5 active footballers who have scored the most goals in UEFA Champions League

5 active footballers who have scored the most goals in UEFA Champions League

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5 active footballers who have scored the most goals in UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious cup competition in Europe. Making a name for himself in the competition is every footballer’s dream, but only a handful manage to actualize it.

Scoring a goal in the continent’s most sought-after cup competition is the quickest way to get the world buzzing. Today, we will take a look at five footballers who have mastered that particular craft over the years. Below are five active footballers with the most goals scored in the UEFA Champions League:

Data courtesy: Transfermarkt

#5 Thomas Muller — 52 goals in 134 matches

Thomas Muller may not be the most aesthetically-pleasing footballer around, but he surely knows how to get the job done. The Bayern Munich forward has 52 goals (134 games) to his name, making him the fifth active footballer with the most number of goals in the tournament.

Thomas Muller, the only player on this list to have represented just one club in the competition, made his goalscoring debut for the Bavarians in the 2008-09 season. He featured in only one game that season and managed to find the back of the net in it.

Muller, who has also claimed 30 assists in the competition, has thus far won the competition twice. However, given how strongly Bayern have started (three wins in three Bundesliga matches, 15 goals scored) it wouldn’t be surprising to see him add another to his collection this season.

#4 Karim Benzema — 86 goals in 142 matches

For nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo reigned as Real Madrid’s undisputed talisman. Karim Benzema had his moments, but he could not hold a candle to the impact the Portuguese had. Since his departure in 2018, Karim Benzema has emerged as Los Blancos’ primary goalscorer, and the outcome has come as a surprise to many.

He has been a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League, scoring unbelievable goals against some of the best teams in the world. Last season, he scored 10 knockout goals (15 total) to fire Los Blancos into the final, where a Vinicius Junior strike helped Madrid clinch a 1-0 win over Liverpool.

Benzema, who is the competition’s joint-third leading goalscorer, has so far scored 86 goals in 142 games. 12 of those goals came in 19 appearances for French outfit Lyon; the remaining 74 (123 appearances) for Real Madrid. The five-time Champions League winner has also had his fair share of assists in the competitions, with him setting up his teammates on 29 occasions.

#3 Robert Lewandowski — 86 goals in 106 matches

Courtesy of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s duopoly, Robert Lewandowski did not get his fair share of recognition at first. With the two superstars loosening their grip in the last couple of years, the Pole has rightfully staked his claim as one of the best forwards in European history.

Lewandowski, who has scored 86 goals in 106 appearances thus far, is the tournament’s joint-third leading scorer. He enjoyed his fair share of success with Dortmund in the competitions, scoring 17 times in 28 appearances. However, he fully unlocked his potential after joining their arch-rivals Bayern Munich.

Lewandowski scored 69 goals in 78 matches for the Bavarians over eight seasons at the club, winning the competition once. The Polish striker also has 25 assists to his name, which serves as a testament to his understated creative side.

He joined Barcelona earlier this summer and is expected to play a starring role when they meet Bayern in the group stage this season.

#2 Lionel Messi — 125 goals in 156 matches

A class above the rest, Lionel Messi, with 125 goals, is the second-highest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League. The Argentine maverick spent his entire career at Barcelona before reluctantly leaving the club as a free agent last summer.

Paris Saint-Germain swooped in and added him to their roster just days later, hoping he would finally fire them to European glory. The Argentinian could not live up to the hype last season but it would be foolish to write him or PSG off this season.

Messi, who has won the competition a whopping four times already, played 149 Champions League games for Barcelona in 17 seasons, netting 120 times. For Paris, he has so far featured in seven games, scoring five goals.

The Argentina international has also proven himself to be a competent creator in the competition, providing 41 assists in 156 games.

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo — 140 goals in 183 matches

Five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo has thoroughly dominated the competition for well over a decade, emerging as its leading goalscorer with 140 goals. The Manchester United ace started his Champions League goalscoring journey with the Red Devils back in the 2006-07 season, scoring thrice in 11 appearances that term. The following season, he scored eight times in 11 matches as Manchester United lifted the trophy.

He consistently grew in stature in the subsequent seasons and hit his apex during his nine-year spell with Real Madrid. Between 2009 and 2018, he won the competition four times, scoring 105 goals in 101 appearances.

His spell with Juventus was decent as well, with the Portuguese netting 14 times in 23 matches across competitions. He returned to United last summer and bagged six goals in seven games, taking his combined Champions League tally for the club to 21 goals in 59 appearances. In addition to scoring 140 goals, Ronaldo also has 48 assists to his name.

Manchester United could not secure Champions League qualification last season, meaning Ronaldo could fail to appear in this season’s iteration. It is widely believed that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is pushing for a move, preferably to a club that has qualified for the Champions League. It will be interesting to see if he is successful in his endeavors before the summer transfer window closes on September 1.

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