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Lionel Messi Is Currently The Second Most Loyal Player In Europe

Lionel Messi Is Currently The Second Most Loyal Player In Europe

Lionel Messi wants to leave Barcelona after nearly two decades of service with the Blaugrana, but he currently stands as the second most loyal player in Europe.

Messi spent the early part of his youth career with Newell's Old Boys before making the move to the La Masia academy in 2001.

He then made his official first-team debut in October 2004 and has since made 730 more appearances for the club in 16 years, scoring a ridiculous 634 goals in all competitions.

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Transfer Markt have collated a list of the 15 most loyal players still playing in one of the top ten leagues in Europe, of which only CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has been at a club for a longer period of time.

The Russian, a one club-man, has been at CSKA for a total of 17 years, 7 months and 25 days.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Level with Messi in the loyal man game is West Ham's long-time skipper Mark Noble, who is the third most loyal player in Europe having been at the Hammers for 16 years, 7 months and 25 days at the time the list was published.

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Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is in ninth after joining from Sevilla and spending 14 years, 11 months and 26 days as a Los Blancos player, with his colleague Marcelo two places down in 11th thanks to 13 years, 7 months and 25 days of service.

Sergio Busquets, a fellow Barcelona youth product like Messi, sits in 14th place on the list having spent 13 years, 1 month and 26 days in the first-team at the Catalan giants.

Here is the top 15 list:

15. Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund) - 13 years, 1 month and 26 days

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14. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) - 13 years, 1 month and 26 days

13. Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk) - 13 years, 7 months and 25 days

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12. Anton Shunin (Dinamo Moscow) - 13 years, 7 months and 25 days

11. Marcelo (Real Madrid) - 13 years, 7 months and 25 days

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10. Sammy Bossut (Zulte Waregem) - 14 years, 1 month and 26 days

9. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) - 14 years, 11 months and 26 days

8. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) - 15 years, 1 month and 26 days

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7. Francesco Magnanelli (Sassuolo) - 15 years, 1 month and 26 days

6. Jessy Moulin (Saint-Etienne) - 15 years, 1 month and 26 days

5. Oier (Osasuna) - 15 years, 1 months and 26 days

4. Sergio Alvarez (Celta Vigo) - 16 years, 1 month and 26 days

3. Mark Noble (West Ham United) - 16 years, 7 months and 25 days

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 16 years, 7 months and 25 days

1. Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow) - 17 years, 7 months and 25 days

Topics: Football News, Football, Messi, Lionel Messi, Mark Noble

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.