Undoubtedly the pinnacle of club football, the Champions League brings together the continent’s finest talents in an annual tournament to crown Europe’s best.
English players and clubs have both thrived on Europe’s biggest stage in recent seasons, with Liverpool defeating Tottenham in just the second ever all-English final in last season’s competition.
It remains the benchmark for world-class players, and we’ve decided to look back at some English players who have made their mark on Champions League football.
Here are the seven highest-scoring Englishmen in Champions League history.
Andy Cole – 18 goals
A prolific goalscorer in the Manchester United side that dominated English football, Cole would form a telepathic understanding with strike partner Dwight Yorke that would help propel Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to European success.
In seven seasons at Old Trafford Cole would score 18 Champions League goals, including four on route to the club’s 1999 success as a historic treble was secured.
Few can forget his late goal in the semi-final win over Juventus, and he is one of just two English players alongside Michael Owen to have scored more than one Champions League hat-trick (2).
Raheem Sterling – 19 goals
Another player whose goalscoring seems to be improving year on year, the Manchester City star has flourished under the guidance of Pep Guardiola into one of the most dangerous attacking forwards in Europe.
The 24-year-old’s productivity had improved in each season since his move to the Etihad, a spell which has seen him register 18 Champions League goals in a little over four seasons.
Sterling hit his first European hat-trick with a treble against Atlanta in this season’s group stage, and looks likely to move further up this list in the coming seasons.
Harry Kane – 20 goals
The Tottenham forward continues to score goals at an extraordinary rate, with his record in Champions League football making for impressive reading.
It’s now 20 goals in just 24 Champions League appearances for the England captain, who has again begun the campaign in typically prolific fashion by scoring four times in three group stage fixtures so far.
Kane suffered with injury as Spurs reached the final for the first time in their history last season, and his goals will be crucial to their chances of again reaching the latter stages.
Steven Gerrard – 21 goals
The former Liverpool captain was synonymous with his club’s biggest moments throughout his career, notably in Europe when he often delivered on the biggest of occasions.
Gerrard would bring an end to his illustrious 17-year Anfield career as the club’s all-time top goalscorer in Europe, which includes 21 goals in the Champions League.
Notable spectacular strikes include goals against Olympiakos and Real Madrid, though none were more important than a towering header in Istanbul.
That goal sparked Liverpool’s comeback from three goals down in the 2005 final, with Gerrard inspiring his side to European Cup success for the first time in 21 years.
Frank Lampard – 23 goals
Lampard would prove a phenomenal goalscorer from midfield, enjoying a decorated career at Chelsea that would see him win every major honour and leave as the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
A symbol of a new era at Stamford Bridge under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, Lampard would prove the heartbeat of a side which established themselves amongst Europe’s elite.
He would transfer his goalscoring exploits onto the European stage, notably scoring in Chelsea’s 2008 final defeat against Manchester United, before finally landing the game’s biggest prize four years later – acting as captain in the absence of John Terry.
His 23 goals are the third highest total by an English player, and he is one of just six Englishmen to have scored in a Champions League final.
Paul Scholes – 24 goals
The only two-time winner of the tournament on our list, Scholes would twice lift the famous trophy during a glittering career at hometown club Manchester United.
Having come through the club’s famed youth academy as part of the ‘Class of 92’, Scholes would help form the nucleus of a side that would dominate domestically and achieve success further from home.
No English player has ever featured more times in the competition than Scholes, who scored 24 goals in 124 appearances during his Old Trafford career.
He would score one of the great goals in the club’s history on Europe’s biggest stage, a stunning semi-final winner against Barcelona during the club’s triumphant 2008 campaign.
Wayne Rooney – 30 goals
The greatest English goalscorer in Champions League history made an immediate impact in the tournament, scoring a superb hat-trick on his Manchester United debut against Fenerbahce as a fresh faced 18-year-old talent.
That treble would be the first three of 30 Champions League goals scored by United’s all-time record goalscorer, who would be part of the side which won the competition against Chelsea in Moscow in 2008 and reach three finals in four years.
Rooney would also score in the club’s final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley three seasons later, his tally putting him level with the likes of Kaka and Samuel Eto’o in the all-time rankings and ahead of Barcelona great Rivaldo.
It is quite some company to keep.
*stats updated as of 14/04/2020