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Appreciating the four sides to score 40+ goals in a Champions League campaign

Bayern Munich were officially crowned as the finest side in European football with victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final, the Bavarians lifting the trophy for a sixth time following a flawless campaign.

Key to the success of the German treble-winners has been a potent forward line-up, Bayern becoming just the fourth side to score 40+ goals in a Champions League campaign after a season of free-flowing attacking football.

Following the club’s feat we’ve decided to look back at the Champions League’s most prolific sides, here are the four teams to have scored 40+ goals in a Champions League campaign:

Real Madrid – 41 goals (2013/14)

Real Madrid ended more than a decade wait for a tenth Champions League trophy after Carlo Ancelotti guided the Spanish giants to the fabled La Decima during the 2013/14 campaign, their success boosted by an uber-attacking side containing the talents of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Ronaldo spearheaded Real’s charge with the most prolific individual season in Champions League history, scoring 17 goals throughout the campaign and scoring at each stage of the competition.

The Portuguese superstar was ably supported by the likes of Bale and Karim Benzema, Real racking up impressive 6-1 victories against both Galatasaray and Schalke, alongside a 5-0 last four hammering of Bayern Munich over two legs.

Ancelotti’s side were crowned as champions after a 4-1 extra-time victory over city rivals Atletico in Lisbon, with only AC Milan’s 4-0 victory over Barcelona in 1994 a bigger winning margin in club football’s biggest showpiece.

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Liverpool – 41 goals (2017/18)

Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football reached its greatest heights during a memorable run to the Champions League final with Liverpool in 2017/18, the Reds blitzing a host of sides to progress to a final date with Real Madrid.

Liverpool thrashed both Maribor and Spartak Moscow by a 7-0 scoreline during the group stages, scoring 23 times in just six fixtures before securing a 5-0 victory over Porto in the last-16.

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Manchester City were eliminated 5-1 on aggregate in the last eight before a thrilling semi-final with Roma was won 7-6 over two legs, though their hopes of being crowned champions of Europe were ended with a final defeat to Real in Ukraine.

Liverpool also became the first side in history to have three players score 10+ goals in a single Champions League season, the club’s formidable front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all reaching double figures.

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Bayern Munich – 43 goals (2019/20)

This season’s winners rank second amongst the most prolific sides in a single Champions League season, Bayern Munich becoming the first team in history to lift the trophy having won every single fixture during their victorious run.

Bayern’s treble-winning season saw the German giants deliver some headline results in continental competition, including a 7-2 thrashing of Tottenham in the group stages and a 6-0 win at Red Star Belgrade.

Robert Lewandowski scored four times during that latter victory and finished as the competition’s leading scorer on 15 goals, scoring in nine consecutive European fixtures before the club’s final victory over Paris Saint-Germain.

The defining result of Bayern’s historic season came in their quarter-final clash against five-time winners Barcelona, however, scoring eight times in a ruthless dismantling of the Catalan club to send out an emphatic statement of intent.

Bayern remarkably fell just two goals short of equalling the all-time record, despite playing just 11 fixtures due to the shortened format amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Barcelona – 45 goals (1999/2000)

Barcelona hold the record for the most goals in a single Champions League campaign, Louis van Gaal’s attacking outfit scoring 45 times to reach the semi-finals during the 1999/2000 season.

The Spanish giants had the benefit of the now defunct second group stage as they marched towards the last four and a goalscoring record, enjoying convincing victories over Premier League opposition in Arsenal (4-2) and Chelsea (5-1) to progress to the latter stages.

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Star forward Rivaldo finished as the joint-leading scorer in the tournament with 10 goals during a year in which he was named as the winner of the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, the Brazilian the star of a side boasting the talents of Luis Figo and Patrick Kluivert.

Van Gaal’s prolific side ultimately exited in the semi-final after a 4-3 aggregate defeat to compatriots Valencia, a La Liga dominated competition featuring three Spanish semi-finalists and the first ever final between two teams from the same country.

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