La Liga

Bayern Munich Hero Muller Stars

Soccer players these days like to stay on the move. They are always on the hunt for more opportunities, bigger contracts, and better lifestyles, meaning every few years they move to a new team that can cater to their needs a little bit better. One-club men, such as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Francesco Totti are becoming increasingly rare, and we believe it will become an alien concept in about a decade.

Today, we will look at a handful of top-level soccer stars who are the flagbearers of loyalty in modern-day soccer. Here are the five players with the longest and uninterrupted first-team runs across the top five European leagues.

Data Via: Transfermarkt

#5 Anthony Lopes (Lyon): 479 Matches Over 13 Years & 8 Months

Lyon Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes Is One Of The Most Loyal Players In Europe
Anthony Lopes Has Been At Lyon All His Career

Recognizing the talent Anthony Lopes possessed, Olympique Lyon made him a part of the first team in July 2011. Since then, the remarkable Portuguese goalkeeper has played 479 matches for Lyon in all competitions, conceding 557 goals and keeping 155 clean sheets.

Lopes, who will see his contract expire in June 2025, has won only one trophy with Lyon — Coupe de France in the 2011-12 season.

#4 Oscar de Marcos (Athletic Bilbao): 523 Matches Over 15 Years & 8 Months

Oscar de Marcos Is One Of The Longest Serving Players In Europe
Oscar de Marcos Has Been At Athletic Bilbao For Over 15 Years

Unlike the other four players on this list, Oscar de Marcos did not remain with his boyhood team for the entirety of his professional career. The 34-year-old left Alaves for Athletic Bilbao in July 2009 and has been at the club since. In the last 15 years and eight months, De Marcos has featured in 523 games for Bilbao, recording 38 goals and 59 assists.

The first-choice right-back, who has won two Supercopas de Espana with Bilbao, will see his contract run out in June 2024. However, considering his consistent performance and legacy at the club, he should get another short-term extension at San Mames.

#3 Iker Muniain (Athletic Bilbao): 553 Matches Over 15 Years & 8 Months

Iker Muniain Is One Of The Longest Serving Players In Spain
Iker Muniain Will Become A Free Agent In June 2024

Gifted attacking midfielder Iker Muniain broke into Athletic Bilbao’s first team in July 2009. The Bilbao captain has played 553 games over the last decade and a half, recording 75 goals and 70 assists. The 31-year-old, who will become a free agent in June, has struggled to get minutes under his belt this season. With the team focusing on building a young core, there is a chance that the player will not receive a contract renewal.

The former Spain international has won two Supercopas de Espana with Bilbao, with the first one coming in the 2015-16 season and the other one in 2020-21.

#2 Koke (Atletico Madrid): 623 Matches Over 15 Years & 8 Months

Koke Is The Longest Serving Player In La Liga
Atletico Madrid Star Koke Has Won Eight Trophies In Madrid

Atletico Madrid skipper Koke was promoted to the senior team in July 2009. Over the last 15 years and eight months, the versatile central midfielder has appeared in 623 games for Los Rojiblancos, scoring 47 goals and providing 115 assists. The 32-year-old will become a free agent in June 2024 but is expected to sign an extension in the coming weeks.

Playing in the same league as Real Madrid and Barcelona, Atletico have not had the good fortune of winning many trophies in the last 15 years. However, in all of the eight trophies they have won in this period — including two La Liga titles and two UEFA Europa Leagues — the Spaniard has had invaluable contributions.

#1 Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich): 696 Matches Over 15 Years & 8 Months

Thomas Muller Is The Most Loyal Player In Europe
Thomas Muller Is A Two-Time UEFA Champions League Winner

Bayern Munich academy graduate Thomas Muller has been with the first team since July 1, 2009. Over the last 15 years and eight months, the German attacker has played 696 matches for the Bavarians in all competitions, scoring 238 goals and claiming 264 assists. The 34-year-old’s contract expires in June 2025, and it will not be surprising if he gets another extension long before the time comes.

Muller has won a whopping 32 trophies with his boyhood club, including 12 Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Champions Leagues.

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