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UEFA Champions League

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

12:30 GMT 07/12/2021
Lionel Messi Cristiano Ronaldo Barcelona Juventus GFX
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?

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). He is closely followed by his arch-rival, Lionel Messi.

There is a significant gulf between that pair and the rest, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski following in third.

Karim Benzema follows in fourth, while Raul completes the top five, with the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Thierry Henry and Alfredo di Stefano the best of the rest.

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

PosPlayerGoalsAppearancesGoals per game
1Cristiano Ronaldo 1401810.77
2Lionel Messi 1251530.82
3Robert Lewandowski  821010.81
4Karim Benzema 761340.56
6Ruud van Nistelrooy56730.77
7Thierry Henry501120.45
=8Alfredo di Stefano49580.84
=8Thomas Muller 491280.38
=10Andriy Shevchenko481000.63
=10Zlatan Ibrahimovic 481220.39
=12Filippo Inzaghi46810.57
14Didier Drogba44920.48
15Alessandro Del Piero42890.47
=16Neymar 41720.57
=16Sergio Aguero 41790.52
=18Ferenc Puskas35410.85
=18Edinson Cavani 35690.51
20Gerd Muller34350.95

*Correct as of December 7, 2021

**The list takes into consideration data from 1955-present

***Players in bold are still active

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.

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

Ferenc Puskas , who shone for Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s, is 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 0.8, which is undoubtedly the best in the modern era.