The 20 Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League: The UEFA Champions League, previously called the European Champion Clubs’ Cup or simply the European Cup, is an annual football tournament organized by UEFA since 1955. Initially, it was a knockout competition for champion clubs only, but in the 1990s, it was expanded to include a group phase and more teams. This expansion led to more matches being played, creating more opportunities for players to score goals. As a result, the rankings tend to favor modern players.

Cristiano Ronaldo currently holds the record for the most goals scored in the Champions League with 140 goals. His main rival, Lionel Messi, is the only other player to have scored over 100 goals in the competition.

The Champions League is widely regarded as the most prestigious club football competition. Throughout its history, the competition has featured some of the greatest players in the sport.

Goal scorers have played a crucial role in the Champions League. Most of the top scorers in the competition’s history are recent players. This is mainly because the format of the tournament has evolved, making it easier for teams to qualify and increasing the number of matches played.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League

These goal-scoring players are all exceptional and have scored at least 40 goals in one of the world’s biggest football competitions. Some of them, like Messi, Ronaldo, and Benzema, are still actively playing and have the opportunity to further improve their goal-scoring records.

20. Ferenc Puskás

  • Goals: 36
  • Matches: 41
  • Ratio: 0.88
  • Years: 1956–1966
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Budapest Honvéd (1/2), Real Madrid (35/39)

Ferenc Puskás is known as one of the best football players ever, and he scored 36 goals in the UEFA Champions League. He played for Real Madrid and Budapest Honvéd teams in the competition.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League
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Puskás was an amazing goalscorer in both club and international football, and his record in the Champions League shows how talented he was. He is considered a true legend in the sport, and his legacy still lives on today.

Puskás’s goalscoring achievement in the Champions League is even more remarkable when you think about the fact that he played in the competition when it had fewer games. Back then, it was a simpler knockout tournament. This means that Puskás’s rate of scoring goals was even higher than it seems. His record in the Champions League is truly outstanding and one of the best in history.

19. Sergio Agüero

  • Goals: 41
  • Matches: 79
  • Ratio: 0.52
  • Years: 2008–2021
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Atlético Madrid (5/14), Manchester City (36/64), Barcelona (0/1)

Throughout his career, Sergio Agüero scored a total of 41 goals in the UEFA Champions League. Out of these, 36 goals were scored in the main tournament, while the remaining 5 goals came from qualifying matches. He represented two clubs in the Champions League: Atlético Madrid and Manchester City.

Manchester City All-time Top Goalscorers
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Agüero’s most successful season in the Champions League was during the 2016-17 campaign when he scored 5 goals in 7 appearances for Manchester City. In the 2013-14 season, playing for Atlético Madrid, he found the net 6 times in just 6 appearances. One of Agüero’s most memorable goals was the last-minute winner against QPR in the 2011-12 season. This crucial goal secured Manchester City’s first-ever Premier League title and remains etched in fans’ memories.

Having retired from professional football in 2021, Agüero holds the record as Manchester City’s all-time leading scorer. He also ranks fifth on the list of highest scorers in the history of the Premier League and stands at the 18th position among the top scorers in the UEFA Champions League.

18. Alessandro Del Piero

  • Goals: 42
  • Matches: 89
  • Ratio: 0.47
  • Years: 1995–2009
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Juventus

During his career, Alessandro Del Piero scored a total of 42 goals in the UEFA Champions League, all of them in the main tournament. He represented Juventus, his sole club in the Champions League.

Best Free-Kick Takers in History
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One of Del Piero’s most memorable goals in the Champions League was his strike against FC Dynamo Kyiv. It left a lasting impression on fans and stands out as a remarkable moment in his career.

Del Piero retired from professional football in 2015. He holds the record as Juventus’ all-time leading scorer in the Champions League and ranks 17th on the list of the competition’s highest scorers.

17. Neymar

  • Goals: 43
  • Matches: 81
  • Ratio: 0.53
  • Years: 2013–
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Barcelona (21/40), Paris Saint-Germain (22/41)

In the UEFA Champions League, Neymar has scored a total of 43 goals. Among these, 21 goals were scored while he played for Barcelona, and the remaining 22 goals came during his time at Paris Saint-Germain. He holds the record as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer in the Champions League and is currently the 16th-highest scorer overall.

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Neymar’s most productive season in the Champions League was in 2014-15 when he found the net 10 times in 12 appearances for Barcelona. He also had notable performances in the 2017-18 and 2019-20 seasons, scoring 8 goals in 10 appearances and 6 goals in 7 appearances, respectively.

Neymar has experienced success in the Champions League, winning the tournament with Barcelona in the 2014-15 season. He was also part of the Paris Saint-Germain team that reached the final but lost to Bayern Munich in the 2020 edition.

16. Kylian Mbappé

  • Goals: 43
  • Matches: 67
  • Ratio: 0.66
  • Years: 2016–
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Monaco (6/9), Paris Saint-Germain (37/58)

Kylian Mbappé has scored 43 goals in the UEFA Champions League, making him the 19th-highest scorer in the history of the tournament. He has played in 67 matches and achieved this impressive record at just 24 years old. Among all the players who have represented Paris Saint-Germain, Mbappé is the leading scorer in the Champions League.

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Mbappé has consistently scored in every season of the competition. His best season so far was in 2020-21, where he found the net 8 times in just 10 appearances.

Considering his young age and the number of years he has left in his football career, Mbappé has the potential to become one of the greatest goalscorers in Champions League history. If he can avoid injuries and maintain his scoring form, he has a good chance of breaking into the top 10 highest scorers of all time in the tournament.

15. Didier Drogba

  • Goals: 44
  • Matches: 92
  • Ratio: 0.48
  • Years: 2003–2015
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Marseille (5/6), Chelsea (36/74), Galatasaray (3/12)

Didier Drogba scored a total of 44 goals in the UEFA Champions League. He scored 36 goals for Chelsea, 5 goals for Marseille, and 3 goals for Galatasaray. He is the top scorer for Chelsea in the Champions League and the 15th-highest scorer overall.

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Drogba won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2011/12. He scored the winning penalty in the final against Bayern Munich and was chosen as the best player of the match.

Drogba is considered one of the best strikers in the history of the Champions League. He was a strong and accurate goal scorer, and he was also a great leader on the field. He played a crucial role in Chelsea’s success in the Champions League, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever compete in the tournament.

14. Mohamed Salah

  • Goals: 44
  • Matches: 79
  • Ratio: 0.56
  • Years: 2013–
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Basel (2/6), Chelsea (0/2), Roma (1/7), Liverpool (41/64)

Mohamed Salah has scored a total of 44 goals in the UEFA Champions League. He has scored 41 goals for Liverpool and 2 goals for Basel. He is Egypt’s all-time leading scorer in the Champions League and the 14th-highest scorer overall.

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Salah has made it to the Champions League final three times with Liverpool, in 2017, 2018, and 2022. He won the Champions League with Liverpool in the 2018-19 season.

Salah is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world, and he is known for his remarkable goal-scoring ability in the Champions League. He is fast, skillful, and strong, and he has a great knack for finding the back of the net. He is a crucial player for Liverpool, and in the future, he will be aiming to increase his goal tally in the Champions League.

13. Filippo Inzaghi

  • Goals: 46
  • Matches: 81
  • Ratio: 0.57
  • Years: 1997–2012
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Juventus (17/26), Milan (29/55)

Filippo Inzaghi is a highly regarded Italian international player and a revered figure at both Juventus and AC Milan. He was renowned for his exceptional goal-scoring ability, primarily attributed to his astute positioning and sharp finishing skills. Inzaghi, a true number 9, may not have possessed exceptional physicality or technical prowess, but he consistently found the back of the net when his team needed it most.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League
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Inzaghi began his professional career at Piacenza Calcio before making stops at Parma and Atalanta. He eventually joined Juventus, where he reached the final of the UEFA Champions League, although Juventus fell short against Real Madrid. After spending four seasons in Turin, Inzaghi made a move to AC Milan, where he would ultimately conclude his playing career. Notably, he enjoyed Champions League triumphs with Milan in 2003 and 2007.

The esteemed striker amassed a total of 46 goals in 81 appearances in the Champions League. Among those goals, 17 were scored during his time at Juventus, while 29 came during his tenure with Milan. Inzaghi shares the distinction of being the all-time leading goal scorer for AC Milan in the competition, alongside Shevchenko. Consequently, Filippo Inzaghi occupies the 13th position in the ranking of the top scorers in the history of the Champions League.

12. Eusébio

  • Goals: 46
  • Matches: 65
  • Ratio: 0.71
  • Years: 1961–1974
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Benfica

Eusébio scored a total of 46 goals in the UEFA Champions League. He achieved this feat in 65 appearances, which ranks as the 12th-highest total in the competition’s history.

Eusébio made it to the Champions League final once, during the 1961-62 season, and he emerged as the winner, clinching the trophy. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever graced the sport.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League
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Eusébio’s ability to score goals in the Champions League was truly extraordinary. He had an outstanding track record as a goal scorer at the club level, and he was also an influential player for Portugal in international competitions. He is a true legend of the game, and his impressive goal-scoring record in the Champions League will be celebrated for many years to come.

11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Goals: 48
  • Matches: 124
  • Ratio: 0.39
  • Years: 2001–2021
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Ajax (6/19), Juventus (3/19), Inter Milan (6/22), Barcelona (4/10), Milan (9/20), Paris Saint-Germain (20/33), Manchester United (0/1)

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a highly regarded Swedish international player who has had stints at several prominent European clubs. Known for his physical strength and imposing presence, Ibrahimović defies his size with remarkable agility. As a formidable striker, he possesses the ability to score in various situations, often showcasing acrobatic techniques.

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Over the course of his career, Ibrahimović has represented some of the most esteemed clubs in European football. Notable among them are Ajax Amsterdam, Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan, FC Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain. Remarkably, “Ibra” holds the distinction of scoring for six different teams in the UEFA Champions League, totaling 48 goals in 124 appearances.

While Ibrahimović has amassed numerous trophies throughout his career, he has yet to win the Champions League. Nonetheless, he is widely regarded as one of the premier players of the early 21st century and certainly ranks among the top scorers in the history of the competition. Additionally, Ibrahimović is considered one of the greatest players in the history of Paris Saint-Germain.

10. Andriy Shevchenko

  • Goals: 48
  • Matches: 100
  • Ratio: 0.48
  • Years: 1994–2012
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Dynamo Kyiv (15/26), Milan (29/59), Chelsea (4/15)

Andriy Shevchenko is a renowned striker and is widely regarded as the greatest Ukrainian player of all time. He symbolizes the essence of a complete attacker, showcasing exceptional skills in front of goal. Shevchenko excels with both his feet and head, combining speed and technical prowess. He is particularly adept at navigating tight spaces and is known for his opportunistic goal-scoring abilities.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League
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Shevchenko began his career at Dynamo Kyiv, where he made his professional debut and won the Ukrainian championship on five occasions. However, it was with AC Milan that he truly reached great heights. During his time with Milan, he achieved notable success, including winning the UEFA Champions League in 2003 and being awarded the Ballon d’Or the following year. Shevchenko also reached two more Champions League finals, one with Milan and the other with Chelsea, although both ended in defeat.

In terms of the Champions League, Andriy Shevchenko is among the top scorers in the history of the competition. He scored 15 goals with Dynamo Kyiv, 29 goals with AC Milan, and 4 goals with Chelsea, accumulating a total of 48 goals in the Champions League throughout his career. Shevchenko continues to hold the record as the all-time leading scorer for the Ukrainian national team and ranks second in the list of all-time top scorers for AC Milan.

9. Alfredo Di Stéfano

  • Goals: 49
  • Matches: 58
  • Ratio: 0.84
  • Years: 1955–1964
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Real Madrid

Alfredo Di Stéfano scored a total of 49 goals in the European Cup, which was the predecessor of the UEFA Champions League. He achieved this impressive feat in 58 appearances, placing him as the 9th highest goal scorer in the history of the competition.

Top Scorers in the History of the Champions League
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Di Stéfano had a remarkable career with Real Madrid, winning the European Cup a total of five times. His victories came in the years 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.

Di Stéfano’s goal-scoring prowess in the European Cup was truly exceptional. He consistently demonstrated his ability to find the back of the net at the club level, and he was also an influential figure for the Argentina national team during his career.

8. Thierry Henry

  • Goals: 50
  • Matches: 112
  • Ratio: 0.45
  • Years: 1997–2012
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Monaco (7/9), Arsenal (35/77), Barcelona (8/26)

Thierry Henry is a renowned striker and a key player for the French national team. He is recognized as an extraordinary scorer and a skilled finisher, known for his exceptional speed and ability to exploit spaces on the field. His iconic curling shots have contributed to numerous goals throughout his career. Henry’s exceptional talents have earned him a place in our ranking of the greatest French players in history.

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Henry began his career with Monaco, where he had a remarkable start and won the French championship. He then made a move to Arsenal after a brief spell at Juventus. It was at Arsenal that he truly became a legend, winning the Premier League title twice. However, it was with FC Barcelona that Henry finally achieved success in the UEFA Champions League, lifting the trophy in 2006.

In the Champions League, affectionately nicknamed “Titi,” Henry scored 7 goals for Monaco, 35 goals for Arsenal, and 8 goals for FC Barcelona. In total, he accumulated 50 goals in the Champions League throughout his career, placing him in 8th position among the all-time top scorers. Thierry Henry also holds the record for the highest number of goals scored for Arsenal, as well as for the French national team.

7. Thomas Müller

  • Goals: 53
  • Matches: 147
  • Ratio: 0.37
  • Years: 2009–
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Bayern Munich

Thomas Müller is a really good German soccer player who has scored the most goals in the UEFA Champions League among all German players. He has scored 53 goals in 147 games. He is also the seventh-highest scorer in the history of the competition.

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Müller has won the Champions League two times with Bayern Munich. He won it in the seasons of 2013/14 and 2019/20.

Müller is still playing soccer and has the chance to score more goals in the Champions League. He wants to help Bayern Munich win the competition again in the 2023-24 season.

6. Ruud Van Nistelrooy

  • Goals: 56
  • Matches: 73
  • Ratio: 0.77
  • Years: 1998–2009
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): PSV Eindhoven (8/11), Manchester United (35/43), Real Madrid (13/19)

Ruud van Nistelrooy is a prominent Dutch striker who has played for several renowned European clubs. As a true number 9, he is an exceptional finisher, and his impeccable positioning allows him to always be in the right place at the right time. Even when faced with multiple defenders, he can find the back of the net from various angles. He has also made his mark in international competitions, being among the top scorers in the history of the UEFA Euro tournament.

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After starting his career at FC Den Bosch in the Netherlands, van Nistelrooy moved on to Heerenveen before eventually joining PSV Eindhoven. Following three successful seasons, he made a significant move to Manchester United. During his time there, he won the Premier League title and the FA Cup before heading to Spain, where he joined Real Madrid for two seasons, clinching the Spanish championship twice.

Although van Nistelrooy never won the UEFA Champions League, he emerged as the competition’s top scorer three times during his tenure with Manchester United. In total, he scored 56 goals in 73 Champions League matches, including 8 goals with Eindhoven, 35 goals with Manchester United, and 13 goals with Real Madrid. As a result, Ruud van Nistelrooy is recognized as the sixth-highest scorer in the history of the Champions League.

5. Raul

  • Goals: 71
  • Matches: 142
  • Ratio: 0.50
  • Years: 1995–2011
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Real Madrid (66/130), Schalke 05 (5/12)

Raúl González is a Spanish soccer player who represented his country at the international level and is recognized as one of the top scorers in the history of the Champions League. He was a formidable striker known for his speed and ability to score goals both up close and from long range. Raúl was also a highly creative player and possessed excellent passing skills in addition to his scoring prowess.

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Raúl began his professional career with Real Madrid in 1994 and remained with the club for 16 seasons. During his time there, he achieved numerous successes, including winning the Spanish championship six times and the Champions League three times. He also clinched the top-scorer title in La Liga twice. With a remarkable tally of 323 goals for Real Madrid, he is currently the club’s second-highest scorer of all time.

In the Champions League, Raúl has scored a total of 71 goals in 142 games. Out of those, 66 goals were scored for Real Madrid and 5 goals for Schalke 04. This achievement places him in 4th position among the all-time top scorers in the history of the Champions League. Throughout his entire career, Raúl scored a remarkable total of 449 goals, establishing himself as one of the greatest strikers of his generation. His exceptional contributions also earn him a place in our ranking of the best players in the history of Real Madrid.

4. Karim Benzema

  • Goals: 90
  • Matches: 152
  • Ratio: 0.59
  • Years: 2005–2023
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Lyon (12/19), Real Madrid (78/133)

Karim Benzema is regarded as one of the greatest French strikers in history and a true legend at Real Madrid. He is a versatile and complete striker who can adapt to different positions and contribute to the team’s play. Benzema is known for his goal-scoring ability, with a keen eye for finishing, as well as his vision of the game, which allows him to participate in the build-up of attacks.

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Benzema began his career at Lyon, where he was trained, and made his debut for the club in 2005 at the age of 17. He quickly showcased his immense potential and helped Lyon win the French championship four times between 2005 and 2008. Since 2009, Benzema has been an integral part of Real Madrid, where he has achieved legendary status. During his time at the club, he has won La Liga four times and the Champions League five times. Benzema has recently joined Al Ittihad. He agreed to a three-year contract with the Saudi Arabian club on June 6, 2023. The transfer was said to be worth over $100 million.

Karim Benzema holds an impressive record in the Champions League and is among the top scorers in its history. He has scored 12 goals for Lyon and 78 goals for Real Madrid, making a total of 90 goals in 152 UCL games. Additionally, Benzema has also provided over 25 assists in the Champions League, highlighting his selfless playmaking abilities. His outstanding career was further recognized when he claimed the top spot in the Ballon d’Or 2022.

3. Robert Lewandowski

  • Goals: 92
  • Matches: 116
  • Ratio: 0.82
  • Years: 2011–
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Borussia Dortmund (17/28), Bayern Munich (69/78), Barcelona (6/10)

Robert Lewandowski is a Polish soccer player who represents his country internationally and plays as a formidable striker for Barcelona. He possesses all the qualities required of a top-class number 9, including speed, agility with the ball, physical strength, and, of course, an unmatched finishing ability. With his excellent sense of positioning, he often finds himself in the perfect spot to score goals.

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Lewandowski began his professional career at Znicz Pruszków in the Polish third division before moving to Lech Poznań. After winning the Polish championship, he transferred to Borussia Dortmund in Germany, where he achieved great success, winning the league title twice and reaching the UEFA Champions League final. Following his impressive performances, Lewandowski joined Bayern Munich and spent eight seasons there. During his time with the club, he won the league title eight times and claimed the Champions League trophy in 2020. Since 2022, he has been playing for FC Barcelona.

In the Champions League, Lewandowski has already scored 91 goals in 111 games. He scored 17 goals during his time at Dortmund, 69 goals for Bayern Munich, and 6 goals for Barcelona. Currently, he holds the third position in the list of all-time top scorers in the Champions League. Additionally, he is the highest-scoring player in the history of the Polish national team and the second-highest scorer in the history of Bayern Munich.

2. Lionel Messi

  • Goals: 129
  • Matches: 163
  • Ratio: 0.79
  • Years: 2005–2023
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Barcelona (120/149), Paris Saint-Germain (9/14)

Lionel Messi is a legendary soccer player from Argentina and an iconic figure at FC Barcelona. He is often compared to Maradona because of his playing style. Messi is known for his speed, exceptional technical skills, and ability to score goals. His wide range of tricks and dribbles make him one of the greatest dribblers in the sport’s history. He excels in all aspects of the game and is a creative and versatile player.

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Messi has been with FC Barcelona since he started his career in 2004 and has won all the major trophies with the club. He has an impressive record of 10 La Liga titles and has triumphed in the Champions League on 4 occasions. Notably, Messi holds the record for being FC Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, having netted 672 goals for the team.

In the Champions League, Messi has scored 120 goals for FC Barcelona and has already scored 9 goals for PSG. He has been the top scorer in the Champions League on 6 occasions. Currently, he is ranked second in the list of all-time top scorers in the history of the Champions League. With eight Ballon d’Or awards to his name, Messi is also one of the highest-scoring players in the history of football.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Goals: 140
  • Matches: 183
  • Ratio: 0.77
  • Years: 2003–2022
  • Clubs (Goals/Matches): Manchester United (21/59), Real Madrid (105/101), Juventus (14/23)

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese soccer player who has played for some of Europe’s biggest clubs. He is an amazing player and has been performing at a high level for almost 20 years due to his hard work and consistency. Ronaldo is a versatile and powerful attacker, known for his speed and technical skills. He is also recognized as one of the best free-kick takers in the history of the game.

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Ronaldo began his career at Sporting CP in Portugal before moving to Manchester United, where he won the Premier League and the Champions League three times. He later joined Real Madrid, where he achieved his greatest successes. At Real Madrid, he won the La Liga title twice and, most notably, the Champions League four times, including an impressive three consecutive victories from 2016 to 2018.

In the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a total of 140 goals in 183 games. He scored 21 goals during his time at Manchester United, 105 goals at Real Madrid, and 14 goals at Juventus Turin. His goal tally makes him the highest-scoring player in the history of the Champions League.

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