5 Brazilians with the most goals in Champions League history

PSG's Neymar in a Champions League clash against Manchester City
PSG's Neymar in a Champions League clash against Manchester City

Brazilian stars tend to light up any occasion with their flair and skills, and the UEFA Champions League is no different.

Big names from the South American nation have given fans some of the most memorable moments in Europe's premier club competition in recent seasons. Lucas Moura's last-ditch winner for Tottenham Hotspur against Ajax in 2019 and Neymar's brilliance in PSG's run to the 2020 final immediately come to mind.

The influence of Brazilian stars in the Champions League continues to grow

Brazilian players are still some way off the top of the Champions League scoring charts. Rather than a lack of quality, though, that can be attributed to the fact that most Selecao players restrict themselves to their domestic leagues before the 1990s.

In the modern era, though, Brazilian superstars are a constant presence in Europe's elite teams. The final of the 2021 edition of the competition between Chelsea and Manchester City saw four Brazilian players involved.

On that note, here's a look at the top five Brazilian scorers in the competition's history:

#5 Giovane Elber (24 goals in 69 appearances)

Giovane Elber (centre) celebrates a goal for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid.
Giovane Elber (centre) celebrates a goal for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid.

Despite making just 15 appearances for Brazil, Giovane Elber remains a Bayern Munich and Bundesliga legend. The striker played 266 games for the Bavarian giants during a six-year spell that lasted from 1997 to 2003. He scored 139 goals, including 24 in the Champions League.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Giovane Elber #OTD in 1999 โšฝ๏ธ@FCBayernEN | #UCL

Elber and Bayern Munich enjoyed a period of tremendous success, winning four Bundesliga titles in five years between 1998 and 2003. That included three consecutive triumphs from 1998 to 2001, and they also won the 2001 Champions League.

#4 Jardel (25 goals in 46 appearances)

Jardel celebrates Porto's Portuguese Cup triumph.
Jardel celebrates Porto's Portuguese Cup triumph.

Brazilian journeyman Jardel enjoyed a productive time in Portugal with Porto and Sporting Lisbon. Although he only played ten games for his national team, the striker netted 103 goals in 108 games for Porto and Lisbon.

๐Ÿ”ตโšช๏ธ When Mario Jardel scored two at San Siro โšฝ๏ธโšฝ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘€ Most likely to net for Porto today?@FCPorto | #UCL

Most of his Champions League goals came for Porto, including the 1999-00 season, where he scored ten goals in 13 games. His last appearance in the competition came in 2000-01 with Galatasaray, with Jardel signing off with six goals for the Turkish giants.

#3 Rivaldo (27 goals in 73 appearances)

Rivaldo (centre) in action for Barcelona against Lyon
Rivaldo (centre) in action for Barcelona against Lyon

Although Rivaldo won his only Champions League title with AC Milan in 2003, he is best remembered as a Barcelona legend.

The attacking midfielder scored 130 goals in 235 games for the Blaugrana, including ten in 14 Champions League games during the 1999-00 edition. He also won the Ballon D'or award that season.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Rivaldo was special ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ“บ Enjoy EVERY goal he scored in this competition ๐Ÿ˜@RIVALDOOFICIAL | #MondayMotivation | #UCL

He also appeared in the competition for Greek club Olympiakos. Unlike the two previous names on our list, Rivaldo was a star for his national team, netting 35 goals in 74 games. He was also part of the Brazil team that won the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

#2 Kaka (30 goals in 86 appearances)

Kaka (centre) before a UCL game against Barcelona.
Kaka (centre) before a UCL game against Barcelona.

One of the most graceful players to have stepped on the pitch in recent years, Kaka is one of the best Brazilian superstars of the modern era. The AC Milan legend scored 104 goals and provided 85 assists in 307 games for the Italian giants.

๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Kakรก was incredible in 2006/07 ๐Ÿ†@KAKA | @acmilan | #UCL

Blessed with quick feet, eye for goal and cutting-edge passing, Kaka was a complete midfielder. Along with 30 Champions League goals, he has 26 assists to his name in the competition.

The midfielder was unstoppable in the 2006-07 edition of the tournament. He scored ten goals and assisted thrice as Milan were crowned European champions. Kaka won the 2007 Ballon d'Or award for his efforts that season.

#1 Neymar (41 goals in 74 appearances)

Neymar ahead of a game for PSG
Neymar ahead of a game for PSG

Despite never winning a Ballon d'Or award, Neymar is set to go down as one of the greatest Brazilian players of all time. The 30-year-old has been remarkably consistent throughout his career, scoring 266 goals and providing 167 assists in 452 appearances so far for Barcelona, PSG and Santos.

The midfielder is also on the verge of breaking the legendary Pele's scoring record for Brazil. Neymar currently has 70 international goals, and is only seven behind his illustrious compatriot.

Meanwhile, at club level, Neymar's best displays have come for Barcelona, with whom he won the Champions League in 2015. The Brazilian was a key contributor in that campaign, scoring ten goals in 12 appearances that season. Neymar's wide range of passing has also helped him rack up 32 assists in the competition.

Despite his numerous injury woes in recent years, Neymar has delivered in European competition for PSG when he has been fit enough to play. With 20 goals and 13 assists in 34 Champions League games for the Parisians, the Brazilian has a chance to add another European trophy to his tally this season.

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Edited by Bhargav


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