Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson made their Champions League debuts for non-British teams but who are the other six English players to do this?

20 Sep

Young English players trying their hand at foreign leagues is on the up and two of the England’s most promising stars made history this week.

Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson became the seventh and eighth English players to make their debuts in the Champions League for a non-British side.

Sancho in action for Dortmund against Club Brugge this week

The former Manchester City man started Borussia Dortmund’s victory over Club Brugge on Tuesday night while Nelson – on loan at Hoffenheim from Arsenal – came on during the German side’s 2-2 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

Champions League round-up – Tuesday

Champions League round-up – Wednesday

But who are the other six English players to achieve this feat?

Brian Deane (Benfica)

He’s better known for scoring the first ever Premier League goal as a Sheffield United player in August 1992 but he made his Champions League debut after signing for Graeme Souness’ Benfica in 1998.

Deane was a part of the ‘British invasion’ of Portuguese football from that time as you’ll see later.

Michael Thomas (Benfica)

Thomas never played in the Champions League for former club Liverpool so his first appearance in the competition came for Souness’ Benfica.

The striker only lasted for two years before moving back to England.

Thomas is better known for his days in English football

Scott Minto (Benfica)

The left-back was also recruited by Souness in June 1997 where he made his debut in Europe’s elite competition.

Minto didn’t last long at the Estadio da Luz either, joining West Ham for £1million in January 1999.

Steve McManaman (Real Madrid)

It may come as a surprise he never played in the Champions League during his lengthy time at boyhood club Liverpool, but McManaman’s first appearance in the Champions League came for Real Madrid in the 1999/00 season.

Los Blancos went on to win the competition, beating Valencia 3-0 in the final. McManaman bagged Real Madrid’s second goal of the game with a well-taken volley.

McManaman won the 2000 Champions League final with Real Madrid

Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich)

Hargreaves certainly had a debut Champions League season to remember, starting the final that Bayern won after beating Valencia in a penalty shootout. He was just 20-years-old.

He went on to win the competition with Manchester United in 2008 but his time at Old Trafford was ravaged by injury.

Matt Derbyshire (Olympiakos)

Remember him? Derbyshire had a few good games for Blackburn before joining Olympiakos in 2009.

He made his Champions League debut but failed to make any kind of impact on the competition.

Derbyshire in action for the Greek side against Bordeaux in February 2010