3 players to have scored 10 or more European goals in a season before Christmas
Scoring goals in European competitions is always a tough ask, considering the level of competition and the stakes involved. However, some players hit the ground running at such a pace that they leave everyone else trailing in their wake.
Only three players have scored 10 or more European club-competition goals in a season before Christmas. Let us have a look at those:
#3 Lionel Messi: 10 goals (2016-17)
Lionel Messi opened the 2016-17 Champions League with successive hat-tricks at home to Celtic and Manchester City respectively. In the process, Messi became the first player to score multiple Champions League hat-tricks in a season on more than one occasion (also 2011-12).
A goal and a brace in Barcelona's respective away wins at City and Celtic followed by a goal at home to Borussia Monchengladbach made it 10 goals in five group-stage games for the season.
The diminutive Argentinian fell just one short of matching Cristiano Ronaldo's tally of most goals in a group-stage campaign that year.
#2 Cristiano Ronaldo: 11 goals (2015-16)
Cristiano Ronaldo opened his European account for the 2015-16 season in blistering fashion. He bagged a hat-trick at home against Shakhtar Donetsk and a brace at Malmo in his first two games of the 2015-16 Champions League season before drawing a blank in the home and away games against Paris St. Germain.
The Portugal captain soon returned to goal-scoring ways, scoring a brace away at Shakhtar Donetsk before registering his first (and till date only) Champions League quadruple against Malmo at the Bernabeu.
#1 Alfredo Morelos: 14 goals (2019-20)
The 23-year-old Colombian striker scored away at St. Joseph's FC followed by a hat-trick against the same opposition at home in the return leg of the first qualifying round of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League.
Three goals in both legs of the third qualifying round games against FC Midtjylland followed by a goal against Legia Warszawa made it eight European goals for the season, as Rangers qualified for the 2019-20 Europa League.
Goals away at BSC Young Boys and FC Porto followed by a goal at home to Porto helped Morelos equal Ronaldo's tally of 11 European goals in a season before Christmas, before a brace away a Feyenoord helped him claim the record outright.
Morelos then created history by scoring for Rangers in the Scottish team's 1-1 draw with Switzerland's BSC Young Boys, on Matchday 6 of the recently concluded group-stage campaign in the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League.
The goal helped Rangers avoid defeat against their Swiss visitors and qualify for the knockout round of European club football competition for the first time in eight years.
In the process, Morelos extended his record tally of European goals this season to 14 as Rangers reached the Europa League Round of 32. That is a standalone total which is good enough for joint-5th place in the list of most European goals in a season.
Falcao (18 goals for Porto in 2010-11) leads a group of four other players to have scored more European goals in a season than Morales's 2019-20 tally of 14 so far.Published 18 Dec 2019, 21:49 IST