In the hallowed halls of European football, where legends are made and dreams fulfilled, the UEFA Champions League stands as the pinnacle of club competition. Yet, among the greats who have graced this stage, a select few have risen above the rest, their names etched in the record books for their extraordinary goal-scoring prowess. Now that we've identified the Champions League's group stage top scorers, let's take a look at who's the all-time top scorers of Europe's elite competition.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 140 goals
Need we say more about Mr. Champions League? Cristiano Ronaldo netted a remarkable 140 times during his 183 Champions League appearances. One hundred five of those strikes came during the four Champions League titles he won while at Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable tally of 140 Champions League goals remains the gold standard in the competition. His combination of aerial prowess, deadly finishing, and big-game temperament makes him the undisputed king of Champions League scoring.
At 38, Ronaldo has likely seen the last of the Champions League competition. However, the Al Nassr star is playing in the Asian Champions League.
Lionel Messi – 129 goals
Lionel Messi scored an astounding 129 goals in the Champions League. Of course, a majority of those strikes came with his beloved Barcelona.
With his move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine forward continued to showcase his goal-scoring exploits alongside his dribbling and playmaking skills. But he still falls short of Ronaldo's record, passing the baton to the only current UCL active player on this list, Robert Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski – 92 goals
The goal machine from Poland, Robert Lewandowski, has upped his tally to 92 goals. Dominating the European stage, particularly with Bayern Munich, Lewandowski's lethal finishing and positional awareness make him a contender for one of the all-time great Champions League forwards.
Can he break the century mark at Barcelona? “Lewangoalski” stands a very high chance of doing that this, if not next season.
Karim Benzema – 90 goals
Almost parallel to Lewandowski, Karim Benzema sits at 90 goals. A key player in Real Madrid's five Champions League titles since 2013, Benzema's unique blend of goal-scoring ability and playmaking prowess makes him one of the most effective strikers in Champions League history.
At 35, the prolific French striker plays his football for Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. Unless UEFA admits a Saudi team into the exclusive Champions League tournament, we think Benzema has just about wrapped up his historic goal tally.
Raúl – 71 goals
The modern-day greats may have surpassed the legendary Raúl's 71 goals, but his influence on the Champions League remains significant. With a career mostly spent at Real Madrid, Raúl was a prolific scorer whose records stood tall until the era of Ronaldo and Messi.
Top 20 all-time leading Champions League scorers
|Champions League Teams
|Man United, Real Madrid, Juventus
|Barcelona, Bayern Munich
|Schalke, Real Madrid
|Real Madrid, Man United
|Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan
|Milan, Barcelona, Paris
|Liverpool, Chelsea, Roma
|Barcelona, Man City
|Marseille, Real Madrid, Monaco