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Ildefons Lima: Andorra Captain Ends International Career After 26 Years1 min read

Ildefons Lima: Andorra Captain Ends International Career After 26 Years<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">1</span> min read</span>

Ildefonso Lima playing for Andorra

At 43 years and 276 days Ildefons Lima is the oldest player to appear in a European Championship qualifier

After 26 years and 137 caps Ildefons Lima has played his last game for Andorra – ending the longest career in international football.

The 43-year-old made his Andorra debut aged 17 in a 4-1 loss to Estonia in 1997, scoring in the nation’s second ever official fixture.

He has played in every decade since and on Tuesday he started his final international match, a 3-0 defeat by Switzerland.

After 23 minutes he was substituted and was given a standing ovation by Swiss and Andorran supporters as he left the field.

He was replaced by Ricard Fernandez Betriu, a team-mate who was born almost two years after his international debut.

In 2021, Guinness World Records claimed Lima had achieved the longest international playing career.

Before the match against Switzerland, Lima called the fixture “the last dance” on a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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