The top appearance makers in UEFA Champions League history
The UEFA Champions League in its current guise has been blessed by the presence of many world class footballers, who have helped propel the competition to what it is today, the most prestigious in European club football. A number of players though stand out from the rest, those stars who have become part of the UEFA Champions League furniture, regularly appearing in the tournament throughout their respective careers season upon season.
The table below lists the 15 players who have made the most appearances in the UEFA Champions League since its rebrand in 1992. These players have been ranked in order of their respective appearance numbers.
*Last updated on January 2023
Portuguese icon Cristiano Ronaldo stands proudly as the top appearance maker in UEFA Champions League history, having made 183 appearances in the competition across his spells at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. Of those 183 appearances, 101 were accrued playing for Spanish giants Real Madrid, where Ronaldo won four UEFA Champions League titles.
Another Real Madrid legend boasts the second highest number of UEFA Champions League appearances, goalkeeper Iker Casillas having taken to the field 177 times in total. Obviously, the vast majority of those (150 to be precise) were for 'Los Blancos' before Casillas added an additional 27 appearances playing for Porto.
Rounding off the top three appearance makers is the mercurial Lionel Messi, the only non European footballer among the top 15. Having made his UEFA Champions League debut for Barcelona at 17-years-old, the Argentinian went onto make a further 148 appearances in the competition for the Catalan side before joining PSG, where he has since extended his UEFA Champions League total appearance tally to 161.