The Bundesliga’s ten most loyal players

‘There is no loyality in modern football’ is an old chestnut that has been used for years now. However, there are still players who defy that stereotype. Right now there are 61 players in the Bundesliga who have stayed with the same club for five years or more.

One would be tempted to think that regulars at the best clubs would stick around the longest, but a closer look at the top 10 most loyal players reveals that the guys sticking around the longest come from all walks of life.

1. Thomas Kessler (12 years and 8 months)

The 33-year-old keeper is a youth product of the Billy Goats, having been at the club since 2000. He has been on the books of the professional side since 2007 and has for the most part been the club’s second choice goalie. Kessler has had two loan spells at St. Pauli and Eintracht Frankfurt. He has played a total of 32 matches for the team from the cathedral city and 30 matches for St. Pauli and the Eagles during his almost 13 years as a Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 player.

2. Philipp Bargfrede (11 years and 2 months)

Back in the day of Thomas Schaaf’s reign at the Weserstadion and Champions League football for the Green and Whites Bargfrede was hailed as Werder’s next national team player. However, injuries have stalled his career. Bargfrede as always stuck around at the Osterdeich, even when Werder fell on hard times.

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3. Marcel Schmelzer (11 years and 2 months)

BVB have transformed from a side coming back from financial difficulties to being a shoe-in for the Champions League places. Schmelzer has been there to see it all. He even captained the side for a few years. These days he is second choice, but his contract still runs until 2021.

4. Michael Parensen (10 years and 7 months)

Despite Union Berlin being promoted and the ageing Parensen’s playing time getting more and more scarce, the defender’s contract was extended by one year ahead of the new season. So far the 32 year old hasn’t been on the pitch in the Bundesliga, but his debut in Germany’s highest tier will come at some point.

5. Oliver Fink (1o years and 2 months)

The Fortuna Düsseldorf captain is not only among the most loyal players in the league, he is also among the oldest. At the age of 37 Fink still proves his worth week in, week out, being coach’s Friedhelm Funkel extended arm on the pitch.

6. Tony Jantschke (10 years and 2 months)

The versitile defender has been struggling for playing time over the last few years, but despite that Jantschke has stayed at the club fighting for his spot in the team. So far Jantschke has made two appearances in the Bundesliga so far this season. If this trend continues, one wonders if 29-year-old is going to stick around for another season.

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7. Thomas Müller (10 years and 2 months)

Over the years there have been a lot of offers on the table, but Müller has refused to sign for any other club than Bayern München. During his time he has seen the club rise from being the biggest team in the league to being a league above every other team.

8. Lars Bender (10 years and 1 month)

Bender arrived at the club back in 2009 on 2.5 million Euros transfer from 1860 München. After 300 matches at the club and becoming a German national team player back in his heyday, it is safe to assume that those Euros were money well spent by Bayer.

9. Daniel  Baier (9 years and 7 months)

The holding midfielder has been the heartbeat of Augsburg’s game for almost a decade now. These days captaining the side, he is still looking sharp at the age of 35. Baier’s contract expires at the end of the season and it remains to be seen if he’ll play more Bundesliga football after the current season.

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10. Lukasz Piszczek (9 years and 2 months)

Signed as a striker, the Pole turned into one of Europe’s best full backs during Jürgen Klopp’s days at the Signal Iduna Park. These days the 34-year-old isn’t among the very best players of his trade in Europe, but still a rather decent fullback by Bundesliga standards.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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