LaLiga 2018/19: 6 most loyal players ahead of the new season
Club loyalty is increasingly rare in modern football, particularly at the highest levels of the game. However, as with all rules, there are some exceptions. Players who stay with one club for the bulk or all of their careers still exist and La Liga is home to some of the longest-serving one-club players in Europe.
This summer, the Spanish top flight bid farewell to its most loyal player. Andreas Iniesta had graced the Nou Camp field for 16 years before announcing his decision to move on from Barcelona and end his decorated career with Vissel Kobe in Japan.
The playmaker and former captain of La Blaugrana finished his association with the Calatan club in the same way he spent the majority of his time there - lifting a trophy. The 34-year-old helped Barcelona to one final La Liga title, adding to his incredible haul of trophies with the Spanish giants over the years.
Iniesta will be sorely missed throughout the upcoming La Liga season, but his departure has left an opening for a new player to claim the title as most loyal in the Spanish league. In this feature, we look at the six longest-serving players at clubs in Spain's top flight.
Note: All data is correct at the time of writing and courtesy of Transfermarkt.com.
#6 Imanol Agirretxe - Real Sociedad
Signed: December 1st, 2007
Time at current club: 3,911 days/10 years and 9 months
A true one-club man, Imanol Agirretxe came through the youth setup at Real Sociedad and has spent his whole career at Anoeta Stadium.
The forward graduated from the under-19 team in 2005 and went on to play for the Sociedad B side for two and a half years, making 110 appearances during that time. He also managed three brief substitute appearances for the first team in the 2004/05 season but officially remained a B team squad until December 2007.
The Spaniard's real opportunity at Sociedad came in the 2008/09 season when he made 28 appearances for Txuri-urdinak in the Spanish second division. He helped the club gain promotion to La Liga the following season, scoring six times as Sociedad won the Segunda Division.
Since then, he has helped his club maintain their La Liga status, making a total of 270 appearances and netting 74 times. A severe ankle injury led to a 20-month absence between 2015 and 2017, however, the 31-year-old is back to full fitness for the upcoming season and will hope to add to his impressive tallies for his boyhood club.