Records Ronaldo and Messi have not broken (yet)April 18, 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s ongoing battle to be the top goalscorer in European football remains perhaps the sport’s greatest drama of our age, but both need to raise their game considerably if they are to scoop the following European Champion Clubs’ Cup and UEFA Champions League records.
Most goals in European Cup finals: 7 – Alfrédo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás (both Real Madrid)
Goals in most European Cup finals: 5 – Alfrédo Di Stefano (Real Madrid, 1956, 1957, 1958. 1959, 1960)
Most goals in a single European Cup final: 4 – Ferenc Puskás (Real Madrid, 1960)
Most goals in a single UEFA Champions League final: 2 – Daniele Massaro (AC Milan, 1994), Karl-Heinz Riedle (Borussia Dortmund, 1997), Hernán Crespo (Milan, 2005), Filippo Inzaghi (Milan, 2007), Diego Milito (Internazionale Milano, 2010)
With two finals goals each – and only one in any single final (Messi in 2009 and 2011, Ronaldo in 2008 and 2014) – Ronaldo and Messi both have a way to go to emulate the all-time final star strikers. Two other players have also scored in two UEFA Champions League finals: Raúl González (Real Madrid, 2000, 2002) and Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona, 2006, 2009).
Goals in European Cup/UEFA Champions League stages
Most UEFA Champions League group stage goals: Raúl González (53)
Most European Cup/UEFA Champions League semi-final goals: Alfrédo Di Stéfano (11)
Raúl’s twin records as the leading UEFA Champions League and UEFA club competition goalscorer have been surpassed by Ronaldo (who now holds both) and Messi, but the ex-Madrid ace retains his status as the all-time top marksman in the UEFA Champions League group stage; Messi on 47 and Ronaldo on 49 may surpass that mark yet.
Di Stéfano lost his quarter-final record to Ronaldo this season, but remains king in terms of semi-final goals, though his throne is increasingly vulnerable. Ronaldo has registered ten in the semis; Messi has four.
Success with different sides
Final wins with the most teams in the UEFA Champions League: 3 – Clarence Seedorf (Ajax 1995, Real Madrid 1998, Milan 2003, 2007)
Highest number of teams scored for in the UEFA Champions League: 6 – Zlatan Ibrahimović (Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain)
Cristiano Ronaldo is unique in having scored in UEFA Champions League finals for two different winning sides – Manchester United in 2008 and Madrid in 2014. The luckless Velibor Vasović is the only other player to net in European Cup finals for two clubs, as a loser with Partizan in 1966 and Ajax in 1969. Ronaldo will require a transfer if he is to match Clarence Seedorf’s unique achievement of winning the competition with three separate teams.
Ibrahimović’s record looks even safer from Messi and Ronaldo, who would have to start moving clubs regularly – while still scoring – to make it to six. All of Messi’s goals to date have come for Barcelona, while Ronaldo has only found the target for United and Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
UEFA Champions League final: Paolo Maldini (36 years 333 days) Milan v Liverpool (25/05/2005)
UEFA Champions League, group stage to final: Francesco Totti (38 years 59 days)
CSKA Moskva v Roma (25/11/2014)
European Cup: Manfred Burgsmüller (38 years 293 days)
Werder Bremen v Dynamo Berlin (11/10/1988)
If our dynamic duo are to eclipse Maldini’s record as the oldest final scorer, they will have to be patient. Ronaldo’s first chance will be in the 2021/22 final, while Messi will not be in line until the 2023/24 showpiece – and only then provided it does not take place before 23 May, in which case he would have to wait another year.
To overtake the UEFA Champions League oldest scorer mark, Ronaldo will need to register in the competition, group stage to final, after 1 April 2023, and Messi after 22 August 2025. To become the European Cup’s all-time oldest scorer, Ronaldo will have to hit the target after 22 November 2023, and Messi after 13 April 2026.
Fastest UEFA Champions League goal: Roy Makaay (10.12 seconds)
Bayern München v Real Madrid (07/03/2007)
Fastest UEFA Champions League final goal: Paolo Maldini (53 seconds) Milan v Liverpool (25/05/2005)
Roy Makaay has established a somewhat daunting target with his strike pretty much straight from the kick-off against Madrid. Ronaldo and Messi’s earliest UEFA Champions League efforts both came in the fourth minute – Ronaldo for Madrid against Juventus in October 2013, andMessi against FC Basel 1893 in October 2008.
Paolo Maldini’s quickfire final goal versus Liverpool is also a mark neither Ronaldo nor Messi have come close to achieving; both of Messi’s final goals were in the second half, with the earliest of Ronaldo’s two coming 26 minutes into the 2008 decider with Chelsea in Moscow.
Fastest UEFA Champions League hat-trick: Bafétimbi Gomis (8 mins)
Dinamo Zagreb v Olympique Lyonnais, 07/12/2011
Hat-tricks in consecutive UEFA Champions League games: Luiz Adriano (2)
FC BATE Borisov v Shakhtar Donetsk (21/10/14) & Shakhtar Donetsk v FC BATE Borisov (05/11/14)
Messi and Ronaldo share the record for UEFA Champions League hat-tricks – five each – though neither has outstripped Bafétimbi Gomis’s lightning-quick treble against Dinamo. The swiftest of Messi’s hat-tricks – his first – took 22 minutes (v Arsenal FC, 06/04/10), though a mere 16 minutes separated his second and fourth strikes in his five-goal salvo against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on 7 March 2012. Ronaldo’s 12-minute treble against Malmö on matchday six is his fastest to date.
Luiz Adriano broke new ground by scoring back-to-back UEFA Champions League trios against BATE last term – five goals in the first group meeting and three in the second.
Goals in most successive UEFA Champions League seasons: Raúl González (14)
Goals in most UEFA Champions League seasons: Ryan Giggs (16)
Sporting CP did not get through qualifying in Ronaldo’s only attempt with the club, and the forward then failed to net in his first two UEFA Champions League seasons with United. However, he has registered in the last ten campaigns – and ten in all – meaning he must keep playing and scoring for five more seasons to catch Raúl. To replicate Giggs’s total he may – like the Welshman – need to play on until he is over 40.
There were no false starts for Messi, who has now scored in 11 UEFA Champions League campaigns, but he will be well into his 30s before he can trouble Raúl or Giggs in this respect.
Most goals in a single European season: Radamel Falcao (18), Porto 2010/11
Falcao’s glorious exploits in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League set a mark that Messi and Ronaldo have been unable to emulate. The Colombian’s haul included one goal in qualifying and 17 in the competition proper. Messi’s best year came in 2011/12 when he ended the European season with 14 strikes, while Ronaldo set a new European Cup/UEFA Champions League record with 17 in 2013/14.
Goals in most consecutive appearances:Ruud van Nistelrooy (9), Manchester United, 2002/03
Best goals per game average in European Cup/UEFA Champions League: 0.97 – Gerd Müller (Bayern)
Best goals per game average in UEFA club competition*: 0.90 – Radamel Falcao (Porto, Club Atlético de Madrid)
Ruud van Nistelrooy did not figure in all United’s games in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League but managed to score in nine straight appearances in that campaign – ten if you include his goal in qualifying. Ronaldo has come the closest to bettering that mark, with strikes in eight successive 2013/14 outings.
However, when it comes to goals per match, Ronaldo cannot compete with the all-time record holders. His UEFA Champions League record stands at 0.71 a game – 89 goals in 125 games – and it is 0.71 in all UEFA club competitions – 91 in 128. Messi has registered more consistently (0.78 in the UEFA Champions League – 80 goals in 102 games; 0.78 in all UEFA competitions – 83 in 106). While Falcao’s awesome total may yet come down if he returns to regular European action, Gerd Müller’s European Cup ratio still seems unbeatable.
*UEFA club competitions means European Champion Clubs’ Cup/UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, European/South American Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Intertoto Cup