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Active one-club footballers

It’s a bit of a lost art: Footballers who only play for one club during their entire career. Some of these club legends that have done so, have won many trophies such as Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona) and Paolo Maldini (AC Milan). Others have sacrificed their trophy cabinet to represent the club they love, like Francesco Totti (AS Roma) and some, even though they might not have been the most gifted players, are just loved because of their loyalty, like Tony Hibbert (Everton). Even though it’s a rare sight these days, there are still some active footballers who have only played for one club so far.

Active One-Club Footballers

Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Thomas Müller entered the youth academy in 2000 as an 11-year-old and has never left the club since. The now 34-year-old footballer is the most decorated German footballer in history with 27 trophies, including twelve Bundesliga titles and two Champions League titles. A player known for his work-rate, excellent positioning, stamina and teamwork, Müller equaled Sepp Maier’s record of most Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich with 473 matches by the end of the 2023-24 season. However, Müller is not done yet and extended his contract in December 2023 until June 2025 and will have a chance next season to break this record. 

Koke (Atletico Madrid)

Koke, who was born in 1992, became part of the youth academy of Atletico Madrid in 2000. Since then he’s made over 600 appearances for the Colchoneros and holds the club’s appearance record. So far, the 32-year-old has won two La Liga titles, two Europa League titles and two UEFA Super Cup trophies. The only thing missing is a Champions League trophy, although he got very close in 2014 and 2016 when his side lost the finals. 


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Een bericht gedeeld door Jorge Resurrección, Koke (@koke6)

Iker Muniain (Athletic Club de Bilbao)

Athletic Club de Bilbao is one of those clubs, because of their unique basque-only policy, who regularly has players who have only played for the club. The 31-year-old Iker Muniain is one of those footballers. He entered the youth academy aged 13 and became the sixth player in 2022 to make 500 appearances for the club. In 2021, he won his first trophy with Athletic: The Supercopa de España. In 2024, he added a second one to his trophy cabinet after winning the Copa del Rey. 


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Anthony Lopes (Olympique Lyon)

The 33-year-old Anthony Lopes climbed through the youth ranks of Olympique Lyon and made his professional debut for the club in 2012. He’s made over 485 appearances, but has not won a trophy with Les Gones yet. However, he was part of the Portuguese squad that won the European Championships in 2016. If he continues to be the starting goalkeeper for the next two to three seasons, he will break Serge Chiesa’s club record for most appearances. 

Inaki Williams (Athletic Club de Bilbao)

The 30-year-old Iñaki Williams is the second player from Athletic Club de Bilbao on this list. He has played over 400 professional matches for the club after having joined their academy as an 8-year-old. He also holds the impressive La Liga record of playing 251 consecutive games. 

Maximilian Arnold (VFL Wolfsburg)

Maximilian Arnold (30) became Wolfsburg’s youngest-ever debutant in 2011. Back then, not many may have thought that he would still be playing at the club thirteen years later whilst also making over 300 league appearances. The captain of Wolfsburg won the DFB-Pokal in 2014-15 and the DFL-Supercup in 2015. 

Christian Günter (SC Freiburg)

Christian Günter is another Bundesliga player making the list. The 31-year-old left-back has played his entire career so far for SC Freiburg. He was born in the neighbouring town of Villingen-Schwenningen and became part of Freiburg’s youth academy in 2006 as a 13-year-old. He has also played for the national team eight times so far and was part of the Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022 squads. The captain is currently the second in the list of most club appearances, followed by his current teammate Nicolas Höfler, who besides two seasons on loan at Erzgebirge Aue, has also played for SC Freiburg his entire career. 


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Een bericht gedeeld door Christian Günter (@cg30)

At the end of the 2023-24 season, the 38-year-old Bram van Polen (PEC Zwolle) and the 33-year-old Patrick Herrmann (Borussia Mönchengladback) hung up their boots, ending their football careers as one-club players. 

Besides these footballers, there are other players who have only played for one club thus far, including Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), and Phil Foden (Manchester City), although they are still relatively young.