Bern [Switzerland], September 15 (ANI): Cristiano Ronaldo has chalked up yet another UEFA Champions League record after making his 177th appearance as Manchester United took on BSC Young Boys in Switzerland on Tuesday, the start of his 19th season in the competition.
The forward's return to the competition for Manchester United brought another milestone as he matched the mark of Iker Casillas for making most appearances in the Champions League. Xavi Hernandez with 151 appearances is on the third while another Barcelona legend, Lionel Messi is on fourth with 149 matches under his belt.
On the pitch, United's no.7 and co however had a horror night in Bern as BSC Young Boys defeated United 2-1 in their UEFA Champions League opener. Ronaldo marked his record-equalling match with the opener in the early stages at the Wankdorf Stadium, latching onto Bruno Fernandes' ball on 13 minutes to open his account in this season's competition, but unfortunately, it was not part of a winning effort by the Reds in Switzerland, following the home side's two second-half strikes.
The appearance tally, which excludes Ronaldo's four matches played in qualifying rounds, sees him go level with current record-holder and three-time tournament winner Iker Casillas. The former Real Madrid and Porto goalkeeper has retired since setting the bar at 177 during the Portuguese side's 4-1 home defeat to Liverpool at the quarter-final stage of the 2018/19 competition.
Ronaldo currently holds the records for the player with the most goals (135) and assists (42) in the tournament's history, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's Lionel Messi in both categories. Seventeen of those goals came in the campaign in which he lifted the trophy for Real Madrid back in 2013/14, a figure that saw him named the competition's top scorer for that season and it remains the most scored by any player in a single Champions League campaign.
The 36-year-old has also scored the most goals in the knockout stage of the competition (67), while he is the only player to net in all six group games in a season, and in three different finals. The five-time winner, the most by any player, will be hoping to inspire the Reds to more success on the European stage this season, following his return to the club in the summer. (ANI)