Champions League all-time top scorers - Ronaldo, Messi & UCL goal kings

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Who is in the lead in the race to become the all-time top scorer in Europe's leading club competition? We've taken a look at the top finishers

The Champions League has featured some of the best goalscorers in history.

As the premier club competition in Europe and arguably the world, it is a stage that has been graced by countless icons of football.

Striking sensations such as Raul and Andriy Shevchenko dominated during the 1990s and 2000s, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have taken the art of scoring to a whole new level.

Goal takes a look at the all-time top scorers in the competition's history, dating back to the inaugural European Cup in 1955.

Who is the all-time Champions League top scorer?

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Champions League

As you can see from our table below, Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (including the European Cup) and the Real Madrid star is closely followed by his arch-rival, Barcelona's Lionel Messi .

There is a significant gulf between that pair and the rest, with Madrid icon Raul following in third place. Former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistelrooy is the fourth best Champions League goalscorer of all time, while Karim Benzema rounds out the top five.

Champions League/European Cup all-time top 20 goalscorers:

*Correct as of April 11, 2018
**The list takes into consideration data from 1955-present
***Players in bold are still active

Pos Player Goals Games Goals per game
1 Cristiano Ronaldo 120 150 0.80
2 Lionel Messi 100 124 0.81
3 Raul 71 142 0.5
4 Ruud van Nistelrooy 56 73 0.77
5 Karim Benzema 53 101 0.52
6 Thierry Henry 50 112 0.45
7 Alfredo di Stefano 49 58 0.84
=8 Andriy Shevchenko 48 100 0.48
=8 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 48 120 0.4
10 Eusebio 47 63 0.75
11 Filippo Inzaghi 46 81 0.57
12 Robert Lewandowski 45 70 0.64
13 Didier Drogba 44 92 0.48
=14 Alessandro Del Piero 42 89 0.47
=14 Thomas Muller 42 97 0.43
16 Ferenc Puskas 35 41 0.85
17 Gerd Muller 34 35 0.95
18 Fernando Morientes 33 93 0.35
19 Francisco Gento 32 88 0.36
=19 Edinson Cavani 32 52 0.62
21 Sergio Aguero 31 61 0.51

The composition of the all-time goalscorers list is mostly made up of players who are playing or played in the modern Champions League era (i.e. 1992 onwards) which has added more contintental games to the modern day calendar. Specifically, of the 20 players in the list above, 15 of them played from the mid 1990s on.

Alfredo Di Stefano Real Madrid

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However, despite that, two players who played in the pre-Champions League era (when the tournament was known as the European Cup) still make the top 10, with former Real Madrid star Alfredo di Stefano and Benfica icon Eusebio featuring.

Ferenc Puskas and Francisco Gento , who shone for Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s, are also in the top 20. Former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Muller is in the top 20 and no player comes remotely close to his phenomenal goals-per-game ratio of 0.95.

Puskas boasted a goal-to-game ratio of 0.85 and Di Stefano's was 0.84, while Messi's is currently 0.81, which is undoubtedly the best in the modern era.

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