On this Valentine’s Day, the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post highlights the footballers from 60 leagues around the world who have been in the first team squad of their current club for the longest uninterrupted period. Russian international goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is the most loyal player overall: he has been defending the CSKA Moscow goal for 21 years.

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In the European big-5 leagues, two Germans top the table: Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich) and Tony Jantschke (Borussia Mönchengladbach). They are currently playing their sixteenth consecutive season with their respective clubs. Three Spaniards complete the podium in the big-5: Athletic Club’s Iker Muniain and Óscar de Marcos, as well as Atlético de Madrid’s Koke Resurrección.

For the other European leagues surveyed, Akinfeev is ahead of compatriot Rizvan Utsiev (Akhmat Grozny), Scotland’s Lewis Stevenson (Hivernian) and Norway’s Steffen Hagen (Odds BK). Outside Europe, Emirati goalkeeper Ali Khaseif (Al-Jazira) tops the list ahead of the Shanghai Port duo Huikang Cai and Wenjun Lü, and Japan’s Hisashi Jogo (Avispa Fukuoka).

Highest uninterrupted stay in the first team squad of their current club

60 league worlwide players, date: 14/02/2024