Arguably the most difficult club competition, Champions League witnesses the top European clubs and players facing off against each other for eternal glory. With qualifying touted as an achievement in itself, many clubs spend millions in transfer window to secure a Champions League berth. It takes for the mightiest to have a prolonged run in the tournament, bringing out the best in each player. Many have succumbed under the pressure of the great European nights, while others have thrived at it to a make name for themselves.
Let us look at the players who have topped the scoring charts in the Champions League history:
The Polish striker is on a dream run, scoring goals for fun in the last couple of seasons. Arguably the most in-form player in the world right now, Lewandowski was a huge part of the all-conquering Bayern Munich side as they ended last campaign with a Champions League title. He rose to fame with Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp as they lost the 2013 final to Bayern. The striker attained legendary status following his move to the current German champions.
Lewandowski is an intelligent centre forward, who takes up good attacking positions and moves quickly into spaces to receive the ball. He can stretch the opposition defence with his diagonal runs, making room for other attackers. He has the ability to score with both his feet, and has a feather like first touch in a crowded penalty box. With 71 goals to his name in the Champions League, Lewandowski is in the right place to score more in the future.
The Argentine attacker has been Barcelona’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for over a decade now. With his sudden burst of pace and brilliant ball control, Messi can break up any defence in the world. He is a lethal finisher in the penalty box as his teammates pass the ball to him at every opportunity. He played a pivotal role in all four Champions League titles Barcelona won in his time at the club.
The two Champions League final goals against Manchester United in 2009 and 2011 elevated Messi’s position among the world’s best. He has continuously blossomed in the competition, scoring vital goals for his club when they needed him the most. Till date, the 33-year-old has 119 Champions League goals to his name and will hope to add a few more in the remaining years of his career.
Ronaldo is one of the few players to have excelled at every club he has played so far. After impressing as a youth at Sporting Lisbon, Sir Alex Ferguon brought the footballing genius to Old Trafford in 2003. Ronaldo took his time but transformed into one of the best in the business, winning a Champions League in 2008 and losing another in the 2009 final.
It was at Real Madrid, he reached his maximum potential. Ronaldo won four Champions League titles at the Santiago Bernabeu, playing a huge role in all those wins. With 134 goals, Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the tournament. The Portuguese superstar is at his best in European nights as Juventus are the latest club to benefit from his services.