Schmeichel, Messi and de Gea top club loyalty ranking

April 29 – Two goalkeepers are in the top three of a ranking of Big 5 league players who have played the most domestic matches for their club in the past 10 years. Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel (372 games) and Manchester United’s David de Gea (337), sandwich Barcelona’s hardy perennial Lionel Messi (340).

The ranking by the CIES Football Observatory examines data from 540 teams from 35 top divisions worldwide. Sebastián Viera holds the overall record figure with 395 championship games for Junior de Barranquilla (Colombia). Schmeichel ranks second.

Looking at squad stability at league level, the Big 5 major European leagues are in the top eight position of the rankings. “This result shows that stability goes hand in hand with money and that player mobility is exacerbated where clubs lack resources,” says the CIES.

The average number of games over the last ten years for the most used player per team varies between 263 in the English Premier League and 125 in the Australian A-League.

Looking at big clubs within the big European leagues, Karim Benzema is the current Real Madrid squad member who played the most championship games for the Merengues during the last decade (322), César Azpilicueta (292) for Chelsea, Sergio Agüero (272) for Manchester City and Marco Verratti (221) for Paris St-Germain.

To see the full rankings click here.

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