Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time

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The top 11 list of most prolific scorers in the history of the UEFA Champions League is dominated by active players Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and four others.

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time: Since its inception in 1955 as the European Champions Cup and then rebranding as the UEFA Champions League in 1991, Europe’s premier club competition has featured some of the greatest goal scorers in the history of football. In 1991, the competition was renamed to reflect its current status as the UEFA Champions League.

There are now 11 players that are among the top 10 scorers in the annals of the UEFA Champions League. Of those 11, six of those players are still actively involved in the sport of football.

11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 48 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 26, 2020 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a legendary Swedish striker, has already scored 48 goals in 124 UEFA Champions League matches. The 40-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic is scheduled to play for AC Milan in the 2022/23 season of the competition, which means he has the potential to add to his already impressive goal tally.

The majority of Ibrahimovic’s goals were scored for Paris Saint Germain with 20, followed by nine goals for AC Milan, six goals apiece for Ajax and Inter Milan, four goals for Barcelona, and three goals for Juventus. Ibrahimovic played for a total of six different teams during his career.

10. Andriy Shevchenko – 48 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Andriy Shevchenko of AC Milan celebrates in Milan after winning the golden ball during the Serie A on Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan 2004, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images), Italy.

Andriy Shevchenko, a legendary Ukrainian striker, also scored 48 goals in the Champions League, but he did so in 100 games, which gives him a superior goal ratio than Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Although Shevchenko has been retired since 2012 and has not competed in the Champions League since 2009, the 48 goals he scored during his career for AC Milan (29), Dynamo Kyiv (15), and Chelsea have left an indelible mark on the sport (4).

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9. Alfredo Di Stefano – 49 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
 Argentine soccer player. Photographed while a member of the Spanish team Real Madrid, 1962. (Photo by Schirner/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Alfredo Di Stefano was an integral element of Real Madrid’s early success on the European continent. He was a part of the team that played in 58 games for the old European Cup and scored 49 goals for Los Blancos. Even though the Argentine-Spaniard has been retired since 1966 and hasn’t competed in this competition since 1994, he still has the best goal ratio of any player in the top 10 with 0.84 goals per game.

8. Thierry Henry – 50 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Thierry Henry of Arsenal celebrates scoring during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on January 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Thierry Henry, a French striker, played in 112 UEFA Champions League matches for three different teams until hanging up his boots in 2014. He scored 50 goals during his career. He scored eight goals for Barcelona and seven goals for Monaco, but the vast majority of his goals were scored for Arsenal, where he established his reputation with 35 goals.

7. Thomas Muller – 52 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates victory following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group F match between Germany and Sweden at Fisht Stadium on June 23, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Although the German forward Thomas Muller is frequently underappreciated, the fact that he is consistently ranked among the best scorers at the very highest level demonstrates how talented he truly is. Muller has scored 52 goals in 134 Champions League games, all of which have been played for Bayern Munich. Despite being 32 years old, Muller appears to be in excellent position to add to his goal count since he still has many years of professional soccer ahead of him.

6. Ruud Van Nistelrooy – 36 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Ruud van Nistelrooy of Man Utd celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on December 13, 2003 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Incredible as it may sound, Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s performance in the UEFA Champions League saw him score 36 goals in 73 matches for a goal ratio of 0.77. The Dutch center forward scored 35 goals during his time with Manchester United, 13 goals during his time with Real Madrid, and eight more goals during his time with PSV Eindhoven.

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5. Raul Gonzalez – 71 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Raul Gonzalez of Schalke celebrates after scoring his teams third goal during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and 1. FC Koeln at Veltins Arena on December 18, 2010 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Raul Gonzalez, a Spanish striker, scored 71 goals in 142 games before the invention of modern football, and as a result, he was widely regarded as the greatest player to ever compete in the Champions League. Although many people felt the record would not be broken, it was in fact broken after Raul hung up his boots in 2015, despite the fact that the last time he played UCL football was in 2012 for Schalke. For a long, this was the maximum amount of goals that anyone had scored in this event.

4. Karim Benzema – 86 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the La Liga Santader match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 8, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Karim Benzema, a French striker, appeared to take his game to a new level during the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League season, during which he set a new personal best with 15 goals scored and helped Real Madrid win the championship. That goal brought his total tally to 86 goals and counting in 142 games played so far, with 12 goals for Lyon and 76 goals for Real Madrid with no signs of slowing anytime soon.

3. Robert Lewandowski – 86 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates scoring the 4th team goal during the DFB Cup final match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on July 04, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

The Polish center striker Robert Lewandowski, a true great and a symbol of the modern game, has been synonymous with goals over his career. His 0.81 goal ratio in the competition is only bettered by Alfredo Di Stefano in the top 10 of this category. Lewandowski has scored 86 goals in 106 games so far, 17 goals for Borussia Dortmund and 69 goals for Bayern Munich, a total that is only going to grow because the 33-year-old just recently just joined Barcelona. Lewandowski has played 17 games for Borussia Dortmund and 69 games for Bayern Munich.

2. Lionel Messi – 125 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates after scoring their side’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig at Parc des Princes on October 19, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

With 125 goals scored in 156 games played so far, Lionel Messi has the third best goal ratio among the elite scorers in the UEFA Champions League. This results in 0.80 goals per game, which is only bettered by Alfredo Di Stefano and Robert Lewandowski. Messi’s average is the third best among the elite scorers. The Argentine genius scored an incredible 120 goals in the Champions League while playing for Barcelona. He added five more goals in his debut season with PSG, and it is highly likely that he will not be through scoring in this league just yet.

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 140 goals

Top 11 UEFA Champions League top scorers of all time
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road on December 11, 2021 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has earned the nickname “Mr. Champions League” for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is his remarkable goal record in the league, which includes 140 goals scored in 183 games played for three different teams. The Portuguese striker has played more games and scored more goals than anyone else in the history of the Champions League to this point, with 105 of those goals scored in the white of Real Madrid, 20 for Manchester United, and 15 for Juventus. He has played more games and scored more goals than anyone else in Champions League history.

Since the 37-year-old player is presently employed by Manchester United, a team that did not make the cut for the 2022/23 season of the league, it is unknown whether or not he will be able to add to his total.


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