Ildefons Lima retires having set many records
Ildefons Lima announced his retirement from the Andorran national team. The Euro 2024 qualifier against Switzerland (0-3) became his last appearance in its jersey.
Lima's national team career was unprecedented in world football. He set a number of age and span records, which have now taken their final rate.
*Lima is the only player in the history to take part in 7 editions of the European Championship, including qualifications (from 2000 to 2024).
*Lima is the oldest player in the history of the tournament (43 years 276 days) surpassing the next player after him, Lee Casciaro (Gibraltar, 41 years 346 days) by almost 2 years.
*Lima has the longest time span between the first and last matches in the history of the European Championships, 24 years 336 days (see the ranking in the table below). He surpasses the next one, Mario Frick, by nearly 3.5 years.
*Lima is one of 13 players to take part in 6 World Cup editions, including qualifications (from 2002 to 2022). He is joint-holder of the world record in this category.
*Lima is the only player in the world football history to have performed for the national team during 25+ years (not taking in account players who artificially increased their span by participating in exhibition or testimonial matches many years after the end of their careers).
The span between Lima’s first and last national team matches is 26 years 82 days.
*Lima is one of just 2 players in the world football history to have played for the national team over 4 different decades.
|Player||Country||Span||First Game||Last Game|
|1||Ildefons Lima||Andorra||24-336||10/10/1998||Ukraine 0-2||12/09/2023||Switzerland 0-3|
|2||Mario Frick||Liechtenstein||21-175||20/04/1994||N. Ireland 1-4||12/10/2015||Austria 0-3|
|3||Marc Pujol||Andorra||20-327||16/10/2002||Bulgaria 1-2||09/09/2023||Belarus 0-0|
|4||Juli Sánchez||Andorra||20-279||05/09/1998||Armenia 1-3||11/06/2019||France 0-4|
|5||Zlatan Ibrahimović||Sweden||20-198||07/09/2002||Latvia 0-2||24/03/2023||Belgium 0-3|
|6||Jari Litmanen||Finland||20-066||12/09/1990||Portugal 0-0||17/11/2010||San Marino 8-0|
|7||Lothar Matthäus||Germany||20-006||14/06/1980||Netherlands 3-2||20/06/1980||Portugal 0-3|