2017/18 UEFA Champions League round of 16 is almost upon us and the fans would be treated to see 3 of the all-time 5 top goal scorers in Champions League history in action. Champions League has seen modifications to the tournament’s format and it turned into Champions League from the European Cup back in the 1992-93 season.
Since then, we have seen a lot goal-scoring history being created and players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Raul, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and many modern greats treat us with spectacular Champions League goals. But who tops the list of all-time Champions League goal scorers?
Top 5 goal-scorers in Champions League history:
1). Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid)
The Superman from Portugal became the first ever player to score 100 UCL goals and there is no stopping Cristiano Ronaldo given the kind of form he has been in this year’s Champions League. Ronaldo has 114 UCL goals (and counting) to his name from 146 matches averaging 0.78 goals per game, which is nothing short of insane numbers given Real Madrid have gone on to win 3 Champions League titles in last 4 seasons and have played top oppositions season after season. Ronaldo has won 4 Champions League titles and looks hungrier than ever to win his 5th in coming seasons.
2). Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Whenever there is a stat-fight (does it sound like cat-fight) in terms of goal scored, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not far behind chasing each other and such is the case when it comes to Champions League all-time top goal-scorer history. Messi has 97 goals from 121 UCL matches for Barcelona and averages 0.8 goals per game, which is slightly better than Ronaldo’s stats.
3). Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid)
In all sense, Raul Gonzalez is a Real Madrid legend who is still regarded as one of the best poachers in world football. Raul scored 71 Champions League goals and was for a long time the top goal scorer in Champions League, however, Raul’s record was soon overtaken by Ronaldo and Messi’s unreal goal scoring abilities. Raul’s 71 goals came from 142 UCL games and won 3 Champions League titles and ended up being Champions League all-time top goal-scorer for 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons.
4). Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV, Man United, Real Madrid)
The prolific Dutchman played for Manchester United and Real Madrid during the peak seasons of his career so it is not a surprise to see Ruud van Nistelrooy in the Champions League all-time top goal-scorer list. Ruud scored 56 goals in 73 UCL games with an average of 0.77 goals per game. Despite his outstanding goal-scoring record in the competition, Van Nistelrooy never won the Champions League but he was certainly one of the best strikers of the modern era.
5). Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid)
Many might be surprised to see Karim Benzema’s name on the Champions League all-time top goal-scorer list given his tendency to miss big chances for Real Madrid recent seasons. Despite his low-key performances, Benzema has 3 Champions League winners medals (not many can say that) and has scored 53 Champions League goals in 98 games.