The official website for European football

Europe's loyal club servants

Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 10.47CET
Daniele De Rossi has extended his 11-year association with AS Roma by another five years, but he has a way to go to join UEFA.com's list of Europe's longest-serving current players.

rate galleryrate photo
1/0
counter
  • loading...

UEFA.com features

Lozano: Barcelona desperate for second crown
  • Lozano: Barcelona desperate for second crown
  • 2002 Futsal Cup final: Where it all began
  • Araz's Gambarov on Baku futsal passion
  • Take a bow Bale and El Haddadi
  • Road to the semi-finals
  • Bayern and Madrid's classic 2012 semi-final
  • Banga making a noise in Lithuania
  • Gustavsson: Tyresö still chasing their dream
  • Kellermann explains Wolfsburg rise
  • Madrid and Barcelona spurred on by Copa history
1 of 10
Published: Monday 6 February 2012, 10.47CET

Europe's loyal club servants

Daniele De Rossi has extended his 11-year association with AS Roma by another five years, but he has a way to go to join UEFA.com's list of Europe's longest-serving current players.

Daniele De Rossi has spent 11 years at AS Roma and has committed to five more, but as UEFA.com discovers, that is still little-league stuff compared to some of Europe's most dedicated current club servants.

Ryan Giggs (Manchester United FC) 1991-
Paul Scholes (Manchester United FC) 1994-

Sure to feature prominently in any history of England's most successful club, midfielders Giggs and Scholes have now racked up around 40 years' Old Trafford service between them. Giggs surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's club record of 606 league outings last year and is still going strong, while Scholes did not take too much persuasion to cancel his retirement plans and rejoin the fray at the start of 2012, saying: "I've been pretty clear since I stopped playing that I miss it."

Francesco Totti (AS Roma) 1993-
Born in Rome, Totti joined the Giallorossi as a 13-year-old in 1989, making his Serie A debut in March 1993; he now holds the club record for appearances (618) and goals (262). "I could never have imagined such a career when I made my Roma debut," said il Capitano, a Scudetto winner in 2001. "I have always tried to give my very best in these colours and the door has always been closed for other clubs." His former coach Luciano Spalletti once responded to a transfer rumour regarding Totti by saying: "It would be easier to move the Colosseum out of Rome."

Mario Muscat (Hibernians FC) 1993-
One-time goalkeeping prodigy Muscat made his debut for Hibernians as a teenager in 1993/94, playing in 18 games as his side won the title – an achievement the Paolites matched the following season and again in 2001/02 and 2008/09, with Muscat still an ever-present between the posts. The club's captain for a good number of years, he has shown an equal level of commitment to the Malta national team, for whom he has made 68 appearances, many as skipper.

Henrik Rydström (Kalmar FF) 1993-
Petter Wastå (Kalmar FF) 1994-

Midfielder Rydström and goalkeeper Wastå helped to transform the club into regulars at the top end of the table – and champions in 2008 – under coach Nanne Bergstrand. Their long careers have not only witnessed Kalmar's transformation, but changes in the lives of all Swedish players. "I am from the old school," Rydström told UEFA.com. "When I started playing, everyone had a day job – you couldn't survive on what football paid." True to his roots, he still teaches Swedish literature to high school students.

Alessandro del Piero (Juventus) 1993-
Signed by club president Giampiero Boniperti in 1993 after impressing as a teenager at Calcio Padova, the forward went on to eclipse all the records Boniperti himself had set in his 15 years at the club. The 1996 UEFA Champions League winner has scored 284 goals in 690 games for the Bianconeri, though he is taking a less active role in this, his 19th season. "In my future there is only Juventus," said 'Pinturicchio', captain since 2001. "My only wish is that 2012 will be as good for us as the second part of 2011."

Olexandr Shovkovskiy (FC Dynamo Kyiv) 1993-
Academy graduate Shovkovskiy made his senior Dynamo debut at 18 and a year later was a full Ukrainian international. He has gone on to win 12 league titles and eight Ukrainian Cups, as well as making well over 500 appearances for Dynamo and another 91 for the UEFA EURO 2012 co-hosts Ukraine. "I have never made long-term plans as your life can change in just one moment," said Shovkovskiy. "But looking back on my career, I cannot complain. I play for the most prestigious club in Ukraine and also have a chance to play at a EURO in my home country."

Evgeni Kapov (FC Dnepr Mogilev) 1993-
Kapov moved to Mogilev as a boy and started to work his way through the ranks at Dnepr, making his first-team debut at 17. In 1998, he won the Belarusian title and while his side were relegated in 2011, his 420 appreances for the club remains a domestic record. "I have been at Dnepr for 19 seasons," said Kapov. "Several times I felt I wanted to play at a higher level in a different league but it is too late to think about that now. I will stay in Mogilev and see how I get on as a coach one day."

Oka Nikolov (Eintracht Frankfurt) 1994-
'The Eternal Oka' becoming first choice in 1996 after serving his apprenticeship under two German greats, Uli Stein and Andreas Köpke. Eintracht have signed numerous custodians with a view to replacing Nikolov, but the No1 has always ended up on top. "We would be stupid to let someone like him go", said current coach Armin Veh. Former Macedonian international Nikolov added: "It might have been nice to play somewhere else for a change. I had one or two offers, but it never really worked out."

Colin Nixon (Glentoran FC) 1995-
The Ovalmen's current boss Scott Young hailed 33-year-old defender Nixon as "a credit to himself, his family, Glentoran and Northern Ireland football". A centre-half and right-back, Nixon has won four league titles and five Irish Cups, much to his own amazement. "If someone had turned to me on my debut and told me I'd still be at Glentoran 17 years later, I wouldn't have believed them," he said. "To have spent so long at The Oval and played in excess of 750 times for the club is very special."

Nir Davidovitch (Maccabi Haifa FC) 1994-
Born in Haifa, goalkeeper Davidovitch has been a regular for his hometown team since his debut in 1994, winning seven titles and maintaining his status as a club icon despite some career-threatening injuries. 'The Octopus' spent a few weeks on trial at English side Sunderland AFC in 2005, saying: "It is part of my ambition to play in Europe and in England." While that move did not come through, Europe's finest came to him when Maccabi qualified for the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Marinos Satsias (APOEL FC) 1995-
Holding midfielder Satsias was picked up from lower league Apollon Lympion FC, made his debut as a 17-year-old in 1995 and has been a regular for the Nicosia side ever since. Precision passing and a heroic work-rate have been the captain's calling cards in a career which has brought him win six titles and five Cypriot Cups. He was largely confined to the bench in this season's breakthrough UEFA Champions League campaign, but is happy to see the club thrive. "We have had an excellent 2011, especially in the Champions League. I hope we can maintain that rhythm in 2012."

Last updated: 05/12/13 19.30CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/news/newsid=1741029.html#europes+loyal+club+servants

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.