Best XI: Champions League centurions

Bayern München defender Philipp Lahm will join a select group of players on Tuesday night when he plays his 100th UEFA Champions League match against Juventus.

The 32-year-old will join a group of 27 players who have already played 100 or more times in the Champions League with 14 of those players still current.

Here are our picks of the ‘Best XI of Champions League centurions’.

Just in case
GK – Iker Casillas (156 CL matches)
Clubs: Real Madrid, FC Porto
Casillas began his youth career with Real Madrid in 1990 and in 1999 started in the senior side, and remained a fixture in the team for 16 seasons. During his career, he achieved much including five La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League titles.

RB – Gary Neville (109 CL matches)
Club: Manchester United
He is one of the most decorated English and European footballers of all time, winning 20 trophies, including eight Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.

CB – Paolo Maldini (116 CL matches)
Club: AC Milan
He spent all 25 seasons of his career in the Serie A with Milan, winning 26 trophies including the Champions League five times.

Just in case
CB – Carles Puyol (115 CL matches)
Club: FC Barcelona
He was regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation and only played for one club. He played in 593 official games for Barcelona, winning 21 major titles including six La Liga trophies and three Champions League titles.

LB – Roberto Carlos (120 CL matches)
Clubs: Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe
The Brazilian is often described as the “most offensive-minded left-back in the history of the game”. He joined Real Madrid in 1996 and spent 11 seasons there, playing 584 matches in all competitions and scoring 71 goals. He won four La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League three times.

Just in case
RW – Lionel Messi (102 CL matches)
Club: FC Barcelona
Often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time and is the only player in history to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or five times. With Barcelona, he has won seven La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League titles and is second on the all-time Champions League scorers list with 80 goals.

CM – Clarence Seedorf (125 CL matches)
Clubs: AC Milan, Real Madrid, AFC Ajax
He is one of the most successful players in Champions League history and is the only player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs – Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998, and twice with Milan, in 2003 and 2007.

CM – Xavi Hernandez (151 CL matches)
Club: FC Barcelona
He made his Barcelona first-team debut against Mallorca in August 1998. Since then he has played 700 matches. He has won the Champions League three times with Barcelona.

Just in case
LW – Cristiano Ronaldo (122 CL matches)
Clubs: Real Madrid, Manchester United
Ronaldo has the record for most goals scored in a single Champions League season, 17 goals, and is the all-time top goalscorer in the Champions League with 89 goals. He has been a Champions League winner twice – in 2008 and 2014.

ST – Raúl Gonzales (142 CL matches)
Clubs: FC Schalke 04, Real Madrid
He one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid, spending 16 years at the club scoring 323 goals. With Los Blancos, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles and is the third-highest goalscorer in Champions League history with 71 goals.

ST – Thierry Henry (112 CL matches)
Clubs: FC Barcelona, Arsenal FC, AS Monaco
After eight years with Arsenal he moved to Barcelona in 2007 and in 2009 he was part of the team that won the historic treble when they won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. He is fifth on the Champions League leading scorers list with 50 goals.

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