You’ve Seen More Of These Footballers Than Your Own Family In 2020
The frantic finish to the 2019-20 season, the rejiggered smorgasbord of the new campaign and nine months of quarantine have combined to create an unceasing storm of football on our televisions. In many ways it’s been a godsend; in many ways it’s been an obscene bit of servility to broadcast dollars. What are these absurdly sterile performances — played out in soulless grounds across the world — if not momentary benediction for the promise of better times ahead?
For now, there’ve been moments — like around early November — when we actually breathed an almighty sigh of relief after the international break put a stop to three weeks of incessant Champions League action.
Do I have a problem with watching 12+ hours of soccer every day? Absolutely not, but I do get the feeling that I can’t turn on the TV without seeing Harry Maguire, Eric Dier or Raphaël Varane. I couldn’t tell you anything about the state of our national economy, but I could tell you about everything about the state of Jesús Navas within the Spanish national team.
More than anything, this was just a gut feeling. I didn’t have the numbers to back it up. But now, thanks the CIES Football Observatory’s weekly post, I can say that I was right: Harry Maguire hasn’t stopped playing football for a single moment in 2020.
According to CIES, these are the outfield players that have totaled the most minutes in 2020. I’ve edited the list to only include players in Europe’s “top five” leagues.
Football Players With Most Minutes In 2020
#1. Harry Maguire (Manchester United) — 4,745 minutes
#2. Rúben Dias (Benfica/Manchester City) — 4,344 minutes
#3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) — 4,293 minutes
#4. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) — 4,164 minutes
#5. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan) — 4,144 minutes
#6. Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United) — 4,142 minutes
#7. Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid) — 4,123 minutes
#8. Jesús Navas (Sevilla) — 4,110 minutes
#9. David Alaba (Bayern Munich) — 4,075 minutes
#10. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) — 4,049 minutes
#11. Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad) — 3,991 minutes
#12. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) — 3,957 minutes
#13. Stefan de Vrij (Inter Milan) — 3,943 minutes
#14. Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan) — 3,936 minutes
#15. Matt Doherty (Tottenham) — 3,902 minutes
#16. Diego Carlos (Sevilla) — 3,886 minutes
#17. Theo Hernández (AC Milan) — 3,872 minutes
#18. Nikola Milenković (Fiorentina) — 3,857 minutes
#19. Franck Kessié (AC Milan) — 3,857 minutes
#20. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) — 3,851 minutes
A couple interesting takeaways: What is Messidependencia? That’s handing a 33-year-old the third-most minutes in Europe and praying that he wins you something. Also, in terms of just appearances, Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen would actually lead the list with 54, but he’s not even close in minutes played because Antonio Conte gets a kick out of both hooking him early and bringing him on way too late.