his teammates, given the captain's armband by Wael Gomaa who came over to the touchline to hand it to him.

"While thanking those who say I should be included in the national team to achieve a personal goal, I believe that decision must be based only on my performances at club level," said Hassan.

Hassan's latest achievement continues his revered status in Egyptian football and follows other personal milestones, including four African Nations Cup titles and success in the CAF Champions League.

The midfielder, whose phenomenal work rate has endeared him to fans, played at Besiktas in Turkey and for Anderlecht in Belgium.

Hassan has never appeared at the World Cup finals and was released by Cairo giants Al Ahli in June, only to promptly join their arch rivals Zamalek.

In a recent Egyptian television appearance, Hassan said he hoped to play until the age of 40.

According to Fifa's list of most national team appearances, Hassan is out on his own among still active internationals.

Next on the list is Argentine fullback Javier Zanetti, who had a brief comeback for his country in June, to take his tally to 141 caps.

Jonas Oliveira scored once in each half to give Brazil the win in Qatar, to give Bob Bradley, the new Egypt coach, a losing start. The Valencia striker struck in the 39th and 59th minutes at Al Rayyan Stadium in a match held to raise money for famine victims in Somalia. It was Brazil's second victory in a row, having beaten Gabon 2-0 last week.

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