In order to make over 100 Champions League appearances, you need something special about you.
A relatively small number of footballers have managed to achieve the feat, with only the most talented and physically capable doing so.
So which players have made the most Champions League appearances? Goal takes a look at the most enduring stars in the history of the competition.
(Last updated: September 23, 2021)
Legendary Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas made his Champions League bow on September 15, 1999 at the age of 18, which made himthe youngest shot-stopper to ever feature in the competition at that point in time.
Affectionately known as ‘San Iker’ at Real Madrid, Casillas helped Los Blancos to three Champions League titles before making the switch to Porto in 2015, where he amassed 27 more Champions League appearances to add to the 150 he made at Madrid.
His love affair with UEFA’s premier club competition saw Cristiano Ronaldo earn the moniker ‘Mr Champions League’ and he has made a record number of appearances in the competition in addition to being, by some distance, itsall-time leading goalscorer.
Ronaldohas appeared in six Champions League finals, winning four of them, and there is no doubt that he seems to be at his deadliest on the nights when he gets to sing along to football’s most famous gladiatorial anthem.
One of Barcelona’s all-time greats, Xavi holds the distinction of being the player with the most Champions League appearances for a single club. The diminutive playmaker helped the Catalan giants to four Champions League titles during his time at the club.
Xavi made his first Champions League appearances in the 1998-99 season and his final tally after his last campaign with Barcain 2014-15 was 151.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi made his first appearance in the Champions League as a teenager during the 2004-05 season and the Barcelona legend has gone on to become one of the competition’s most iconic figures.
Messi has managed to get his hands on the trophy four times and is second only to Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to goals scored in the tournament. Now playing for Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentina star isattempting to help the French side capture their ‘Holy Grail’.
Before Cristiano Ronaldo showed up in the Spanish capital, Raul was the one who was known as ‘Mr Champions League’. The famous No.7 led the Galacticos to three European Cup titles and was once the competition’s all-time greatest goalscorer with 71 strikes before being eclipsed by CR7.
A Spanish hero, Raul made a total of 130 appearances for Real Madrid in the Champions League and a further 12 for German outfit Schalke towards the end of his storied career.
Widely acknowledged as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players, Ryan Giggs was a stalwart for the club and a regular fixture on big European nights. The man who was dubbed ‘The Welsh Wizard’ helped the Red Devils to Champions League glory in 1999 and 2008.
Having first played in the competition in 1993, Giggs’ remarkable longevity ensured that he was still having a say for United in the competition up until2014.
Real Madrid star Karim Benzema managed to equal Raul’s Champions League goal haul in 11 fewer appearances and the striker is still going strong in the competition.
The France international began his Champions League journey with a formidable Lyon team before graduating to greater things with Madrid, helping Los Blancos to four titles since joining the club in 2009-10.
Like his Barcelona partner-in-crime Xavi, Andres Iniesta made all of his 130 Champions League appearances for a single club. The four-time winner made his first appearance in the competition during the 2002-03 season before pulling the curtain down in 2017-18.
When Real Madrid were the dominant force in the Champions League between 2014 and 2018, Sergio Ramos was the beating heart of their efforts. His first taste of the competition came in a 3-0 defeat to Lyon in 2005, but Ramos has gone on to win four Champions League titles,surpassing a century of appearances in the process.
Thomas Muller scored on his Champions League debut, when he came on as a second-half substitute for Bastian Schweinsteiger in Bayern Munich’s 7-1 demolition of Sporting on March 10, 2009. Since then, he has made over 120 appearances and lifted the trophy twice.
The Germany legend has featured for Bayern Munich in 14 consecutive Champions League seasons and counting.
Clarence Seedorfwon the Champions League with three different clubs: Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998) and AC Milan (2003, 2007).
The legendary Netherlands midfielder made his competition debut as a substitute for Ajax in a 2-0 victory against Milan on September 14, 1994 and his last-ever appearance was a 3-1 defeat to Barcelona on April 3, 2012.