Top 10 players with the most Appearances in the Champions League | Players with the Most appearances in the Champions League
Which player has made the most Champions League appearances? Stay with us until the end to find it out.
The UEFA Champions League, the most prestigious club competition, has been held since 1955. Known as the European cup, it was only for the champions of Europe's domestic leagues. The tournament took on its current name in 1992, and also a round-robin group stage was added in the same year.
Since the rebranding in 1992, a total of 40 footballers have managed to make at least 100 appearances in the competition. Raul, the former Real Madrid player, is the first played more than 100 times in Champions League. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Iker Casillas, there are the best players on the list of Champions League all-time record appearances, but who has played there most?
Players with the Most appearances in the Champions League
Since the inception of the Champions League, it has been the stage for some of the world's finest football players.
It is worth mentioning that five footballers scored in their 100th appearance, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Paris Saint-Germain against Olympiacos, Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund, Thierry Henry for Barcelona against Sporting CP, Andrea Pirlo for Juventus against Olympiacos, Toni Kroos for Real Madrid against Galatasaray.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo - 178 appearances
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United forward, sets another record to his name. With 178 appearances, he holds the records for most appearances in Champions League. The Portuguese legend also holds in the competition, including most goals (136 times) and assists (42). Cristiano Ronaldo has appeared in six Champions League finals, winning four of them. During the 2008-09 season, the world-class footballer became the competition top scorer, naming the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.
He has played 54 times for Manchester United, 101 times for Real Madrid, and 23 times for Juventus. One of the Champions League-winning players, Cristiano Ronaldo, earned the nickname 'Mr Champions League.' There is no doubt current Manchester United footballer will set more records to his name and of course make more appearances in the competition.
2. Iker Casillas - 177 appearances
The goalkeeper Casillas made 27 more Champions League appearances at the Portuguese club, adding to the 150 he made at Madrid. The legend goalkeeper holds the record for the most clean sheets in the UEFA Champions League. Casillas announced his retirement from professional football on 4 August 2020 due to his heart attack.
3. Xavi - 151 appearances
Xavi, the former Barcelona star, holds one of the Champions League records for being the player with the most Champions League appearances for a single club. In the 1998-99 season, he made his first Champions League appearances. He played 151 times in the competition, scoring 11 goals for the Catalans.
4. Lionel Messi- 151 appearances
During the 2004-05 season, Lionel Messi made his debut in the Champions League as a teenager against Shakhtar Donetsk. The legend has made 151 appearances in the competition and scored 121 goals in the Champions League, becoming one of the competition's most iconic figures. When it comes to goals, he is in second place only behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
In 2020, the Argentine magician scored for Barcelona in their 5-1 win against Ferencvaros, scoring against 36 different teams of the Champions League and breaking Champions League records. He also holds the record of most hat-tricks in the competition (8 hat-tricks). Messi played 149 times for the Catalans in the Champions League, winning the title on four occasions (2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, and 2014–15).
5. Raul- 142 appearances
Before Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo, he was regarded as the best player in the Champions League. He won three titles with the club, and he became the all-time leading goal scorer in the competition. In 2005, Real Madrid's Raul became the first player to score 50 goals in the Champions League. He netted his 50th goal in the group stage match against Olympiakos on September 28, 2005.
6. Ryan Giggs - 141 appearances
Ryan Giggs is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the UEFA Champions League. He made his debut in the competition in 1993 and is currently one of the most experienced players in the tournament.
He won two UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid. During his career, he became the top assist provider in the competition.
7. Karim Benzema - 132 appearances
Karim Benzema is the next player to join the list of all-time Champions League appearances. He became a part of the Real Madrid team when he debuted in the tournament during the group stage of the season.
Four times, he won the Champions League title with Real Madrid. He scored 72 goals in the tournament. He was also named as one of the best assist providers in the league in the 2011-12 season.
8. Andres Iniesta - 131 appearances
The Spanish midfielder won the title on four occasions (2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15), becoming the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time. One of his memorable moments in the competition came in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea when he scored with the outside of his right foot 25 yards from goal. Later he said: "I connected with that shot with the outside, not the inside or the tip of my boot, but right from my heart, with all my might."
9. Sergio Ramos - 129 appearances
Between 2014 and 2018, the Whites were the dominant force in the Champions League, and Sergio Ramos was one of the Spanish club's key members. In 2005, the defender made his debut in Champions League against Lyon, and on 6 December 2005, he netted his first goal for the Whites in a 2–1 UEFA Champions League group stage at Olympiacos.
He has made 129 appearances in the competition and won the title on four occasions, becoming one of the Champions League-winning players. Ramos played a crucial role in the build-up to all four UEFA Champions League wins and was named in the competition Squad of the Season each time (2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18).
10. Thomas Muller- 126 appearances
On 10 March 2009, when Thomas Muller came on as a second-half substitute for Bastian Schweinsteiger in Bayern Munich victory over Sporting scored his team's last goal as the German club won 7–1 win over Sporting CP. A product of Bayern's youth system, Muller made 126 appearances in the competition, lifting the trophy twice. He has scored 49 goals for the Bavarians, featuring Bayern Munich in 14 consecutive Champions League seasons and counting.