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Champions League records that might always elude Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

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Timeless

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo (126 goals) and Lionel Messi (112 goals) are the Champions League's all-time top two goal scorers.

Both Ronaldo and Messi have amassed a record of eight hat-tricks in the competition and have won the competition at least four times - Ronaldo doing so for Manchester United in 2008 and for Real Madrid in 2014, 2016-18, and Messi winning the competition for Barcelona in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015.

But a few records, scoring or otherwise, appear outside the reach of the prolific duo. Here is a look at the records/landmarks in the competition that may elude both Ronaldo and Messi:

#1 Appearing in 20 consecutive Champions League seasons

Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas holds the record for most consecutive Champions League appearances, doing so from 1999-2000 to 2018-19 for Real Madrid and Porto.

With Ronaldo turning 34 years old and Messi turning 32, having featured in 16 and 15 consecutive Champions League campaigns respectively, neither player looks likely to approach Casillas' record as outfielders generally have a shorter shelf-life than goalkeepers.

#2 Oldest player to score in the European Cup / Champions League

Manfred Burgsmüller
Manfred Burgsmüller

Manfred Burgsmüller of Werder Bremen became the oldest player (38 years 293 days) to score in the European Cup / Champions League when he found the net against Dynamo Berlin in 1988.

Francesco Totti (38 years 59 days) is the oldest player to score in a match in the Champions League era.

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The duo of Ronaldo and Messi are respectively 4 and 6 years removed from Burgsmüller's record and are unlikely to feature in the Champions League for long enough to have a shy at the German's record. 

#3 Oldest player to score in a Champions League final

Paolo Maldini
Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini, aged 36 years and 333 days, scored for AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final against Liverpool, which made the Italian the oldest player to score a goal in the title match of the competition. Maldini found the back of the net after just 53 seconds, making it the fastest goal ever scored in a Champions League final too.

With every passing season, both Messi and Ronaldo are looking increasingly unlikely to feature and score in a Champions League final at the age when Maldini did so in 2005.

#4 Scoring the fastest Champions League goal


Roy Makaay
Roy Makaay

Roy Makaay scored the fastest goal in a Champions League match, when he found the net after just 10.12 seconds for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid in 2007.

Messi's earliest goals in a Champions League came in the third minute against Celtic (2016-17 group stage) and Chelsea (2017-18 Round of 16 second leg) while Ronaldo has also scored his earliest Champions League goal in the third minute of a game, doing so against Juventus in the 2017-18 quarterfinal first leg in Turin.

Messi has scored 8 goals in the opening 15 minutes of a Champions League game while Ronaldo has done so on 15 occasions. Neither player looks likely to down Makaay's record.

#5 Scoring for 6 different teams in the Champions League

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in the Champions League for 6 different clubs, doing so for Ajax (6 goals), Juventus (3 goals), Internazionale (6 goals), Barcelona (4 goals), AC Milan (9 goals), and Paris St. Germain (20 goals). That is a record for scoring for the highest number of different clubs in the competition.

With Messi scoring all of his Champions League goals for Barcelona and Ronaldo finding the net only for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, neither of the duo is likely to equal or surpass Ibrahimovic's record.

#Other records Messi and Ronaldo are unlikely to equal or surpass

- Appearing in eight European Cup / Champions League finals (Francisco Gento and Paolo Maldini).

- Winning the Champions League in two consecutive seasons for two different teams (Marcel Desailly, Paulo Sousa, Gerard Pique and Samuel Eto'o).

- Oldest player to win the tournament (Alessandro Costacurta was 41 when Milan beat Liverpool in the 2007 final).

- Oldest captain to win the tournament (Paolo Maldini was 38 when Milan beat Liverpool in the 2007 final).


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