Ronaldo made Champions League history. How long will he keep updating records?
Cristiano Ronaldo set another record and went down in history. The Manchester United forward entered the field against Villarreal and became the sole leader in the number of games played in the Champions League. Ronaldo has 178th appearance in the tournament, while former Real Madrid and Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas has one less. At the same time, the Spanish footballer retains the lead in terms of the number of minutes spent in the Champions League, but, apparently, Cristiano will soon improve this result.
Ronaldo’s seasons in the Champions League
Ronaldo made his debut in the main European competition on October 1, 2003. Then the 18-year-old guy entered the field in the match with Stuttgart and chalked up an assist. The Portuguese scored his first goal in the Champions League only in the 27th match – then he twice upset the Roma goalkeeper. The most successful in terms of statistics for Cristiano was the 2013/2014 season: 11 matches, 17 goals, 5 assists and a victory in the tournament. But most of the time on the field, Ronaldo spent in the 2016/2017 season (1200 minutes). It is curious that the star footballer received only one red card in the Champions League – in the 2018/2019 season, the Juventus player was sent off for aggressive behavior in the match against Valencia.
- Real Madrid – four trophies, 101 games, 105 goals, 31 assists.
- Manchester United – one trophy, 53 games, 16 goals, 12 assists.
- Juventus – zero trophies, 23 games, 14 goals, five assists.
Which players did Ronaldo beat?
Among the current footballers, Ronaldo’s main pursuer is Lionel Messi (151 games). Behind him are Benzema (132), Ramos (129) and Müller (125). Among those who have already retired, we note Casillas (177), Xavi (151), Raul (142), Giggs (141) and Iniesta (130).
Ronaldo’s other Champions League records
The Champions League is the Portuguese’s favorite tournament. He lifted the prestigious trophy over his head five times and set many individual records. The attacker owns the following achievements:
- top scorer – 135 goals,
- best assistant – 48 assists,
- first footballer to score 100 goals in the Champions League,
- the best sniper of the tournament in the calendar year – 16 goals (2015),
- first player in Champions League history to score three hat-tricks in one season – 2015/2016,
- first player in Champions League history to score 10+ goals in four consecutive seasons,
- the only footballer to have scored 15+ goals in the Champions League in two different seasons – 2013/2014 and 2015/2016,
- first footballer to score a hat-trick in two consecutive UEFA Champions League playoffs (in 2016/17),
- most of all the top scorer of the Champions League – six times,
- record holder for the number of goals in one Champions League season – 17 (in the 2013/2014 season),
- scored in 12 consecutive UEFA Champions League away games
- scored the most goals in the Champions League playoffs – over 60,
- record holder for away goals in the Champions League.
But that is not all. Ronaldo’s next target is Francisco Gento. It is he who leads in the number of Champions League trophies (6). However, it will not be easy for Ronaldo to become the most titled footballer of the Champions League.