The UEFA Champions League (UCL) is an annual club football tournament which was established in 1955. The tournament was first named as the European Cup and after the 1991/1992 season it was renamed as The Champions League.
Get the List of Champions League Top Scorers for this season here.
List of Champions League Top Scorers All Time (excluding qualifying)
|S.No.||Players||Goals scored in Champions League||Appearances|
|4||Karim Benzema ||60||112|
|5||Ruud Van Nistelrooy ||56||73|
|8||Alfredo Di Stefano||49||58|
|14||Alessandro Del Piero||42||89|
The UEFA Champions League has maintained a charm of its own over the years, where it has asserted itself as the premier competition of Europe because of its reputation. The best clubs from around Europe facing off against each other makes the Champions League truly great, and the competition level is far superior to that of any other league. Now in its 29th season since rebranding from the old European Cup in 1992, some of the finest goalscorers ever to have played the sport have graced the pitch in the competition.
While a top class player can easily perform in their domestic league, to perform consistently in the Champions League is quite the colossal task for even the most talented players. The high level of competition, difficult environment and high pressure scenarios have made some great players crumble, but certain players have shown an outstanding ability to thrive in the Champions League. There are some world class players who have really enjoyed playing in the competition and have scored many goals during their years. Regardless of the tough opposition and difficulties of scoring in the Champions League, these players have shown no signs of weakness and will forever be remembered for scoring a multitude of goals in the competition, helping their teams achieve glory. Here's a look at the top 20 all time goalscorers in Champions League history:-
#1 in Champions League Top Scorers is Cristiano Ronaldo
If there was any player tailor made to handle the pressure of Champions League nights, it has to be Cristiano Ronaldo because of his unreal work in it. Ronaldo has won the Champions League for both Manchester United and Real Madrid in the past. He’s scored an incredible 121 goals in 159 appearances and also won the Champions League title a record five times and seems to have developed this unstoppable aura whenever he’s playing in it. Finishing as outright Champions League top scorer in five of the last six seasons, scoring no fewer than 12 in any of those years including a record 17 goal haul in 2013/14, Cristiano Ronaldo is comfortably the most prolific marksman in the competition's storied history. Knowing his ambitions, he’s going to keep scoring more and aim to lift the title with Juventus.
#2 in Champions League Top Scorers is Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has earned the reputation of being “The Greatest Of All Time” and his incredible work at Barcelona makes it hard for someone to argue against that. Messi has been the driving force for Barcelona over the years. With his incredible dribbling and goal scoring abilities he helped them win multiple championships. He has been an outrageous player in the Champions League over the years, scoring some outstanding goals and proving time and again how truly special he is. Lionel Messi had scored exactly 100 Champions League goals for Barcelona prior to this season and has now got 106 to his name. After his debut in 2004 he netted for the first time a year later and hasn't looked back, with four Champions League trophies in his collection till date. The magician from Argentina has always delivered in high pressure situations for Barcelona. Messi’s sensational work in the Champions League has made him one of the competition’s best players ever.
#3 in Champions League Top Scorers is Raul Gonzalez
Raul Gonzalez is a beloved figure among the Real Madrid fans because of his incredible work for the club during his career but he also holds a special place in Champions League history. Raul was the man for the big occasions and the Champions League was a favorite hunting ground for the Spaniard. For many years, Raul was the Champions League's all time top scorer with his tally of 71. He scored a hat trick on his debut and reached double figures at his best in 1999/00. Raul was a lethal goal scorer for Madrid in the Champions League and helped them secure three CL titles, which in turn helped him earn the reputation of being one of the competition’s best players.
#4 in Champions League Top Scorers is Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has remained as a seemingly evergreen player for Real Madrid over the years and has stayed put despite seeing much of his peers leave. He arguably doesn't get the credit he deserves as a four time Champions League winner and fourth highest scorer in the history of the competition. The Frenchman hasn't scored fewer than four European goals in a full season since 2009/10. Benzema has scored 60 goals in 112 appearances in the Champions League and has attained a lot of success with Los Blancos in the meantime. He even scored in the finals last year to help Madrid win their 3rd consecutive CL title. Benzema is already among the Champions League’s greatest goal scorers, but his hunger for more will see him move up the goal scoring charts very soon.
#5 in Champions League Top Scorers is Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Ruud Van Nistelrooy is probably the greatest Dutch striker to have ever graced the Champions League, with his stats proving him to be the best goal scorer to feature from his nation in the competition. Van Nistelrooy enjoyed a lot of success in the Champions League during his time at Manchester United, where he scored goals effortlessly. He scored 56 goals in 73 appearances at the Champions League, with an impressive goals per match ratio of 0.77. The Dutch striker was a real fox in the box, with his incredible striker instincts helping him score many goals. The Dutchman might have not won the Champions League, but bagged the top scorer award in three different seasons during his time at Manchester United - 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05. During the 2002/03 campaign in particular, he scored 12 times in just nine appearances which cemented his place as one of the greatest strikers ever in the competition’s history.