Waiting for the 100th finalist

From Juanito Alonso, Marquitos, Rial, Alfredo Di Stefano and Francisco Gento in 1956 to Keylor Navas, Danilo and Toni Kroos in 2016, there have been a total of 98 players who have appeared for Real Madrid in European Cup finals.

In total, the club have competed in 14, winning 11 of them.

Sixty-one years on from the first European Cup final between Real and Stade de Reims, the total number of players who have taken part in a final for Los Blancos can reach triple figures in Cardiff on Saturday.

Of the likely starting line-up that Zinedine Zidane will call upon in Cardiff, there will be no new players who haven’t played in a final before for the Spanish champions.

That means that he will likely have to look to the bench if they are to reach the magical number 100.

From there, there could be four possible candidates to help them reach that goal; Nacho, Marco Asensio, James Rodriguez and Mateo Kovacic.

Depending on how the game develops, attacking players like Rodriguez or Asensio may be called upon to help find a spark, while Nacho could feature in the event that Zidane looks to shore up the game, and Kovacic will have to be prepared if some calmness and consistency is required in the centre of the park.

Of the current Madrid squad, eight players have already featured in two finals, topping the list of current players who are still active, although they are a long behind the likes of Gento on eight and Di Stefno on seven.

Real Madrid players who have played the most European Cup finals

  1. Gento, 8
  2. Di Stefano, 7
  3. Santamaria and Zarraga, 5
  4. Pachin, Marquitos, Rial 4
  5. Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Hierro, Raul, Morientes, Puskas, Kopa, Lesmes and Alonso, 3

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