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Exhausted or energized? Ranking the 20 stars who have played the most ahead of Euro 2024

Not one or two club and national managers have voiced their concerns about the long football season and the congested calendar. Netherlands’ Ronald Koeman was the last one to complain, after losing two players due to injuries just days before the start of Euro 2024. This prompted Sportingpedia to investigate which players are heading to Euro 2024 having recorded the most minutes on the football field since the beginning of the 2023/24 season. While we cannot definitively say if they are the most exhausted or contrary – they are in top form, our focus remains locked on the numbers.

As expected, a goalkeeper tops the list, with Jan Oblak recording an impressive 5,715 minutes in goal for Atletico Madrid. However, one of the report’s most intriguing revelations is that Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes is the outfield player with the most game time. He has spent over 84 hours on the field, closely followed by another Premier League represenatative in the face of Aston Villa’s John McGinn.

The data highlights the intense demands placed on top players and raises questions about their potential performance and fitness as they prepare to compete in one of the most prestigious tournaments in international football.

Key Takeaways:

  • 8 of the 20 players heading to Euro 24 with the most playing minutes come from the Premier League
  • Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak is the footballer with the most playing minutes during the 2023/24 season, while Bruno Fernandes is the outfield player with the most game time
  • Portugal is the country with most representatives in the ranking, having 3 players, while England and Germany boast 2 each
  • 6 players (2 goalkeepers, 4 outfield) have registered 5,000 or more minutes on the field during the 2023/24 club season
  • Manchester United, Manchester City, and Fenerbahce are the only clubs with multiple players within the top 20

Methodology

To compile the ranking of the players heading to Euro 2024 with the most playing minutes, we utilized Transfermarkt’s extensive database. Our search included players from all 1st to 3rd division leagues worldwide, as well as national and international cup competitions. After gathering the data, we omitted players who have not been selected to represent their countries at Euro 2024.

The players with the most playing minutes

The numbers reveal that six players have registered 5,000 or more minutes on the field during the 2023/24 season. They include two goalkeepers – Jan Oblak and Dominic Livakovic, and four outfield players – Bruno Fernandes, John McGinn, Dusan Tadic, and Berat Djimsiti. This comes to show the extraordinary physical demands placed on these athletes, whose performances at Euro 2024 will be closely monitored. 8 of the 20 players with the most playing minutes originate from the Premier League, underlining the intense schedule faced by players in England’s top flight. Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes stands out as the outfield player with the most game time, having played 5,085 minutes across 58 matches for club and country. His relentless presence on the pitch is a testament to his importance to both the Red Devils and Portugal.

Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak tops the list overall, with an astounding 5,715 minutes in goal over 63 matches. This equals to a staggering 95 hours and 15 minutes of action for the Slovenian. The only other goalkeeper finding a place in our ranking is Croatia’s Dominik Levakovic, who comes 4th overall with 5,082 minutes of game time.

Portugal emerges as the country with the most representatives in this high-minute echelon, with three players making the list: Bruno Fernandes (5,085 minutes), Diogo Dalot (4,948 minutes), and Antonio Silva (4,883 minutes). Both Fernandes and Dalot play for Manchester United on a club level, while Silva has been a rock in the heart of Benfica’s defence.

England and Germany each have two key players who have clocked substantial playing time. For England, Declan Rice and Phil Foden have registered 4,933 and 4,926 minutes respectively. Meanwhile, Germany’s Ilkay Gundogan (4,870 minutes) and Antonio Rudiger (4,864 minutes) have also been heavily relied upon by their clubs. They both perform in Spain’s LaLiga, defending the colours of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Among the clubs, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Fenerbahce stand out with multiple players in the top 20. This indicates a high level of dependency on a certain group of players, which could influence their form and fitness going into the tournament. For instance, Manchester City’s Rodri has played 4,935 minutes, showcasing his integral role in Pep Guardiola’s and Luis de la Fuente’s tactical systems.

The exhaustive playing minutes logged by these players highlight both their resilience and the physical toll of modern football. As Euro 2024 kicks off, the performance of these footballers will be under scrutiny, with fans and pundits eager to see if their heavy club commitments will affect their national team duties.

Raw Data:

PlayerCountryClubMatchesMinutesHours & Minutes
Jan OblakSloveniaAtletico Madrid63571595:15
Bruno FernandesPortugalManchester United58508584:45
John McGinnScotlandAston Villa63508284:42
Dominic LivakovicCroatiaFenerbahce56502483:44
Dusan TadicSerbiaFenerbahce66501883:38
Berat DjimsitiAlbaniaAtalanta62500083:20
Granit XhakaSwitzerlandBayer Leverkusen60498283:02
Diogo DalotPortugalManchester United58494882:28
RodriSpainManchester City57493582:15
Declan RiceEnglandArsenal59493382:13
William SalibaFranceArsenal57493282:12
Phil FodenEnglandManchester City62492682:06
Anatoliy TrubinUkraineBenfica54489081:30
Bryan CristanteItalyRoma59488781:27
Antonio SilvaPortugalBenfica57488381:23
Ilkay GundoganGermanyBarcelona61487081:10
Antonio RudigerGermanyReal Madrid57486481:04
Virgil Van DijkNetherlandsLiverpool58485580:55
Stanislav LobotkaSlovakiaNapoli57483580:35
Wout FaesBelgiumLeicester56482280:22

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