Betting Special: Can anyone stop Messi claiming the Champions League top scorer prize?

Messi Yeray FC Barcelona Athletic LaLiga
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The competition's knockout stages get underway and the bookmakers believe that the Barcelona star is almost certain to be named top scorer again

Europe's top teams are preparing to do battle in the Champions League round of 16, but there is no doubt as to which player took centre stage during the group stage of the competition.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored 10 goals - four more than any other player in the tournament thus far - as the Catalan club cruised through Group C and, with Barcelona outright favourites to pick up the silverware this season, it is no surprise to see Messi as short as 1/6 (1.17) with Paddy Power to be the competition's leading marksman this term.

Another South American striker, Edison Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain, has scored six Champions League goals so far this season - Messi's closest challenger - but the Uruguayan international is chalked up as a 14/1 (15.0) chance with Paddy Power to surpass the Barcelona talisman's haul this term.

Robert Lewandowksi

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has scored five goals in European competition thus far and the Polish star seems likely to enjoy an extended stay in the Champions League, for the German giants have progressed to, at least, the semi-final stage in each of the last five seasons.

Lewandowski, though, will need to be in inspired form if he is to reel in his Barcelona counterpart and the challenge facing the Bayern Munich man is reflected by Paddy Power's 14/1 (15.0) quote that the 28-year-old Pole ends the Champions League campaign as the tournament's top scorer.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, who has three goals to his name thus far, is available at 33/1 (34.0), while Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is a 66/1 (67.0) chance with Paddy Power to overhaul Messi in the scoring charts, having notched four during the group stage.

Luis Suarez can be backed at 22/1 (23.0) to upstage his Barcelona team-mate, while Real Madrid's leading scorer in the Champions League this term, Karim Benzema is chalked up at 45/1 (46.0); Cristiano Ronaldo, the tournament's all-time leading marksman, can be backed at 20/1 (21.0), despite scoring just twice in the competition so far this season.


Paddy Power go 33/1 (34.0) that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund, with four goals thus far, surpasses Messi, while Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, with three Champions League goals to his name so far this season, can be backed at 35/1 (36.0) to take the top scorer accolade.

Messi, though, has been mesmerising throughout this Champions League campaign; the 29-year-old Argentina international has scored in each of his five Champions League appearances so far this season, notching hat-tricks against both Celtic and Manchester City.

As the knockout stage gets underway, Messi remains in outstanding form and it will take a shock of seismic proportions should the Barcelona star fail to top the Champions League scoring charts this season.