What do Madrid, Juventus, Milan and Chelsea have in common?

Apparently, these clubs have (or have had) players with the most Champions League semifinal appearances.

Before you go through the list, try guessing who’d be on this list. Several Italians, of course, which is where Juve / Milan come in, and then there is the Madrid – Chelsea connection (bonus points if you can think of the 2nd player before peeking at the list), and there’s a record-breaking Champions League winner and a couple of underachieving continental strikers to round off the list.

Here’s the list:


Players reaching most Champions League semifinals
#
Name
Nation
Clubs (seasons)
8
Claude Makélélé
FRA
FC Nantes (1995/1996), Real Madrid (2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003), Chelsea (2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2006/2007, 2007/2008)
6
Fernando Morientes
ESP
Real Madrid (1997/1998, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002, 2002/2003), AS Monaco (2003/2004)
6
Alessio Tacchinardi
ITA
Juventus (1995/1996, 1996/1997, 1997/1998, 1998/1999, 2002/2003), Villarreal CF (2005/2006)
6
Gérémi Njitap
CMR
Real Madrid (1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002), Chelsea (2003/2004, 2004/2005, 2006/2007)
6
Clarence Seedorf

NED
Ajax (1994/1995), Real Madrid (1997/1998), AC Milan (2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007)
6
Paolo Maldini
ITA
AC Milan (1993/1994, 1994/1995, 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007)

6
Alessandro Costacurta
ITA
AC Milan (1993/1994, 1994/1995, 2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007)
6
Filippo Inzaghi
ITA
Juventus (1997/1998, 1998/1999), AC Milan (2002/2003, 2004/2005, 2005/2006, 2006/2007)
6 Andri Shevchenko
UKR
Dynamo Kyiv (1998/1999), AC Milan (2002/2003), AC Milan (2004/2005), AC Milan (2005/2006), Chelsea (2006/2007, 2007/2008)

Should we call them the best players in Europe has seen because their teams progressed so far so frequently, sometimes without their help? Or should we stop being so cynical and celebrate the longevity of these players?

What’s telling is that none of these players look likely to add to their records next season (age, position at club and position of club all taken into account), so in another 10 years it should be interesting to revisit this list and see if Gerrard and Ronaldo have made it or not.

Can Jose and Rafa catch up with Fergie?
2007/2008 Champions League Top Scorers - Ronaldo, Messi and Gerrard lead the way

One Response

  1. Felipe 9 May, 2008