Cristiano Ronaldo keeps proving himself as the best player in the history of the UEFA Champions League, setting another impressive record in the game against Villarreal on Wednesday. The 5-time Ballon d'Or winner made his 178th appearance in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, surpassing Iker Casillas' record of 177. The 36-year-old also made a significant impact on the match, scoring the winning goal in the 94th minute to the absolute delight of the home fans.
Cristiano Ronaldo all-time appearance record in the UEFA Champions League
For the Portuguese international who made his debut in the UEFA Champions League in . Cristiano Ronaldo has had appearances for the Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus in Europe's premier club competition. He is also the record winner of the competition, winning it 5 times (once at United and 4 times at Real Madrid). Ronaldo equalled Casillas' record of 177 during the Matchday 1 fixture against Young Boys and has now moved beyond the Spanish goalkeeper as the outright owner the record.
Whilst Casillas is now in 2nd with 177 appearances, the goalkeeper has no chance of returning to the top since he has already hung up his boots. Former Barcelona midfielder, Xavi Hernandez is in the 3rd position, with 151 appearances. Lionel Messi is tied on 3rd with Xavi with 149 appearances coming for Barcelona and his last 2 coming with Paris Saint-Germain. Messi is the only one in the Top 5 that is active and within touching distance of Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the Argentine would need Ronaldo to be injured or retire before him to catch up.
Cristiano Ronaldo records in the Champions League
Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the most successful player in the history of the Champions League. He now holds so many records in the competition and it is almost impossible to catch up with him. With at least 3 or 4 more seasons to play before hanging up his boots, Ronaldo is only going to extend his records, break more records, and also set more of his records.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds the following records in the UEFA Champions League:
Most UEFA club competition goals: 139
Most UEFA Champions League goals: 136
Most goals in a UEFA Champions League season: 17 (2013/14)
Most goals in UEFA Champions League knockout stages: 67
Most UEFA Champions League appearances: 178
Joint most UEFA Champions League group stage appearances: 95
Most UEFA Champions League final wins: 5
Only player to score in three UEFA Champions League finals
Only player to score in all six games in a UEFA Champions League group
Only player to score in 11 straight UEFA Champions League games
Only player to score ten goals against a single club in UEFA Champions League: vs Juventus
Most UEFA Club Footballer/Best Player/Men's Player awards: 4
Most appearances in UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 15 (2004, 2007–2020)