They Are The Champions: The Best UCL Hitmen
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If the Champions League is football’s premier club competition, then it stands to reason that its greatest players and goal scorers should be among the finest in modern history. We are also fortunate as fans that the two leading scorers are currently at the peak of their players and competing as the finest players of an entire generation, causing a huge stir as to who exactly is the best. With the Champions League set to resume in September, we will once again see records fall in the pursuit of the ultimate glory.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top three Champions League goal scorers of all-time…
Lionel Messi, Barcelona (77 goals in 94 Matches)
With the joint most goals and the best strike-rate (0.80 goals per game), Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the best and most prolific forward in Champions League history. He has also won the competition a staggering four times, playing a prominent role in three of these successes and thriving as part of a stunning forward line with Luis Suarez and Neymar last season. He gave the most recent reminder of his greatness during last season’s semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich, when he scored two stunning goals to set-up a decisive 3-0 victory at the Camp Nou.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United and Real Madrid (77 goals in 113 games)
Level with Messi on 77 goals at present, Ronaldo takes second place due to an inferior strike-rate. Intriguingly, his record would be almost identical with Messi’s were it not for an unusual period at the beginning of his career with Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United, during which time he failed to score in his first 19 Champions League appearances. Since scoring twice in United’s famous 7-1 thrashing of Roma at Old Trafford in 2007, however, he has scored a further 75 goals in 93 games and boasts a strike-rate of a goal per game since joining Real Madrid.
Raul, Real Madrid and Schalke 04 (71 goals in 142 games)
So long the Champions League poster boy and Omni-potent as the competition’s leading goal scorer, Raul Gonzalez can lay claim to being Real Madrid’s first modern day Galactico. With a strike-rate of 0.50 and three Champions Leagues triumphs to his name, Raul is certainly one of the greatest and most intelligent forwards of his generation and his relationship with the Madrid fans remains etched in folklore.
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