The Players With The Most Appearances In Soccer History

Gareth Barry just set the record for most appearances in Premier League history, but which players have the most appearances across all competitions?

The list for the players with the most official appearances in the history of soccer stretches from players who played in the 1940s to the present day. Goalkeepers like Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon have both entered the top 20, but there are still many players ahead of the two active legends.

According to Footballdatabase.eu, English goalkeeper Peter Shilton has accumulated the most official appearances with 1,390. 

Shelton accumulated this total across 31 separate seasons, beginning in 1966 and finishing in 1997. These appearances include matches for both club (Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Derby County most notably) and country (both at the U-23 level and for England’s senior side).

As you’ll see, the majority of footballers with over 1,000 official appearances are goalkeepers, but they’re joined by the likes of Roberto Carlos in defense, Xavi in midfield and Raul in attack.

These are the official totals as recognized by FootballDatabase

 

The players with the most appearances in soccer history:

The ranking of the top 20 footballers with the most appearances in the history of soccer is as follows:

#1. Peter Shilton | GK (England) — 1,390 appearances over 31 seasons (1966-1997)

#2. Rogerio Ceni | GK (Brazil) — 1,234 appearances over 25 seasons (1990-2015)

Most Career Appearances: Rogerio Ceni

Brazilian great Rogerio Ceni. Photo: @DR_Football_ | Twitter


#3. Roberto Carlos | LB (Brazil) — 1,130+ appearances over 21 seasons (1991-2011, 2015)

#4. Ray Clemence | GK (England) — 1,118 appearances over 23 seasons (1965-1988)

#5. Javier Zanetti | D/M (Argentina) - 1,114 appearances over 22 seasons (1992-2014)

Most Career Appearances: Javier Zanetti

Argentinian legend Javier Zanetti. Photo: @InterClubSvk | Twitter


#6. Pat Jennings | GK (Northern Ireland) - 1,089 appearances over 23 seasons (1963-1986)

#7. Tony Ford | D/M (England) - 1,082 appearances over 25 seasons (1975-2001)

#8. Xavi | CM (Spain) - 1,080 appearances over 20 seasons (1997-)

Most Career Appearances: Xavi

Spanish great Xavi. Photo: @onlyfcbnews | Twitter


#9. Djalma Santos | RB (Brazil) — 1,065 appearances over 23 seasons (1947-1970)

#10. Raul | ST (Spain) - 1,063 appearances over 21 seasons (1994-2015)

#11. Alan Ball | CM (England) — 1,053 appearances over 24 seasons (1960-1984)

#12. David Seaman | GK (England) - 1,046 appearances over 22 seasons (1982-2004)

#13. Iker Casillas | GK (Spain) - 1,046 appearances over 19 seasons (1999-)

Most Career Appearances: Iker Casillas

Spanish great Iker Casillas. Photo: @OptaJoe | Twitter


#14. Frank Lampard | CM (England) — 1,044 appearances over 22 seasons (1995-2017)

#15. Gianluigi Buffon | GK (Italy) — 1,043 appearances over 22 seasons (1995-)

#16. Paolo Maldini | LB (Italy) — 1,041 appearances over 25 seasons (1984-2009)

Most Career Appearances: Paolo Maldini

Italian great Paolo Maldini. Photo: @SquawkaNews | Twitter


#17. Ryan Giggs | LM (Wales) - 1,036 appearances over 24 seasons (1990-2014)

#18. Graham Alexander | RB (Scotland) - 1,025 appearances over 21 seasons (1991-2012)

#19. Noel Bailie | CB (Northern Ireland) - 1,024 appearances over 22 seasons (1989-2011)

#20. David James | GK (England) — 1,023 appearances over 25 seasons (1989-2014)

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