Cesc Fabregas played his 100th champions league in Rome last night, an occasion soured no thanks to Roma’s hammering of the blues. But who is the youngest player to reach 100 UEFA Champions League games?
The geeks at OptaJoe have calculated the five ‘youngest’ players to have reached 100 Champions League caps in the tournament’s history and it features some very big names indeed.
Suspense over, here’s the list…
5. Cesc Fabregas
Age when 100 Champions League caps reached: 30 years and 180 days
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 31, 2017
Becoming a Champions League centurion when he featured for Chelsea in their 3-0 defeat to Roma on Wednesday, Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas is the fifth youngest player to reach 100 caps in the competition.
Making his debut in Europe for former club Arsenal, Fabregas went on to complete 100 outings after a spell back home with Barcelona and now with Chelsea, whom he signed for back in 2014.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Age when 100 Champions League caps reached: 29 years and 56 days
The all-time top goalscorer is also in up there when it comes to the youngest players to reach 100 caps, and Ronaldo did so after becoming the key player for both Manchester United and Real Madrid.
The Portuguese forward is on course to pick up a record fifth Ballon d’Or crown in December, after helping Los Blancos to a La Liga and Champions League double during the 2016/17 season.
3. Iker Casillas
Age when 100 Champions League caps reached: 28 years and 272 days
The legendary Spanish shot-stopper became Real Madrid’s undisputed first-choice keeper at a very young age and he seemed to save his best performances for the continental showpiece during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
After winning the competition on three different occasions with the Spanish giants, and passing the 100 appearance mark on the way, Casillas moved to Portuguese side FC Porto, with whom he remains a mainstay between the sticks.
Age when 100 Champions League caps reached: 28 years and 239 days
Much like his former teammate Iker Casillas, Raul was another local hero who came through the ranks in Madrid to become a world superstar, breaking all kinds of goalscoring records during his playing days.
The now retired Spanish striker was, at one time, the Champions League’s all-time top scorer, and even managed to continue his prolific nature in front of a European audience once he left Los Blancos for German outfit Schalke.
1. Lionel Messi
Age when 100 Champions League caps reached: 28 years and 84 days
Yet another record for the world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi had just celebrated his 28th birthday when he had amassed 100 games in the Champions League, all of which he played in Barcelona colours.
The Argentine magician has delivered an extended period of success to the La Liga club and his legacy is already secured as one of the all-time greats of the game, following an incredible goalscoring career.