Real Madrid recently won the Champions League final in controversial fashion against Liverpool. Ronaldo led his team to the trophy for the third consecutive season, scoring 15 goals in 13 games from the group stage to the final.
With stats like these, having played in six Champions League finals, how does he rank on the Champions League all-time scorers list? Here are the top five who found their shooting boots in Europe’s most elite competition…
Joint 4th: Karim Benzema
In less-than-spectacular fashion, French striker Benzema’s goal in this year’s final actually took him to joint 4th place in the all-time Champions League top scorers list.
Having played 104 times in the competition, he has scored 56 times, a goal every 0.54 games. In that time he’s won the cup four times.
He’s only 30 years old, and with just one goal needed to make 4th place his own, Benzema will be determined to stay at the top with Real Madrid and keep this tally going.
Joint 4th: Ruud van Nistelrooy
The legendary Netherlands striker also scored 56 goals in his Champions League career, finishing as leading scorer in the competition in 2002,2003 and 2005. He held the record for scoring in the most consecutive Champions League games – nine – until Ronaldo overtook him this year.
Van Nistelrooy holds the unwanted record of being the highest-scoring player never to have won the tournament, too. He joined Manchester United after their 1999 treble-winning year and left the Red Devils two years before they next won the competition. The Dutchman also never managed to go all the way in his four years at Real Madrid. So close but yet so far for Ruud.
3rd: Raúl González
Record holder for a long time, Spanish legend Raúl. Until 2014, this man was safely top of the goalscoring charts in the Champions League with his 71 goals in the competition. He was also the first ever player to score 50 Champions League goals – that’s something Messi and Ronaldo can never take away from him.
Messi came along and broke the record that Raúl set with 66 goals in his iconic Real Madrid days and 5 in his latter days with Schalke. He was the all-time top scorer for a long time, but his record turned out to be no match for the goalscoring prowess of Messi and Ronaldo.
2nd: Lionel Messi
It was always going to be Messi and Ronaldo occupying these two spots, and it’s the Argentine who takes second with 100 goals in 124 games. This does give him the best goals to game ratio of the top 5 with 0.81, but that doesn’t help him cover the large gap in goals between himself and Cristiano.
At least second place is safe, as it would be quite the surge in form to see Benzema notch 45 goals, with Messi having to retire immediately and… never mind. The Messi-Ronaldo debate will continue, but there’s one thing no one can question, and that’s who is the top Champions League goalscorer.
1st: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano takes top spot with a staggering 120 goals in 153 games, 0.78 goals per game. We all know how good the Portuguese man is, but he’s not just the all-time top scorer. Just have a look at the records he holds.
Ronaldo is showing no signs of slowing up his domination at the top level of European football, again finishing as top scorer in this season’s Champions League. We’ll be seeing his name in the headlines for the foreseeable future.