Champions League

5 Players Who Have Made the Most Appearances in Champions League History

Arjun Singh Devgan
Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas have the joint-highest appearances in Champions League history
Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas have the joint-highest appearances in Champions League history / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious competition in club history, with almost every top club in Europe participating in it and looking to win the tournament on a regular basis. A number of great players have taken part in it's history, but only few have created records which continue to stand in present day.

Here, we take a look at five players who have made the most appearances in the history of the Champions League.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - 177 appearances

Cristiano Ronaldo
BSC Young Boys v Manchester United: Group F - UEFA Champions League / Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Footballing superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo recently created history when he equalled one of his former Real Madrid team-mate's all-time Champions League appearance record during Manchester United's 2-1 loss to Young Boys.

With Ronaldo not looking like retiring anytime soon, he will no doubt add to his tally and it will be interesting to see how many appearances he ends with by the time he hangs up his boots.

2. Iker Casillas - 177 appearances

Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas / Stu Forster/Getty Images

Before Ronaldo, it was Iker Casillas who held the record - with the Spanish legend widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport.

The Spaniard retired in 2020, but not before winning everything there was to win in the sport, a haul which included three Champions League honours.

3. Xavi Hernandez - 151 appearances

Xavi Hernandez
Barcelona Victory Parade / David Ramos/Getty Images

Considered to be the greatest Spanish player of all-time, Xavi Hernandez enjoyed an illustrious career for both club and country, winning numerous professional honours.

The former Barcelona star who was at the heart of most of their success for a decade or so, retired from the sport in 2019 - making 151 appearances in the competition, and winning the trophy four times in his career.

4. Lionel Messi - 150 appearances

Lionel Messi
Club Brugge KV v Paris Saint-Germain: Group A - UEFA Champions League / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Widely considered to be the greatest player in football history, Lionel Messi is still going strong in the competition, making his 150th appearance when he turned out for Paris Saint-Germain during their 1-1 draw with Club Brugge on Wednesday.

The Argentinian is two years younger than his great rival, Ronaldo and it will be interesting to see whether he can go past him in the future.

5. Ryan Giggs - 145 appearances

Ryan Giggs
Manchester United v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

One of the most decorated players of all-time, Ryan Giggs spent his entire professional career at Manchester United and during that time made 145 appearances in the competition.

The Welshman won the Champions League two times, and perhaps should have won it a lot more during his illustrious career.