The best goal scorers throughout Europe have all featured in the Champions League over the years but who tops the list as the most prolific Champions League goalscorer of all-time ?
We have listed the top-10 greatest Champions League goalscorers ever below for you to read through before you take advantage of William Hill’s excellent £50 sign-up offer and bet on this season’s premier European competition.
10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The enigmatic forward has netted over 40 Champions League goals and is the only player to net for six different clubs in the competition during his illustrious career. The striker netted his first goal whilst at Ajax 2001 and has went onto score for Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and currently Paris Saint Germain. He also netted four goals in a single game against Anderlecht last season. The 33-year-old has won titles all over Europe but has never lifted Champions League. Could this be his year at the big spending French club?
9. Didier Drogba
Prior to his surprise return to Stamford Bridge this summer, veteran striker Didier Drogba had netted 42 goals in the Champions League. The forward scored the decisive penalty as Chelsea lifted the trophy in 2012 at the expense of Bayern Munich and was part of the Blues side who also reached the final in 2008, seeing red after slapping Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic in the 117th minute. The former Ivory Coast captain netted six goals in eight Champions League games during the Blues successful 2012 victory under Roberto Di Matteo and could well be part of another winning side at Stamford Bridge again this season.
8. Alessandro Del Piero
The Italian striker netted 44 Champions League goals during his 14-year spell with Italian giants Juventus. The World Cup winner scored his first goal in the competition in 1995 and his last one in 2009. With nine goals in the knockout rounds and 32 in the group stage the striker was ever-reliable for his club, averaging a just over a goal every-other-game in the Champions League for the Old Lady. He also netted in the final of the 1997 Champions League against Borussia Dortmund but could not prevent his side losing 3-1 to the Germans. He was also on the losing side in 1998 and 2003, reaching the final three times but never winning the competition.
7. Filippo Inzaghi
The highest ranking Italian on the list scored 50 goals in the Champions League between 1997 and 2012 during spells with Serie A duo Juventus and AC Milan. The poacher won the competition twice with the Rossoneri, the first time in 2003, against former club Juventus, and he scored twice and was voted man of the match as Milan defeated Liverpool 2-1 to lift their 7th Champions League title in 2007. He was also on the losing side twice, finishing runner-up with Juventus to Real Madrid in 1998 and part of the AC Milan side who famously lost to Liverpool in 2005, despite leading 3-0 at half-time. The 41-year-old was also the first player to score two hat-tricks in the competition whilst playing for the Old Lady with trebles against Dynamo Kiev and Hamburg SV.
6. Thierry Henry
French striker Thierry Henry netted 51 goals in Europe’s top competition. The pacey forward began his career at Monaco and scored a club record seven goals in the competition in a single season as the French side reached the 1998 Champions League semi-finals with only Alessandro Del Piero scoring more goals in the competition that season (10). The striker enjoyed a prolific spell at Arsenal and he was part of the side who reached the final in Paris in 2006, netting five goals on route to the showdown with Barca, which the Gunners lost 2-1. He moved onto to Barcelona in 2007 and won the Champions League under Pep Guardiola in 2009.
5. Andriy Shevchenko
Shevchenko might of disappointed many during his time in the Premier League, netting just nine goals in 48 appearances for Chelsea following his £30 million move but there is no denying the striker was excellent in the Champions League. The attacker hit 59 goals in the tournament between 1994 and 2011 during two spells Dynamo Kiev, two spells at AC Milan and during his time with Chelsea. The Ukrainian international is one of only 10 players to score four goals in a single match during the Champions League era, netting four for the Rossoneri against Feyenoord.
4. Ruud van Nistlerooy
Former Manchester United forward Ruud van Nistlerooy netted 60 goals in the Champions League and is also one of the 10 players, alongside Ibrahimovic and Shevchenko to net four goals in a single match. The Dutchman was the top scorer in the competition three times during his five-years at Old Trafford and was voted the most valuable striker in the Champions League during the 2001-02 season. His best spell in the competition was with the Red Devils where he scored 38 goals between 2001 and 2006. The Dutch attacker never won the competition, however, despite scoring freely United, Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven.
3. Lionel Messi
The Argentinian striker holds a host of records in the Champions League including being the only player score five goals in a single game (against Bayer Leverkusen). He is also the only player to score in 21 different cities and only Ronald has also scored more goals in the knock-out stage of the competition than Messi’s 31. The attacker has been the top-scorer in the competition a record four times and has also scored more hat-tricks than anyone else with four to his name so far. The Barca forward is almost certain to eclipse Raul’s record of 70 goals at some point this season it is just a question of who will do it first and who will finish at the top of pile when the pair retire, Messi or Ronaldo? The little magician has won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, netting in both finals as the Catalan club defeated Manchester United.
Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo needs just one goal to equal Raul’s record and the two-time Champions League winner will almost certainly achieve that during Madrid’s group campaign, possibly against Liverpool. No one has scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign than the former Manchester United star, with his 17-goals leading Madrid to their first victory in the competition in 12-years last season. The prolific attacker scored a record number group stage goals last season and scored in a record eight consecutive matches. The 29-year-old has also hit a record 34 goals in the knock-out stages of the tournament and is also the only player to score over 10 goals Europe’s premier club competition in three successive seasons.
Spanish striker Raul will be well aware his record as the Champions League’s all-time top goal scorer will soon be beaten by both Messi and Ronaldo. The striker has topped the charts for a number of years, however, and has been voted the Champions League’s top forward a record three times. The Real Madrid legend won the competition three times with his boyhood club, one more than both Messi and Ronaldo so far, finishing as the top scorer in 2000 and 2001. The former Madrid and Spain captain netted 66 goals in the Champions League for Madrid during his 16-year spell with the club and added a further five goals to his record whilst playing for German side Schalke 04. He is also the only player to net in 14 consecutive seasons in the tournament between 1996 and 2011.