The wait is over and from tonight Europe’s elite club’s will once again begin to do battle to win club football’s most prestigious prize, the UEFA Champions League.
There’s nothing quite like the latter stages of the Champions League for any hardcore football fan, as we watch the creme de la creme of the world game fight it out for victory. Of course, players will always tell us it’s all about ‘the team,’ but make no mistake strikers are greedy buggers and absolutely love outscoring their rivals. With that in mind, we thought we’d have a look at the five favourites to finish top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.
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Paulo Dybala 20/1
Juventus have been finalists in two of the last three seasons and after they signed five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo last summer the Serie A Champions are many peoples pick to go all the way this year.
If Juve are to get their hands on old big ears next May their mercurial playmaker Paulo Dybala, will undoubtedly have a big part to play. The 25-year-old hasn’t quite had his shooting boots on in the league this season, scoring just twice in 20 appearances.
However, Dybala has found the net five times in five outings in the Champions League, and him and his cultured left peg have a habit of making an impact in big games, so he looks a good shout to be there or thereabouts at the top of the goal scoring charts.
Edin Dzeko 16/1
Former Man City striker Dzeko has become something of a Champions League specialist in recent years, with the 32-year-old netting eight goals during Roma’s run the semi’s last season and five in just four appearances this term. Much like Dybala, Dzeko has been saving his best performances for Europe this season, having netted just five times in Serie A.
Despite Eusebio Di Francesco’s side struggling domestically, they will fancy their chances of overcoming Porto in the last 16, and when Roma win crunch games, Dzeko is usually the man who get the goals.
With PSG’s domination of French Football a given the only thing left for the Parisian club’s mega rich Qatari owners to achieve is to win Europe’s most prestigious club competition, and this is exactly why they made Brazilian superstar Neymar the most expensive footballer of all-time when they sighed him from Barcelona in the summer of 2017.
However, PSG’s star-studded squad only barely made it through the Group stages and there remain serious doubts about whether a team that plays in such an uncompetitive championship as Ligue 1 is able to raise its game to the required levels to win the Champions League.
Neymar has five goals to his name, but with it having been announced recently that he is out injured for 10 weeks, thus missing both legs of his sides last 16 tie against Manchester United, it makes it hard to justify backing him to outscore the other players on this list.
Robert Lewandowski 5/2
Bayern Munich’s 30-year-old striker is currently the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals and the prolific frontman’s pedigree is shown by the fact he sits in sixth in the all-time list.
Lewandowski has proven year in year out that he is a truly world class performer and there are few better out-and-out numbers nines in the game today. However, with Bayern’s ageing squad struggling in the Bundesliga and Liverpool up next in the last 16 it’s a tough call as to whether to lump on the Poland international or not.
Lionel Messi 15/8
The man, the myth, the legend. Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is aiming to win his fifth Champions League title this season and sits second in the scoring charts with six strikes.
The 31-year-old Argentina international is one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of all time, and has been in freakish form in La Liga scoring 21 goals and providing 10 assists in just 21 appearances.
Barca are heavy favourites to win La Liga this season and with a handy last 16 draw against French side Lyon, the Bookies make Mr.Messi the favourite to finish this season as the Champions League top scorer.