Departing De Rossi tops list of modern one-club men
Daniele De Rossi has confirmed that this season will be his last at Roma, the 35-year-old’s 616th game for Roma – against Parma this weekend – set to be his final appearance.
A worthy successor to Francesco Totti, who stuck by the Giallorossi for 25 seasons before retiring in 2017, the Rome native once old UEFA.com: “Your relationship with your club starts when you’re a kid and for me that was Roma. It then became my job, but my huge love for the club is certainly still there. I started supporting Roma as a boy and my personality led me to support the club with such fervour. My dad always supported Roma but not as fanatically as I have.”
Players must have spent their entire senior career with the same club, and must never have played for another team – even on loan. This list includes the longest serving one-club men in each of the top eight leagues according to the UEFA coefficients.
Italy: Daniele De Rossi (Roma)
18 seasons, 615 first-team appearances
The man known as ‘the eighth king of Rome’ reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 2017/18 in what was his 17th campaign in Roma’s first team. The 35-year-old made his debut under Fabio Capello in October 2001, breaking into the side just after their most recent Scudetto.
Russia: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moskva)
16 seasons, 584 first-team appearances
Goalkeeper Akinfeev made his CSKA bow in 2003 and two years later lifted the UEFA Cup after the Army Men defeated Sporting CP 3-1 in the final. A six-time Russian league champion, he has kept more clean sheets than any other keeper in Russian history – his first coming as he saved a penalty against Krylya Sovetov on his debut as a 17-year-old.
France: Loïc Perrin (St-Étienne)
16 seasons, 432 first-team appearances
Perrin debuted for his hometown team in August 2003, when Les Verts were in Ligue 2, and has remained with the club ever since, captaining St-Étienne for the last decade. The centre-back received senior call-ups in 2014 and 2015 but, at 32, has still to earn a senior France cap.
Spain: Bruno Soriano (Villarreal)
13 seasons, 415 first-team appearances
A silky central midfielder who makes the game seem effortless, Villarreal’s captain came through the ranks at his boyhood club, where he made his first-team bow in the old UEFA Intertoto Cup in July 2006. His total would have been much higher had he not missed the last two seasons with a serious knee injury.
Germany: Thomas Müller (Bayern München)
11 seasons, 483 first-team appearances
Müller joined Bayern in 2000, aged ten, making his debut in August 2008 – and scoring his first goal in a 7-1 win against Sporting CP the following March. “I am not always eye-catching but always dangerous,” explained the 29-year-old, who has scored 185 goals for Bayern in all competitions.
Ukraine: Volodymyr Chesnakov (Vorskla Poltava)
12 seasons, 316 first-team appearances
Born in nearby Globyne, defensive midfielder Chesnakov made his debut for his local club in 2007 and helped Vorskla to their biggest ever success two years later, when they defeated then-UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Cup final. He scored a great goal in a 4-2 loss to Arsenal in this season’s UEFA Europa League.
England: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
8 seasons, 234 first-team appearances
On Southampton’s books since 2003, the midfielder has been on the Saints’ books since he was just eight, despite being raised in a family of supporters of the club’s local rivals, Portsmouth. Under the terms of his current contract, he is committed to the south coast side until 2022.
Portugal: Nuno Campos (Nacional)
7 seasons, 110 first-team appearances
Nacional right-back Nuno Campos mad a relatively limited impact in his first five seasons with the Madeira side, but has been a regular in the last two seasons, taking his tally to three figures. Unfortunately, his eighth season with the club will be spent in the second tier, with Nacional set to be relegated at the weekend.