The band of players who have made 100 appearances in the UEFA Champions League has welcomed two new members: Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard.
The pair brought up their centuries of matches in the competition in the quarter-final first legs at the Santiago Bernabéu – where Ronaldo's Real Madrid CF side took on Borussia Dortmund – and the Parc des Princes, the venue for Chelsea FC's trip to Paris Saint-Germain. The duo swell the number of players to have reached the mark to 21, and the total of players who have managed the feat this season to four, after Lampard's Chelsea team-mate Petr Čech in the round of 16 second leg against Galatasaray AŞ and Paris striker Zlatan Ibrahimović during the group stage.
The 35-year-old Lampard, who came on a substitute with 20 minutes remaining in the French capital, made his debut in the UEFA Champions League proper – group phase to final – on 16 September 2003 as Chelsea won 1-0 at AC Sparta Praha. The England midfielder, who has represented only the west London club in the competition, scored in the 2008 final when Chelsea lost to Manchester United FC in Moscow, before getting his hands on the trophy in Munich four years later following victory against FC Bayern München. In both the 2008 and 2012 finals, Lampard converted his penalty in the shoot-out.
Ronaldo, 29, took his UEFA Champions League bow the same night as Lampard, his Manchester United team beating Panathinaikos FC 5-0 at Old Trafford. The forward has also experienced his share of joy and disappointment in the tournament. His goal in the 2008 final in Moscow was cancelled out by Lampard, and Ronaldo also missed a penalty in the ensuing shoot-out although United still prevailed over Chelsea; a year later his final United appearance ended in a 2-0 loss to FC Barcelona in Rome.
The pair join an illustrious list of footballers with 100 matches (group stage to final). The collection includes Lampard's Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole (103 games) and the club's former striker Andriy Shevchenko (100), while Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas (136) is fourth in the standings. They all trail Raúl González, the ex-Madrid and FC Schalke 04 striker who has made more UEFA Champions League outings than anyone else: 142. Raúl was also the first to attain this particular milestone, in Madrid's 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal FC on 21 February 2006.
Second was Raul's Madrid colleague Roberto Carlos, away to Olympique Lyonnais on 13 September 2006. Yet another member of that Merengues squad, David Beckham, became the third constituent of the 100 club the next month, with Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn arriving in December 2006 and AC Milan great Paolo Maldini in February 2007.
While Raúl remains out in front with 142 appearances, Ryan Giggs (141) and Xavi Hernández (140) are closing in fast, with Giggs potentially equalling his tally in next week's second legs.
UEFA Champions League appearances (group stage to final)
142 Raúl González (Real Madrid CF, FC Schalke 04)
141 Ryan Giggs (Manchester United FC)
140 Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona)
136 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)
115 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)
106 Víctor Valdés (FC Barcelona)
103 Oliver Kahn (FC Bayern München)
103 Luís Figo (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF, FC Internazionale Milano)
103 Ashley Cole (Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC)
103 Zlatan Ibrahimović (AFC Ajax, Juventus, FC Internazionale Milano, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain)
101 Petr Čech (AC Sparta Praha, Chelsea FC)
100 Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, Chelsea FC)
100 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF)
100 Frank Lampard (Chelsea FC)
99 Alessandro Nesta (SS Lazio, AC Milan)
98 Andrea Pirlo (FC Internazionale Milano, AC Milan, Juventus)
98 Edwin van der Sar (AFC Ajax, Juventus, Manchester United FC)
97 Guti (Real Madrid CF)
97 Javier Zanetti (FC Internazionale Milano)
96 Claude Makelele (FC Nantes, Real Madrid CF, Chelsea FC)
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