Rocky Balboa once said, “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up”; this goes ― without saying ― for many Egyptians. Essam EL-Hadary is one of those people whose history is celebrated because of what it inspires in Egyptians and die-hard, football fanatics. Having transcended the expectations of many when it comes to ageing, El Hadary still resides ― to this day ― at Egypt’s national team, as its number one goalkeeper. There is, however, a story behind his success, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is bringing it to us.

Kicking off his career with Damietta FC, he propelled himself and his team to Egypt’s first division by being their goalkeeper. His efforts were then realised, and his talent was acquired by Al-Ahly FC. Progressing with his training and earning the respect of his pals, El Hadary shortly found himself as Al-Ahly’s number one goal keeper, while fate was planning to put him as Egypt’s substitute goalkeeper as well. After a while, he became Egypt’s primary goalkeeper, taking a major role in Egypt winning several Confederation of African Football (CAF) cups, and even participating in the upcoming FIFA World Cup (Russia 2018).

The 90’s kids have seen him to be a figure of perseverance, strength, hope, and aspiration over the years. His unwavering determination to stay fit until Egypt managed to make it to the World Cup is unlike any other; even more so, don’t we all just love it when he climbs the goal to celebrate? El-Hadary’s existence in Egypt’s national football team, will always be a nostalgia catalyst. He is a catalyst that revives memories of us crying from happiness; when he stood against some of the fiercest football players in the field (like Drogba) and utterly defeated them!

El Hadary was always motivated by a sense of unconditional love to his country, regardless of the physical pain that annoyingly whispered like a kid in his ears. These whispers could always be hushed by GSK’s Panadol though. The analgesic allowed him to relieve the pain from his body, and became his only choice of pain relievers. Because of GSK’S Panadol, all of this happened without him giving away to being incapable of living up to his fullest potential. In El Hadary’s own words “It’s my pleasure to advertise for Panadol because it really helps people relieve their pain, and it helps them overcome the challenges they face in their lives.”

While we are enchanted by El Hadary’s will, we can equally be mesmerised by GSK’s bold and first of a kind move to use El Hadary as an ambassador for their analgesic. Also, much of El Hadary’s devotion to his country strikes resemblance to GSK’s pricing strategies; that are oriented towards the average consumer purchasing power. It can only speak of a determination ― on behalf of GSK ― to ensure that their medication remains accessible to the vast majority of any given country’s population.