February 27 – Roma’s Francesco Totti, at 24 years and still striking, is the longest serving player in Europe’s big-5 leagues at one club. He is followed by John Terry at 18.5 years and in joint third Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon and Caen defensive midfielder Nicolas Seube on 15.5 years.
The data from the CIES Football Observatory looks at players who have stayed longest with one club. Players have to played in domestic league matches to qualify for the list.
In Spain Andres Iniesta tops the list of longest serving at Barcelona – 13.5 years – while in the Bundesliga, Dortmund’s Roman Weidenfeller has been with the club for 14.5 consecutive seasons.
From the longest serving players there is a very steep drop off in the numbers of seasons a player generally stays with the a club. CIES says that the average time spent of the most “loyal player per team varies between 8.6 years in the German Bundesliga and 7.7 years in the French Ligue 1.
“Olympique de Marseille is a very specific case as the lost loyal players fielded in domestic league games this season are present in the first team squad since 1.5 years only!”
The Premier League has a high degree of loyalty amongst its English players with Terry topping the list, followed by Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney on 12.5 years, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott on 11 years (many would argue that after 11 years he is still trying to break into the team), and Mark Nobel who has been at West Ham 10 years.
The longest lasting overseas player in the Premier League is Lucas Leiva who has been at Liverpool for 9.5 years.
Only 17 players in the 20 Premier League clubs have stayed at that club for more than five years.
See the full list at http://www.football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2016/178/en/
Source: CIES Football Observatory
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