He once scored against the Red Devils after a blunder by Jan Vertonghen, now the captain of Andorra is retiring after 26 years as an international


Ildefons Lima, the captain of the Andorran national team, played his last minutes in an international match on Tuesday. After 26 years and 137 matches, the now 43-year-old defender is retiring as an international player.

Lima made his debut for the Andorra national team in June 1997, in the 4–1 friendly defeat to Estonia. He was seventeen years old at the time: 26 years later he has the longest international career in international football. Tuesday’s European Championship qualifier against Switzerland (3-0 loss) was his last cap. He was replaced after 22 minutes and received a standing ovation from the supporters from Switzerland and Andorra.

Lima was already included in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2021 for the longest international career in the world. He is one of the few players in the history of football to have played for his national team for four decades. He is also the oldest player to ever play in a European Championship qualifier.

Lima scored eleven goals in his 137 international matches, including one in October 2015 in the 1-4 defeat against the Red Devils on the way to the 2016 European Championship in France. A penalty after a blunder and error by Jan Vertonghen.

Lima played as a club in Spain with Espanyol Barcelona, ​​Las Palmas and Rayo Vallecano. He is now back in his own country with the Andorran vice-champion Inter Escaldes.


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