IN PICS: The 15 most loyal footballers still playing the game

Sport360 staff 00:15 28/02/2017

When you think about the longest serving players in the game at present, the likes of Francesco Totti and Gianluigi Buffon immediately spring to mind but of Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney?

The English international has had his issues with the club where he is now the all-time leading scorer which has soured his career at Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, his longevity with the Red Devils is up there with the best in Eurooean football.

The CIES Football Observatory has presented a list of the players who have been in the first team squad of their current club for the longest spell.

Only footballers who have participated in domestic league matches during the ongoing season are taken into account.

Totti heads the overall table. The Italian world champion has been in Roma’s first team squad for 24 consecutive years (since 1993). In second position is Chelsea’s centre back John Terry (18.5 years), followed by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Caen’s defensive midfielder Nicolas Seube (both 15.5 years).

The average number of consecutive seasons in the employer club 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.