Picture : Ildefons Lima - a long career !

Ildefons Lima close to beat an old Meredith’s record!

Andorran defender Ildefons Lima appeared for just 4 minutes in the Nations League game vs Liechtenstein (2-1) on 10 June. It made Lima very close to the top in all-time European ranking for players with longest career in the national team. 
Lima has earned his first cap on 22 June 1997, so his international career spans now 24 years 353 days, just 12 days fewer than record mark of Billy Meredith (Wales)!
Meredith established his record more than a century ago and it’s still standing at the moment: 24 year 365 days. 
This means that already next game of Andorra with Lima’s participation (unless he finishes his international career until then) will make him the new record holder, as well as the first ever European player to feature 25+ years in the national team (Meredith missed just 1 day for it!)
Worth noting that as many as 5 Andorran players are in the all-time top 5 of longest spans, including another active player (Marc Pujol).     
Two Greeks, Koudas and Hatzipanagis, are mentioned in the list but not included in the ranking, since at the time of their last match they were long retired and their appearance had an exhibition nature.

 PlayerCountrySpan (Y-D)StartGameFinishGame
 Giorgos KoudasGreece 27-31905/11/1967Austria 1-120/09/1995Yugoslavia 0-2  
1Billy MeredithWales24-365   16.03.1895 Ireland 2-215/03/1920England 2-1  
2Ildefons LimaAndorra24-35322/06/1997Estonia 1-410/06/2022Liechtenstein 2-1
 Vasilis HatzipanagisGreece 23-222     06/05/1976Poland 1-114/12/1999Ghana 1-1  
3Stanley MatthewsEngland22-228    29/09/1934Wales 4-015/05/1957Denmark 4-1  
4Juli SánchezAndorra22-210   13/11/1996Estonia 1-611/06/2019France 0-4  
5Marc PujolAndorra22-12806/02/2000Albania 0-314/06/2022Moldova 1-2
6Carlo Weis                    Luxembourg22-07022/03/1978Poland 1-331/05/1998Cameroon 0-2
6Eiður GuðjohnsenIceland 22-07024/04/1996Estonia 3-003/07/2016France 2-5
6Aaron Hughes                  Northern Ireland      22-07025/03/1998Slovakia 1-003/06/2018Costa Rica 0-3
9Pat JenningsNorthern Ireland22-058    15/04/1964Wales 3-212/06/1986Brazil 0-3  
10Mario FrickLiechtenstein21-351    26/10/1993Estonia 0-212/10/2015Austria 0-3  
11Billy LaceyIreland/Northern Ireland21-087    13/02/1909England 0-411/05/1930Belgium 3-1  
12Zlatan IbrahimovicSweden21-05731/01/2001Faroe Islands 0-029/03/2022Poland 0-2
13Jari Litmanen                 Finland21-026   22/10/1989Trinidad & Tobago 1-017/11/2010San Marino 8-0
14Billy McCrackenIreland/Northern Ireland21-009    22/02/1902Wales 3-003/03/1923Scotland 0-1  
15Mímis Domázos      Greece20-345     02/12/1959Denmark 1-311/11/1980Australia 3-3
16Imre Schlosser   Hungary20-185    07/10/1906Bohemia 4-410/04/1927Austria 0-6
17Gianluigi Buffon              Italy20-145    29/10/1997Russia 1-123/03/2018Argentina 0-2  
18Albert BeuchatSwitzerland20-108   29/10/1911Hungary 0-914/02/1932Italy 0-3  
19Shay GivenRepublic of Ireland20-065    27/03/1996Russia 0-231/05/2016Belarus 1-2  
20Sargis HovsepyanArmenia20-031    14/10/1992Moldova 0-014/11/2012Lithuania 4-2  
21Goran PandevNorth Macedonia20-01506/06/2001Turkey 3-321/06/2021Netherlands 0-3
22Roy Carroll                   Northern Ireland      20-012 21/05/1997Thailand 0-002/06/2017New Zealand 1-0
23Lothar Matthäus               Germany20-006    14/06/1980Netherlands 3-220/06/2000Portugal 0-3