Cristiano Ronaldo to Break UCL Appearance Record Tonight

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Tonight sees the first UEFA Champions League home match, with fans, for Manchester United in 903 days. It’s a special night for the estimated 70,000 on hand for a lot of reasons, and they’ll get to witness history, as Cristiano Ronaldo is in the starting line-up for the group stage clash vs Villarreal.

This will mark his 178th appearance, which is a new record for the European competition. This complements the other UCL records that he already holds- goals and assists.

(Up above you can see the rest of the team in the starting XI with him. United will be without three of their four best defenders in this one, as team captain Harry Maguire, and elite left back Luke Shaw, are both out injured.

First choice right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also missing, due to his suspension. So this is certainly not the situation you want to be dealing with, in a must-win European match like this. Having fallen at Young Boys in UCL match day one, United really need to take all three points here in order to improve their chances of making the knockout round.

Maybe Ronaldo can come up big here on this historical occasion.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

He co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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