European football's loyal XI
Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes & Steven Gerrard are among Europe's most loyal players
Football today is a business, and so it is rare to see a player devoting his entire career to a single club.
Is loyalty an old-fashioned quality or an important characteristic for a football player to have?
Here are 11 players who define the word loyal:
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas | Real Madrid
At the age of 18, Iker Casillas debuted for one of the greatest teams in the history of the sport and for the past 13 years and six months has stuck with his club through thick and thin.
He has won the Spanish league five times, the Copa del Rey once, four Spanish Super Cups, the Champions League twice, the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup once in 2002.
Casillas is one of the best goalkeepers around.
Right-back: Javier Zanetti | Inter Milan
Zanetti is one of the most loyal players to ever play football at the highest level. The 2012/13 campaign is his 19th consecutive season for Inter, during which he has won 16 official titles with the club.
Left-back: Philipp Lahm | Bayern Munich
Lahm played his first game for Bayern ten years ago but was lent to Stuttgart for two years before going back to Munich. But, ever since he did, the German left back, has been an example of loyalty and devotion to a club and, at the age of 29, is already captain of the club and will probably stay there until the end of his career.
Centre-back: Carles Puyol | Barcelona
Puyol has only known one club his all career and has been a very important member of the Barcelona team that has dominated Europe in the last years. In his career for the Blaugrana, Puyol won 19 titles including three Champions League and five Spanish Leagues.
Centre-back: Rio Ferdinand | Manchester United
Ferdinand is probably one of the toughest players to ever play football at the highest level. Throughout his career the english international has faced numerous injuries but was always able to come back even stronger.
Centre-midfield: Xavi | Barcelona
Xavi is one of the greatest midfielders around. A product of Barcelona's youth, the Spanish devoted his career to the club in a successful manner winning several titles both individual and collective.
Centre-midfield: Paul Scholes | Manchester United
Since 1992, Paul Scholes has won more titles than most n his career. The English football player retired in 2011 but when his team needed him, he came back and at the end of last season signed yet another extension on his contract.
Right-wing: Steven Gerrard | Liverpool
The third spot as a midfielder of the Loyalty XI belongs to Steven Gerrard. The English midfielder is a legend on Merseyside. Lacking the Premier League title is the only downside to his career in Liverpool, but that fact only makes him an even greater fit for the Loyalty XI.
Currently the Reds captain is at his 15th season at Anfield with has shown no signs of wanting to leave any time soon. Some might say if Gerrard hadn't had as many injuries as he did throughout his career he might have already won the FIFA Ballon d'Or award.
Left-wing: Ryan Giggs | Manchester United
The Welshman has played for Manchester United since 1990 and no other player has won as many titles as him.
Giggs is an example for all football players around the world, combining skill with willingness, toughness and devotion. Giggs is, without a doubt, one of the greatest football players in the history of the game.
The Champions League match against Real Madrid this year marked Giggs' 1000th match as a professional.
Striker: Francesco Totti | AS Roma
If you mention AS Roma, then Francesco Totti's name will follow. In his 20th season for the Italian club, Totti has scored 225 goals, which ties him for second most goals in Serie A history.
Striker: Raul | Real Madrid
Currently playing in Al Sadd, Raul Gonzalez made history in Real Madrid's Galaticos team. The eternal Blancos' number 7 played for 16 years at Santiago Bernabéu and scored 323 goals in 741 games.
Is this the most loyal XI in the world? Join the debate leaving your opinion on the comment box below!
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