While player mobility has increased in recent years, squad stability remains a key success factor in football. Issue number 335 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post highlights the footballers among current squad members having played the most domestic league matches during the last ten years for 540 teams from 35 top divisions worldwide. Sebastián Viera holds the record figure with 395 championship games for Junior de Barranquilla (Colombia).
At European level, Leicester City’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (372 domestic league games) outranks FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (340) and Manchester United David de Gea (337). 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.
At league level, 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. All of the five major European championships 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.
Highest number of domestic league matches with current team, by club
From 19/04/2011 to 19/04/2021