Loyal players: Buffon tops list with longest club association

Gianluigi Buffon - Wikipedia

Gianluigi Buffon heads the table for the big-5 league players who have been for the longest period in their club employment. The legendary Italian goalkeeper has already played for 17 seasons at Juventus. This is sixth months more than the second-ranked footballer, Sergio Pellissier (Chievo), and one-year more than for Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) and Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund).

The top 110 list is shared by the CIES Football Observatory in Weekly Post’s issue number 223.

In total, 61 footballers have played for at least ten seasons in their current club. Among them are many big names like Lionel Messi (14 seasons in Barcelona’s first team squad), Giorgio Chiellini (13, Juventus), Sergio Ramos (13, Real Madrid), Michael Carrick (12, Manchester United), Marcelo (11.5, Real Madrid), Franck Ribéry (11, Bayern Munich), Marek Hamšík (11, Napoli), Fernando Torres (10, Atlético Madrid) and Cristiano Ronaldo (9, Real Madrid).

In five clubs, the most loyal squad member only played there for four seasons: Fiorentina (Badelj), Crotone (Martella), Getafe (Guaita), Nice (Mendy, Pléa and Pouplin), as well as Caen (Vercoutre, Féret, da Silva and Bazile). The freshly published 34th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report analyses the relationships between squad stability and success in 31 top division leagues of UEFA member associations.

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory’s permanent researchers specialise in the statistical analysis of football.

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and the State of Neuchatel.