Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

What is a journeyman in football?

In football, the journeyman refers to those players who played for several football clubs. Some players shift numerous clubs throughout their football careers. They are known as journeymen footballers. Top famous journeyman in football history are Rivaldo, Romario, Christian Vieri, Samuel Eto’o, Andy ColeJefferson Louis, Lutz Pfannenstiel, Drewe Broughton, Frank Worthington, and many more. Some of these players played more than 30 clubs in their whole football career.

So let’s explore the list of top Football journeyman in the history. Here we discuss about 10 players with most number of club and 10 Successful players with most number of club.

Journeyman NameNumber of Club
Jefferson Louis38
Richard Pacquette32
Trevor Benjamin29
John Burridge29
Sebastián Abreu27
Lutz Pfannenstiel25
Frank Worthington24
Drewe Broughton21
Rivaldo15
Zlatan Ibrahimović11
Top 10 journeyman with most number of clubs

Also Read :

Zlatan Ibrahimović – 11 Club

Zlatan already played for 11 clubs in his professional football career. He started his career with Malmö FF in 1999 and currently playing for A.C. Milan. Zlatan is one of the top ten players to play for the Swedish national team with 100+ appearances.

There are so many journeymen in the history of football. There are many players are currently playing, have gone above ten clubs at the end of their careers. In today’s world of ‘professional’ football, such diversity is not something new. Right?

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Malmö FF1999–20014016
Ajax2001–20047435
Juventus2004–20067023
Internazionale (Inter Milan)2006–20098857
Barcelona2009–20112916
Milan (loan)2010–20112914
Milan2011–20123228
Paris Saint-Germain2012–2016122113
Manchester United2016–20183317
LA Galaxy2018–20195652
Milan2020– present83

Drewe Broughton – 21 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

English player Drewe Broughton has played in every division from 1st to 8th in England. He played for 21 soccer clubs in his 16 years career. However, He played less than ten matches in 12 of these clubs. His shift was limited to England. He went down to the field for every club he played for.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Norwich City1996–199891
Wigan Athletic (loan)199740
Brentford199810
Peterborough United1998–2001358
Nuneaton Borough (loan)2000102
Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)200095
Stevenage Borough (loan)2000–200143
Kidderminster Harriers (loan)2001197
Kidderminster Harriers2001–20037512
Southend United2003–2005442
Rushden & Diamonds (loan)2004216
Wycombe Wanderers (loan)2004–200530
Rushden & Diamonds2005–20063710
Chester City2006–2007142
Boston United (loan)2006–2007258
Milton Keynes Dons2007–2008130
Wrexham (loan)2008162
Rotherham United2008–2010579
Lincoln City (loan)201070
Lincoln City2010–2011230
AFC Wimbledon (loan)201182
Alfreton Town201121
Thurrock2011–2012101
Arlesey Town201221
Darlington2012111

Frank Worthington – 24 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

Playing in Europe, North America, and Africa, this British forward played for 24 football clubs in his 24-year career. Worthington’s career began at the Huddersfield Town club in 1966. You will be amazed at his early football career. He was at Huddersfield from 1966 to 1972. During this time, he played 171 matches for Huddersfield. Later, He played for Leicester City F.C. from 1972 to 1977, where he played 210 games. Frank Worthington spent the first 11 years of his football career in these two clubs.

Then He played for 22 teams for the next 13 years. Frank Worthington played for seven clubs in the last three years of his career. He went to field for all clubs he played for Except F.C. Halifax Town (his last club).

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Huddersfield Town1966–197217141
Leicester City1972–197721072
Bolton Wanderers1977–19798435
Philadelphia Fury (loan)19792110
Birmingham City1979–19827529
Mjällby AIF (loan)1980124
Tampa Bay Rowdies (loan)19812611
Leeds United19823214
Sunderland1982–1983192
Southampton1983–1984344
Brighton & Hove Albion1984–1985317
Tranmere Rovers1985–19875921
Preston North End1987233
Stockport County1987–1988196
Cape Town Spurs1988
Chorley198830
Stalybridge Celtic1988–1989
Galway United198920
Weymouth198941
Radcliffe Borough1989–1990
Guiseley199020
Hinckley Town1990–1991
Cemaes Bay199110
Halifax Town (player-coach)1991–199200

Trevor Benjamin – 29 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

This Jamaican forward started his career for Cambridge United, has played for 29 teams in his 19-year career. Trevor was in Cambridge United for the first five years, playing for them in 123 matches. He joined Leicester City in 2000. However, Trevor remained in Leicester City until 2005, where he played in 81 games. During this period, Trevor went on loan to 7 clubs. Except Australia’s Sunshine George Cross for a short time, his entire career was in England.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Cambridge United1995–200012335
Leicester City2000–20058111
Crystal Palace (loan)2001–200261
Norwich City (loan)200260
West Bromwich Albion (loan)200231
Gillingham (loan)200341
Rushden & Diamonds (loan)2003–200461
Brighton & Hove Albion (loan2004105
Northampton Town (loan)2004–200542
Northampton Town200510
Coventry City2005121
Peterborough United2005–2007478
Watford (loan)200520
Swindon Town (loan)200682
Boston United (loan)200730
Walsall (loan)200782
Hereford United2007–20083410
Gainsborough Trinity200830
Northwich Victoria200820
Hednesford Town200810
Wellingborough Town2008–200921
Kidsgrove Athletic2009123
Tamworth200941
Harrogate Town200953
Woking200920
Sunshine George Cross201000
Bedlington Terriers201021
Wroxham (loan)201030
Morpeth Town (loan)201020
Morpeth Town2010–2011
Seaton Delaval Amateurs2012

Richard Pacquette – 32 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

This 37-year-old Dominican footballer’s club career is within England. His club numbers and age are very close. He played in ‘only’ 32 clubs so far. Richard Pacquette played in all the first division League except the English Premier League. Richards’ career is not over yet. At this speed, his club number could exceed 40 at the end of his career!

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Queens Park Rangers2000–2004316
Stevenage Borough (loan)2002–200372
Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)2003–200431
Mansfield Town (loan)200451
Milton Keynes Dons200450
Fisher Athletic2004??
Brentford200410
Farnborough Town2004–200551
Stevenage Borough200510
St Albans City200510
Hemel Hempstead Town200520
Hampton & Richmond Borough200560
Worthing2005–20063017
Thurrock (loan)200640
Havant & Waterlooville2006–20086622
Maidenhead United (loan)200853
Maidenhead United2008–20093220
Histon (loan)200930
York City2009–2010131
Eastbourne Borough2010–20113310
Hayes & Yeading United2011184
Maidenhead United201133
Lincoln City2012133
Bromley2012135
Eastleigh2012–201321
Sutton United201371
Maidenhead United2013–20144415
Eastbourne Borough2014–2015358
Hampton & Richmond Borough2015–2016112
Lewes (loan)201560
Walton & Hersham201653
Hampton & Richmond Borough201600
Metropolitan Police201671
Grays Athletic201640
Egham Town2016–2017
Harrow Borough2017100
Thamesmead Town2017–2018269
Harefield United2018–2820

Jefferson Louis – 38 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

Jefferson Louis played just one match for the Dominica national team but played in 38 clubs across England in his 24-year career. That’s right. The number is 38. Louis may not have gone outside of England, but his shifting in different parts of England was quite long. Risborough Rangers, Oxford United, Chesham United – Louis can’t stay long in a club without these three clubs. There are about 15 clubs where he could not play even ten matches. However, he played at least one match in 38 clubs.

In an interview, Jefferson Louis said that he felt cursed. He is still playing. Now under contract with St. Albans City, Louis is very close to the milestone of playing for 40 clubs. Jefferson Louis is called the ‘Ultimate journeyman’ of football.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Risborough Rangers1996–19984919
Thame United1998–2000??
Aylesbury United2000–2001145
Thame United2001–2002??
Oxford United2002–2004557
Woking (loan)200380
Gravesend & Northfleet (loan)200452
Forest Green Rovers200481
Woking2004–2005233
Bristol Rovers200590
Hemel Hempstead Town200511
Lewes200520
Worthing200562
Stevenage Borough2005–2006186
Eastleigh200661
Yeading2006–200784
Havant & Waterlooville2007205
Weymouth2007–2008217
Maidenhead United200830
Mansfield Town2008184
Wrexham2008–20094215
Crawley Town2009–2010185
Rushden & Diamonds (loan)2009–2010267
Gainsborough Trinity2010–201191
 Darlington (loan)2010–201160
Weymouth201110
Hayes & Yeading United2011101
Maidenhead United2011123
Brackley Town2011–2012813
Lincoln City2012146
Newport County2012172
Whitehawk (loan)201264
Brackley Town2013247
Hendon2013–20142522
Margate2014179
Lowestoft Town2014153
Wealdstone2014–20165718
Staines Town2016103
Oxford City2016–2017298
Banbury United20172113
Chesham United2017–2018238
Farnborough201862
Chesham United2018–20194512
Hampton & Richmond Borough201961
St Albans City2019-52

John Burridge – 29 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

John Burridge is a British goalkeeper. He played for 29 teams in his entire career. He made his debut for Workington in 1969 and ended his career in 1997 for the Blyth Spartans. On loan, he joined Blackpool football club in 1971. John Burridge remained there on a permanent contract till 1975. He played career-high 131 matches for Blackpool. From there, he joined Aston Villa.

In 1978, John went to Southend United on a short loan deal. Later he made a permanent contract with Crystal Palace. John Burridge left Crystal Palace in 1980 to join the Queens Park Rangers. Then he came to Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1980. After spending two years, John joined Derby County on a short-term loan. He joined Sheffield United in 1984. From 1987 to 1993, John spent two years each in Southampton, Newcastle United and Hibernian. He played more than 60 matches for all three teams.

From 1993 to 1997, he was in 14 clubs squad. These Clubs are Scarborough, Lincoln City, Enfield, Aberdeen, Newcastle United, Dunfermline Athletic, Dumbarton, Falkirk, Manchester City, Notts County, Witton Albion, Darlington, Grimsby Town, Gateshead and Northampton Town, Queen of the South, Purfleet, Blyth Spartans, Scarborough, Blyth Spartans. He can’t go to the field for most of these clubs. He was team’s emergency goalkeeper. John Burridge played for Man City and became a record holder. He holds the record for the oldest player to play in the Premier League.

After retirement in 1997, he joined coaching. John Burridge is currently goalkeeping coach of the Indian team Kerala Blasters Academy.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Workington1969–1971270
Blackpool (loan)197130
Blackpool1971–19751310
Aston Villa1975–1978650
Southend United (loan)197860
Crystal Palace1978–1980880
Queens Park Rangers1980–1982390
Wolverhampton Wanderers1982–1984740
Derby County (loan)198460
Sheffield United1984–19871090
Southampton1987–1989620
Newcastle United1989–1991670
Hibernian1991–1993650
Newcastle United199300
Scarborough199330
Lincoln City1993–199440
Enfield199400
Aberdeen199430
Newcastle United199400
Dunfermline Athletic199400
Dumbarton199430
Falkirk199430
Manchester City1994–199540
Notts County199500
Witton Albion199500
Darlington199530
Grimsby Town1995–199600
Gateshead199600
Northampton Town199600
Queen of the South199660
Purfleet199600
Blyth Spartans199600
Scarborough199600
Blyth Spartans199700

Sebastián Abreu – 27 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

Sebastián Abreu – Uruguayan forward, who has played for 27 clubs in 11 countries, began his career in 1995 at a local club Defensor. Next year he joined the Argentine club, San Lorenzo. From there, Abreu moved to the Spanish club Deportivo La Coruña in 1998. But even though he was there till 2004, Abreu played only 15 matches.

The whole time he spent playing in different clubs on loan. In 1998 Brazilian club Grêmio, Mexican Tecos F.C in 1999, again in San Lorenzo in 2000, Uruguayan Nacional and Mexican Cruz Azul in 2001, Mexican club América in 2003 and back in Tecos F.C. While at Deportivo La Coruña, Abreu played for five other clubs.

Sebastián Abreu left Deportivo La Coruña permanently in 2004 and returned to Nacional. But a year later, he joined the Mexican club Dorados de Sinaloa. The following year Sebastián played for Monterrey and San Luis. Next year for Tigres UANL. In Tigres UANL, He was the only foreign player to score against both teams in the Clásico Regio. In 2007 He joined River Plate, one of the best clubs in Argentina, on loan.

He played 17 matches there. In 2008 Sebastián Abreu went to the Beitar Jerusalem Club in Israel. But never played a single match there. Then he Returned to Club River Plate again, but get no chance in the team. He came to Real Sociedad on loan in 2009. Then He spent six months in Aris Thessaloniki, Greece.

In 2010 Abreu signed a permanent contract with the Brazilian club Botafogo. He spends two consecutive years of his career, playing 93 matches in this club, which is maximum. On loan joined Brazilian Figueirense in 2012. Abreu returned to Nacional in 2013. But then had to go on loan to Rosario Central in Argentina. He joined Ecuadorian club Aucas in 2015 on loan.

Sebastián Abreu didn’t stop his journey even at the age of 40. In 2016, he played for Paraguay’s Sol de América and El Salvador’s Santa Tecla. In 2017 he played for Bangu in Brazil, Central Español in Uruguay, and Puerto Montt in Chile. From there, Abreu e played for Chile’s Audax Italiano in 2018 and later for Magallanes. In 2019 he joined the Club Rio Branco in Brazil. The same year Abreu returned to Uruguay to the Boston River. He is currently in both the role of player and coach in this team. Sebastián Abreu joined the team wearing 113 number jersey.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
Defensor1995–19962413
San Lorenzo1996–19984326
Deportivo La Coruña1998–2004153
Grêmio (loan)199871
Tecos (loan)1999–20003327
San Lorenzo (loan)2000–20012510
Nacional (loan)20011816
Cruz Azul (loan)2002–20033934
América (loan)2003163
Tecos (loan)2004175
Nacional2004–20053116
Sinaloa2005–20063422
Monterrey2006167
San Luis2007146
UANL2007–2008157
River Plate (loan)2008172
Beitar Jerusalem200800
River Plate2008–200900
Real Sociedad (loan)20091811
Aris2009–201083
Botafogo2010–20129355
Figueirense (loan)201250
Nacional2013–2015185
Rosario Central (loan)2013–2014388
Aucas (loan)2015104
Sol de América2016102
Santa Tecla20162113
Bangu2017103
Central Español201786
Puerto Montt20171311
Audax Italiano2018100
Magallanes201893
Rio Branco201900
Boston River2019–212

Lutz Pfannenstiel – 25 club

Football journeyman: Top 20 players with most number of club

Lutz Pfannenstiel was the very first player to play professional football on six continents. At this time, he played for 25 clubs. Lutz started his senior career in 1990 for the German club FC Vilshofen. In 1991 he joined the German club FC Bad Kötzting. In this club, he played the highest 68 matches of his career.

At that time, German giant FC Bayern Munich expressed their interest in him. But Lutz confirmed that he couldn’t be a first-choice goalkeeper for Bayern Munich. So Lutz Pfannenstiel did not agree to a contract with Bayern. For being the number one goalkeeper, he traveled all over the world.

In 1993 Lutz Pfannenstiel moved to USA football club FA Penang. From there, he came to the English club AFC Wimbledon in 1994. Next year Lutz joined Nottingham Forest F.C. While in the Nottingham Forest, He went to the South African club Orlando Pirates F.C. on loan. Lutz came to Singapore after England’s journey.

For some time, he joined the Singapore club Sembawang Rangers FC. In 1997, he was part of the TPV (Tampereen Pallo-Veikotand) and FC Haka Valkeakoski football club in Finland. Lutz went to Germany in 1998 to join the SV Wacker Burghausen (Wacker Burghausen). Later he returned to Singapore and joined Geylang United (Geylang International FC). He played the second highest 46 matches in his career at this club.

In April 2001, Lutz Pfannenstiel Joined the New Zealand club Dunedin Technical A.F.C. Two months later, he returned to England on loan, this time at Bradford Club. Then again on Loan to Huddersfield Town A.F.C. In June 2002, they returned to Germany to join the ASV Cham on loan. Later in Norway’s ‘Beram’ club(Brighton & Hove Albion) in 2003. He had to fly to New Zealand repeatedly during the break of the loan period.

Lutz Pfannenstiel joined the Calgary Mustangs club in Canada on a permanent contract in 2004. But he can’t break up with New Zealand. He played for New Zealand’s ‘Otago United’ (Southern United) for two consecutive years.

He joined Albanian club KS Vllaznia in 2006 under a contract. Next year Lutz went to the Armenian club Bentonit Ijevan. A month later, he returned to Bærum SK in Norway. After a month, Pfannenstiel moved to Vancouver Whitecaps football club, Canada. He spends six months at Hermann Aichinger in Brazil, Flekkerøy IL, and Manglerud Star in Norway.

Lutz Pfannenstiel joined the Namibian Ramblers soccer Club in 2009. and played for this club till 2011. 

Lutz ended his professional football career in this club.

Club NameSessionAppearanceGoals
1. FC Bad Kötzting1991–1993680
Penang FA1993–1994120
Wimbledon1994–199500
Nottingham Forest1995–199700
Orlando Pirates (loan)1996–199770
TPV199780
FC Haka199700
Wacker Burghausen1998–1999140
Geylang United1999–2000460
Dunedin Technical2001180
Bradford Park Avenue (loan)2001–200210
Huddersfield Town2001–200200
Dunedin Technical2002180
ASV Cham2002120
Bradford Park Avenue (loan)2002–2003140
Dunedin Technical2003180
Bærum SK (loan)2003130
Calgary Mustangs2004280
Otago United2004–2006360
Vllaznia Shkodër2006–2007140
Bentonit Ijevan2007120
Bærum SK200790
Vancouver Whitecaps200740
Hermann Aichinger2008240
Flekkerøy IL2008–2009140
Manglerud Star2009110
Ramblers2009–2011450

Top 10 Successful football journeyman

Player NameNumber of Club
Rivaldo15
Marcus Bent14
Freddy Adu14
Andy Cole13
Christian Vieri13
Samuel Eto’o13
Nicolas Anelka12
Romario10
Peter Crouch10
Robbie Keane10
Successful football journeyman

There are a few other journeymen beside the mentioned footballers, but their club list is under 20. Among them is Rivaldo of Brazil. He played for 15 clubs throughout his career. Romário, one of the best strikers in football history, has played in 10 clubs. Also, Marcus Bent of England played for 14 clubs, Andy Cole played for 13, and Peter Crouch played for ten clubs throughout his career. Italian footballer Christian Vieri played for 13 clubs.

Frenchman Nicolas Anelka played for 12 clubs. He is unique among so many football journeyman, Cause he played for giant clubs like PSG, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Juventus. In terms of clubs, his profile is the most advanced among other journeymen.

Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o has a close number of clubs like Nicolas Anelka. In his 22-year career, he played for 13 clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Chelsea. Irish player Robbie Keane has played for ten clubs, and United States’s Freddy Adu played for 14 clubs.

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