Real Madrid: the 'club of 2,000'
With the likes of Ramos, Varane, Casemiro, Modric and Benzema Los Blancos are leading the way in longevity and club experience around Europe.
It could be that club experience, in lieu of any significant transfer activity, is proving to be the most valuable attribute to the current Real Madrid side. Los Blancos ended last season with a LaLiga title following the coronavirus delay and already lead the way in this new campaign, with the battle scars of five key players proving their worth.
Ramos and Benzema lead the way
A combined total of more than 2,000 matches for Madrid have been played by Sergio Ramos (654), Raphael Varane (323), Casemiro (244), Luka Modric (347) and Karim Benzema (517). To be more precise, they have amassed 2,028 matches for the LaLiga giants and don’t appear to be letting up any time soon, looking at how manager Zinedine Zidane is using them.
Comparing this level of experience with some other clubs around Europe, few come close to this sort of record. Everton, under Carlo Ancelotti and with new recruit James Rodríguez adding creativity are leading the way in the Premier League at this early stage. Their most experienced player is striker Calvert-Lewin, and he only has 140 games under his belt for the Toffees. Even a team with the traditional of holding on to their top players for lengthy periods like Manchester United, can only point to David de Gea (365) with more than 300 matches for the Red Devils.
In the Bundesliga, we’d maybe expect to see a great wealth of longevity at Bayern Munich, the current champions of Europe. There are some fresh faces there but even their spine of veterans does not reach that of Madrid. Between Neuer (392), Alaba (389), Müller (540) and Lewandowski (294) they total up to 1,615 games for the club. Add on Kimmich, the rudder of the team at the age of 25, and they still only make 1,840. At PSG, the longest serving players are Verratti (319) and Marquinhos (287), less combined that Ramos alone.
Across in Italy, there is certainly some comparisons to be drawn. Juventus under Pirlo can call upon the likes of Chiellini (512) and Bonucci (409) and, of course, the mainstay in goal, Buffon (671). The rest though have not even reached 100 matches in the famous black and white, except for Dybala (228) and Cuadrado (184).
Marcelo could be added...
Although Ferland Mendy may be making the left back role at Chamartin his own, Brazilian star Marcelo is not done with quite yet. It’s a long season and there are many games to be played so he can expect to feature under Zidane plenty, and with 510 games behind him already, he adds to the collective longevity at the club.