International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 16 April 2018

Loyal players: Gianluigi Buffon tops the list

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 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 available in issue number 223 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post.

In total, 61 footballers played for at least ten seasons in their current club. Among them are many other legendary players such as 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.