One club men XI

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Loyalty is a rare thing to come by in modern football with all the money now being pumped into the sport. A lot of players jump at the chance to leave a club when cold, hard cash is waved in their faces by mega-rich potential buyers.

However, flying the flag for decency and commitment to the clubs that have given them a chance in the game are these 11 men, who incidentally are among the greatest to have played the game in recent years.

Here is a squad full of men who plied their trade for just one team in the last 20 years, in a very modern 4-2-3-1 formation:

Goalkeeper - Iker Casillas

Real Madrid's stalwart custodian has been with the club since 1999 and until just recently, he was the undisputed number one at the Bernabeu for his entire career.

A fantastic shot-stopper and a commanding presence in goal, Casillas has racked up 654 appearance for the club and won a staggering 14 trophies during his time there. Throw into the mix his 148 caps for Spain and you have a bonafide legend.

Right Back - Gary Neville

England's most-capped right back of all time was a Manchester United stalwart for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2011. 

Neville was one of the most solid and dependable defenders around Europe during his pomp and one of the most passionate to boot. With over 600 appearances for the Red Devils clocked up, he will go down as one of the club's greatest ever.

Left Back - Paolo Maldini

Arguably the greatest example of a one club man of all time, Paolo Maldini is synonymous with Italian side AC Milan and his number three shirt at the club has been retired in his honour.

One of the finest defenders in Europe for almost a quarter of a century, the Italian won every honour there is to win during his career, including a simply breathtaking five European Cups.

Centre Back - Tony Adams

Although he was regularly mocked by opposition supporters, no one can deny the class of Tony Adams. You don't play for a club like Arsenal for 18 seasons without being one of the top defenders around.

Part of the famous Arsenal back four throughout the 1990s, the sight of Adams stepping forward with his arm raised to catch an attacker in their trademark offside trap.

The most iconic moment of his career came in 1998 when he latched onto a Steve Bould pass and smashed beyond Everton 'keeper Thomas Myhre to seal the league title for the Gunners.

Centre Back - Carles Puyol

One of the toughest defenders in European football over the last twenty years, Carles Puyol has been the inspirational captain of one of the best sides ever assembled, in Barcelona's recent trophy-filled years.

With over 650 appearances for the club to date, Puyol has never been afraid to put his body on the line and in Barcelona's squad of tiny, tiki-taka marvels, Puyol is a throwback to the old-school hard man defender of a bygone era.

Centre Midfield - Xavi

Yet another Barcelona man to make this squad, Xavi has been a stalwart for the catalans ever since he was tipped to replace the legendary Pep Guardiola at the club as a youngster.

After making his debut in 1998/99, Xavi has become one of the finest midfielders in the world and has been the metronome of the Barcelona side ever since his hero Guardiola left the club.

Centre Midfield - Paul Scholes

Quiet man Paul Scholes let his football do most of the talking for him across a 20-year Manchester United career comprising of over 700 appearances.

A wonderful passer of the ball and scorer of important goals, Scholes was so badly missed at United following his 2011 retirement that he was coaxed back by manager Sir Alex Ferguson just six months later. 

Attacking Midfield Right - Steven Gerrard

Although strictly speaking not his favourite position, there is no doubt Steven Gerrard could still be a fantastic footballer out on the right, as he has been in Liverpool's midfield for 15 years and 634 appearances (and counting).

The driving force of the Anfield side throughout his long career, Gerrard was at his most inspirational during the victorious 2005 Champions League campaign, scoring some vital goals to drag them to the title.

Attacking Midfield Centre - Francesco Totti

One of Europe's finest midfielders in the modern era and a prolific goalscorer despite only rarely playing as an emergency striker, Totti is a worthy addition to this side.

A native Roman, Totti has made almost 700 appearances for the club over 20 years, scoring an astounding 282 goals during that time.

Now approaching the end of his career, he will go down as one of Roma's greatest ever players.

Attacking Midfield Left - Ryan Giggs

The evergreen Manchester United man is approaching his 40th birthday but still oozes class whenever he takes to the field for his club, and remains an important asset to his manager David Moyes.

The club record holder for competitive appearances with over 900, Giggs has played and scored in every single Premier League season since its inception, a quite incredible stat for a quite incredible player. English football will miss him when he's gone.

Striker - Lionel Messi

Another Barcelona star who has remained with the club his entire career, and is still only 26. However his inclusion in this squad is based on the opinion that he will almost certainly never leave the club that he has been so important to since his debut in 2004.

Reigning Ballon D'or winner of the last four years and scorer of a frankly insane 318 goals in 383 club appearances, Messi is already one of the club's best ever and is arguably the best player to have ever played the game.

Still going strong, it is quite feasible that the diminutive Argentinian will get to 1000 goals before he retires.

Anyone you thought should have been included? Leave a comment below.

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Lionel Messi

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