Roma's De Rossi tops list of modern one-club men

In his 17th season in Roma's first team, Daniele De Rossi is 2017/18's ultimate club servant.

Daniele De Rossi inherited Roma's one-club mantle following Francesco Totti's retirement
Daniele De Rossi inherited Roma's one-club mantle following Francesco Totti's retirement ©Getty Images

Francesco Totti stuck by Roma for 25 seasons before retiring in 2017 but has a worthy successor in Daniele De Rossi – the longest-serving one-club man still playing in Europe's top leagues.

"Your relationship with your club starts when you're a kid and for me that was Roma," he told UEFA.com earlier this season. "It then became my job but my huge love for the club is certainly still there.

"I started supporting Roma as a boy and I think my personality led me to support the club with such fervour. My dad's always supported Roma but not as fanatically as I have."

Criteria
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)
17 seasons, 588 first-team appearances
The man known as 'the eighth king of Rome' has reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the first time in what is his 17th season in Roma's first team. The 34-year-old made his debut under Fabio Capello in October 2001, breaking into the side just after their most recent Scudetto.

Barcelona stalwart Andrés Iniesta
Barcelona stalwart Andrés Iniesta©Getty Images

Spain: Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)
16 seasons, 669 first-team appearances
Scoring the winner in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final confirmed Iniesta's superstar status yet the 33-year-old's ultimate loyalty has been to Barcelona, for whom he made his senior bow in October 2002. Announced that this season would be his last for the club on 27 April.

Russia: Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moskva)
15 seasons, 562 first-team appearances
Goalkeeper Akinfeev (32), defenders Aleksei and Vasili Berezutski (both 35) and Sergei Ignashevich (38) boast 62 seasons of CSKA service between them. The Ignashevich brothers made their Army Men debuts in 2002 – the year before Akinfeev's May 2003 bow – but both had previously played for Torpedo-ZIL.

The ever-Green Loïc Perrin
The ever-Green Loïc Perrin©Getty Images

France: Loïc Perrin (St-Étienne)
15 seasons, 380 first-team appearances
Perrin debuted for his home-town 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.

Portugal: Rui Patrício (Sporting CP)
12 seasons, 448 first-team appearances
Propelled into Sporting's side in November 2006, aged 18, because of an injury crisis, Rui Patrício made his mark by saving a penalty in a 1-0 win at Marítimo. The 30-year-old secured a permanent first-team place the next season, and Portugal's UEFA EURO 2016 winner has not abandoned his post since.

Thomas Müller: Bayern to the core
Thomas Müller: Bayern to the core©Getty Images

Germany: Thomas Müller (Bayern München)
10 seasons, 436 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 over Sporting CP the following March. "I am not always eye-catching but always dangerous," explained the 28-year-old Müller, who has bagged 175 goals in all competitions.

Ukraine: Yaroslav Rakitskiy (Shakhtar)
9 seasons, 272 first-team appearances
The son of a miner, Rakitskiy has fittingly spent his entire career with the Pitmen. The centre-back broke through in 2009 when Dmytro Chygrynskiy left for Barcelona, and – now 28 – the left-footer has amassed six league titles and five Ukrainian Cups. "Shakhtar are my life," he told UEFA.com.

England: James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
7 seasons, 202 first-team appearances
Andy King's 11 unblemished seasons at Leicester ended when he joined Swansea on loan, leaving Ward-Prowse – who made his senior bow in October 2011 – as the top Premier League stalwart. On Southampton's books since 2003, the 23-year-old was raised supporting Saints' local rivals Portsmouth.

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