Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled Iker Casillas’ Champions League appearance record after being selected in the starting XI for Manchester United’s clash with Young Boys.
Casillas holds the record after appearing 177 times in his glittering career across spells for Real Madrid and Porto. However, he will have former team-mate Ronaldo for company, with the Portugal star set to add another record to his enviable list. Ronaldo was selected for his second successive start since returning to United from Juventus, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United looked to improve on last season’s group-stage exit from the Champions League. Ronaldo started and scored twice for United on Saturday in a 4-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League, marking his second debut in style. The former Madrid forward is the Champions League’s record goalscorer having found the net 134 times. Fifteen of those goals were scored during his first spell with United from 2003 to 2009, with the rest coming across subsequent stints with Madrid and Juve. He has lifted the trophy five times, once with United and on four occasions with Madrid. His last appearance in the Champions League for United came in the defeat to Barcelona in the final in May 2009, 12 years and 110 days ago. By playing against Young Boys, Ronaldo’s gap between Champions League appearances will be the fourth longest gap for the same club, behind Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Ajax, 2006-18, 12y 189d), Timmy Simons (Club Brugge, 2003-16, 12y 280d) and Steed Malbranque (Lyon, 2001-15, 14y 194d).