Which nation has had the most European Cup finalists?
Six nations are hoping that the UEFA Champions League final will end with a first victorious appearance for one of their countrymen as Tottenham meet Liverpool in Madrid.
Liverpool’s Naby Keïta and Spurs’ Victor Wanyama could become the first European Cup finalists to take to the field from Guinea and Kenya respectively (though Keïta will likely miss out through injury). Meanwhile, Sadio Mané (Senegal), Mohamed Salah (Egypt), Heung-Min Son (Korea Republic) and Davinson Sánchez (Colombia) are looking to become the first players from their countries to feature in the final, and win the top prize in world club football. Players from 48 nations have won the competition so far.
Since the final was first contested in 1956, 1,049 players representing 63 nations have featured in the deciders (a good number of them more than once). For the moment Italy have the most different finalists (147) but with no Italian players lining up for Liverpool or Spurs, Spain could match that total should the Reds’ Alberto Moreno get a run-out in Madrid; Spurs’ lone Spaniard, Fernando Llorente, has featured in the final already, losing with Juventus in 2015.
• Greece have had the most finalists without having a winner – 12; that total includes Panathinaikos’ 11 men from their 1971 final defeat, plus Akis Zikos, a losing finalist with Monaco in 2004.
• Turkey (tenth in the current UEFA rankings) are the highest-ranked nation never to have had a UEFA Champions League or European Cup winner; Turkey’s three finalists to date all ended up with runners-up medals: Yıldıray Baştürk (Leverkusen, 2002), Hamit Altıntop (Bayern, 2010) and Nuri Şahin (Dortmund, 2013).
• The lowest-ranked European nation to have a UEFA Champions League finalist and winner is San Marino; Massimo Bonini – a 1985 winner with Juventus – represented the side ranked 55 out of 55 in UEFA’s national coefficient rankings.
Number of players (by nation) who have appeared in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League final
11: Republic of Ireland
5: Ivory Coast
4: Czech Republic
3: North Macedonia
2: Bosnia and Herzegovina
2: Northern Ireland
2: South Africa
1: Algeria (Rabah Madjer, winner Porto 1987)
1: Angola* (Vata, runner-up Benfica 1990)
1: Australia (Harry Kewell, winner Liverpool 2005)
1: Belarus* (Aleksandr Hleb, runner-up Arsenal 2006)
1: Cameroon (Samuel Eto’o, winner Barcelona 2006 & 2009, Internazionale 2010)
1: Chile* (Arturo Vidal, runner-up, Juventus 2015)
1: Colombia* (Juan Cuadrado, runner-up Juventus 2017)
1: Costa Rica (Keylor Navas, winner Real Madrid 2016, 2017 & 2018)
1: DR Congo* (Shabani Nonda, runner-up Monaco 2004)
1: Ecuador* (Antonio Valencia, runner-up Manchester United 2011)
1: Egypt* (Mohamed Salah, runner-up Liverpool 2018)
1: Gabon* (Mario Lemina, runner-up Juventus 2017)
1: Georgia (Kakha Kaladze, winner AC Milan 2003 & 2007)
1: Korea Republic (Park Ji-sung, runner-up Manchester United 2009 & 2011)
1: Montenegro* (Stefan Savić, runner-up Atlético Madrid 2016)
1: Morocco* (Hajry Redouane, runner-up Benfica 1988)
1: Paraguay* (Domingo Benegas, runner-up Atlético Madrid 1974)
1: Peru (Víctor Benítez, winner AC Milan 1963)
1: Russia (Dmitri Alenichev, winner Porto 2004)
1: San Marino (Massimo Bonini, winner Juventus 1985)
1: Senegal* (Sadio Mané, runner-up Liverpool 2018)
1: Trinidad & Tobago (Dwight Yorke, winner Manchester United 1999)
1: Zimbabwe (Bruce Grobbelaar, winner Liverpool 1984)
*nations who have had a player appear in the final but not a winner