Bengaluru, Sep 17: The UEFA Champions League highlights the best players in world football each season. Over the years, a great number of legendary players have taken part in it, but only a few have created records that continue to stand to date.
While playing a single match in this tournament is a dream for many, several footballers have managed to rack up eyewatering appearances - an honour reserved for the best of the best.
Here we have looked at such five legends of the game who have registered the most number of appearances in the UEFA Champions League:
5. Ryan Giggs
The Wales winger is Manchester United's record appearance maker in all competitions. Also, he is the fifth most appeared player in Champions League history with 145 appearances. Between 1993 and 2014, he was a reliable member of the United team and helped the club win two Champions League.
4. Lionel Messi
Though he is still away from being the top scorer of the tournament, the Argentine, since making his debut, has appeared in every season of the competition and scored goals. No player from the post-1992 era has a better goal to game ratio than Messi who has managed 150 appearances in this tournament.
3. Xavi Hernandez
Messi's former Barcelona teammate Xavi also enjoyed an illustrious time in this tournament making the third most appearances with 151. The Spanish legend pulled the strings in the tournament with Barcelona between 1998 and 2015 and helped them to win the trophy four times.
2. Iker Casillas
One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, the former Real Madrid legend held the record for most UEFA Champions League appearances for a very long time until Ronaldo matched it only this season. With 177 appearances and three Champions League titles, he is arguably one of the best keepers the competition has ever seen.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
With his appearance against Young Boys on Tuesday night, the current Manchester United number 7 matched Iker Casillas’ record as the most capped player (177) in the Champions League history. With the competition's top-scorer not looking like retiring anytime soon, he is likely to set another remarkable record which will many find hard to achieve.