Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time Champions League appearance maker

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
It is another record Ronaldo has claimed
It is another record Ronaldo has claimed / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images
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Cristiano Ronaldo will overtake Iker Casillas as the leading appearance maker in Champions League history when he takes to the field for Manchester United's meeting with Villarreal on Wednesday night.

The game will mark Ronaldo's 178th game in the competition for three different clubs: Real Madrid, Juventus and United.

He made his UCL debut all the way back in 2003, playing 90 minutes as the Red Devils slipped to a disappointing defeat away at Stuttgart. This poor result did not set the tone for his Champions League record, though.

Since then he has lifted the famous trophy five times, winning in 2008 with United and in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 with Real.

He now overtakes Casillas as the all-time appearance maker, with Lionel Messi (151), Xavi (151) and Raul (142) rounding off the top five.

Ronaldo is also the record Champions League goalscorer by some distance. Prior to kick off in the Villarreal game he had managed 135 strikes, 14 ahead of second-place Lionel Messi. Robert Lewandowski (75), Karim Benzema (72) and Raul (71) are his next closest challengers.

Ronaldo will be hoping to extend his lead at the top of both of these lists by helping United go far in this season's competition.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side did not get off to the best start in matchday one though, losing to minnow Young Boys 2-1 after Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a poor tackle.

They will be looking to bounce back against Villarreal on Wednesday, in what is a repeat of the 2021 Europa League final - which United lost on penalties.


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