Víctor Valdés has become the 17th player to make 100 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, featuring in the second leg of FC Barcelona's semi-final against FC Bayern München at Camp Nou.
Goalkeeper Valdés made his debut in the UEFA Champions League proper in Barcelona's 3-2 home win against Club Brugge KV on 18 September 2002 – having already figured in two qualifying matches that summer – and has since played an integral role in the club's European success. Part of the team that triumphed in the 2006, 2009 and 2011 finals, the Spanish international is the second player to reach the milestone this season after Chelsea FC left-back Ashley Cole, a centurion against FC Nordsjælland on matchday six.
The 31-year-old Valdés etches his name onto an illustrious list of footballers with a century of games in the competition – group stage to final. This hallowed company includes two current Barça team-mates, Xavi Hernández (130 games) and Carles Puyol (114), plus former Blaugrana striker Thierry Henry (112). All trail Raúl González, the ex-Real Madrid CF and FC Schalke 04 forward who has made more UEFA Champions League outings than anyone else – 142. Raúl was also the first to achieve this particular career landmark, in Madrid's 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal FC on 21 February 2006.
Raúl was followed into the record books by then Madrid team-mate Roberto Carlos at Olympique Lyonnais on 13 September 2006. Yet another member of that squad, David Beckham, became the third constituent of the 100 club the next month, with FC Bayern München keeper Oliver Kahn joining them in December 2006 and AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini arriving in February 2007.
UEFA Champions League appearances (group stage to final)
142 Raúl González (Real Madrid CF, FC Schalke 04)
134 Ryan Giggs (Manchester United FC)
130 Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona)
127 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF)
125 Clarence Seedorf (AFC Ajax, Real Madrid CF, AC Milan)
124 Paul Scholes (Manchester United FC)
120 Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF, Fenerbahçe SK)
114 Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona)
112 Thierry Henry (AS Monaco FC, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona)
109 Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
109 Gary Neville (Manchester United FC)
107 David Beckham (Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain FC)
103 Oliver Kahn (FC Bayern München)
103 Luís Figo (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF, FC Internazionale Milano)
100 Ashley Cole (Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC)
100 Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, Chelsea FC)
100 Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona)
99 Alessandro Nesta (S.S. Lazio, AC Milan)
98 Edwin van der Sar (AFC Ajax, Juventus, Manchester United FC)
97 Guti (Real Madrid CF)
97 Javier Zanetti (FC Internazionale Milano)
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.