– Lionel Messi joined Barcelona’s La Masia academy in 2001
– The Argentine made his professional debut in 2004 and has grown to become the club legend
– In the list of most loyal active players, however, Messi ranks second amid reports he could leave Barcelona
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An interesting ranking recently placed want-away Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi second in the list of the most loyal active football players in the world.
While the future of the Argentine remains uncertain at Camp Nou, Messi is still one of the most loyal players in history as he has only played for one club his entire professional career.
After making a name for himself at Newell Old Boyz in Argentina, Messi was taken in by Barcelona in 2001 where he signed his first professional contract in 2004.
Since then, Messi has gone in to make a staggering 730 appearances in 16 years for the Catalan giants, scoring 634 goals in the process.
What the Argentine has done for Barcelona is quite remarkable, but despite his record, he still ranks second in terms of years spent with a single club professionally as a football player.
It turns out that when it comes to loyalty, there are players who being called a ‘one-man club’ player would be an understatement.
Francesco Totti, the retired Roma player played for the Italian side in a career spanning from 1992 all the way to 2017, making a total of 619 appearances.
Below are the active players who have maintained with one club for the longest time, with Lionel Messi ranking second.
15. Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund) – 13 years, 1 month and 26 days
14. Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) – 13 years, 1 month and 26 days
13. Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk) – 13 years, 7 months and 25 days
12. Anton Shunin (Dinamo Moscow) – 13 years, 7 months and 25 days
11. Marcelo (Real Madrid) – 13 years, 7 months and 25 days
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
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 month 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
Legit.ng earlier reported that Embattled Lionel Messi will show up at Barcelona training on Monday ahead of their preparation for the new season.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner surprised the world after handing the club of his decision to leave them this summer.
Having spent over 16 years at the club, the Argentine is open to starting afresh elsewhere despite not having many years left to play.
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