Following yet another week of Champions League frenzy, SportsPundit looks at the top 10 appearance-makers in the world’s most premier and coveted club competition.
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
Ryan Giggs will turn 40 next month but he is still going as strong as ever. So strong that this week the former Wales international winger featured in his 145th match in the Champions League, creating a new record in the process. That he failed to inspire Manchester United against Shakhtar Donetsk after coming on as a substitute in Ukraine should detract from the momentous occasion.
Raul (Real Madrid, Schalke)
Before this week, that illustrious belonged to Raul, who is considered by many as the face of the Champions League. A three-time winner of the competition with Real Madrid, the former Spain international striker made a total of 144 appearances with Los Blancos and Schalke. He also scored a staggering 71 goals in the Champions League.
Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
Considered one of the greatest defenders of all time, Italian legend Paolo Maldini spent his whole career at AC Milan, winning the Champions League on five occasions. He made a total of 140 appearances in the competition.
Xavi could well go on and beat Paolo Maldini’s record as he is still playing and Barcelona are still winning. The Spain international midfielder has made a total of 139 appearances in the competition, all for a single club.
Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan)
Clarence Seedorf is a universally liked and adored footballer who has made a total of 131 appearances in the Champions League, winning the competition with all but one club (Inter). The 37-year-old has not hung up his boots yet despite four Champions League titles – he is playing for Brazilian giants Botafogo at the moment.
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Another Real Madrid legend who over the years has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Now 32, he is still sharp as ever and is still playing for Los Blancos. He has won the Champions League on two occasions and so far has made131 appearances in the competition.
Paul Scholes (Manchester United)
Next in the list of retired Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes with 130 appearances in Europe’s elite club competition. Another one-club man, the 38-year-old won the Champions League with the Red Devils on two occasions – first in 1999 and then in 2008.
Roberto Carlos (Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Fenerbahce)
If Paolo Maldini did not exist, then you would say that Roberto Carlos is the world’s best ever left back. The 40-year-old ended his career only last year, but from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, Carlos has probably the most explosive left football anyone has ever seen. He won the Champions League three times with Madrid between 1998 and 2002 and made a total of 128 appearances.
Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Carles Puyol has been at Barcelona all his career and has racked up 118 appearances in the Champions League, winning the competition three times. The 35-year-old Spain international centre-back is coming towards the end of his career and he might not get the change to take his appearance past the 150-game mark.
Andriy Shevchenko (Dynamo Kyiv, Milan, Chelsea)
Andriy Shevchenko was a flop at Chelsea during his time in the Premier League, but he is and always will be a legend at Dynamo Kyiv and Milan. The 37-year-old made a total of 116 appearances in the competition and scored 59 goals, winning the trophy with Milan in 2003 by himself scoring the final spot kick in the penalty shootout against Juventus in the final. However, four years later against Liverpool in the final, the Ukrainian failed to convert the final spot kick.