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A new dawn; Champions League without Messi, Ronaldo et al

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ronaldo messi champions league
Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi. Photo/Lithub
  • The premier club competition, Champions League in Europe is here
  • It is bound to be even more competitive this season
  • The competition will be without some of the most iconic names

The premier club competition in Europe is here and it is bound to be even more competitive. However, for the first time in two decades, the competition will be without some of the most iconic names to have graced European football and influenced the global game as well. None of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will grace the Champions League this season, unless something changes mid-season and some audacious moves are made.

A few seasons ago, it would be unthinkable that two of the most successful footballers would still be actively playing but not be in the Champions League squads. Well, that time is here, as Ronaldo plies his trade in Asia, with Saudi Pro League side Al Nasr while Lionel Messi is in the MLS with Inter Miami. The exits of Ronaldo and Messi leave Robert Lewandowski as the highest scorer currently active in the Champions League.

The Barcelona man has 91 goals in the competition, and we can bet on him adding to the tally. This will definitely be a good way to make use of the available offers that the best football betting websites for new customers have in store, the likes of William Hill, Betfred, Coral and more, as reviewed on

Combined Totals

cristiano ronaldo and lionel messi

Cristiano Ronaldo with Lionel Messi. Photo/The Indian Express

Combined, Messi and Ronaldo have scored 269 UEFA Champions League goals; a highlight of their contributions to their various teams during their prime playing time. Ronaldo was the undisputed king here, with his 140 goals coming in stints served in England, Spain and Italy, at Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. There will probably be no one to break Ronaldo’s record in the foreseeable future, seeing that Lewandowski is about 50 goals short, and considering his age too.

Lionel Messi did achieve his tally of 129 goals across the two teams he played for in Europe – Barcelona and PSG. Among the players in the top 10 list of highest scorers in the UEFA Champions League, only Lewandowski, at Barcelona, and Thomas Muller, of Bayern Munich are still actively playing in Europe, and are set to feature in this season’s competition. Muller will start this season with 53 Champions League goals, all scored at Bayern Munich.

UCL Titles

Lionel Messi champions league

Lionel Messi won Champions League with Barcelona. Photo/Eurosport

Messi’s tally didn’t come without the Champions League title; he won four of them, all at Barcelona while Cristiano Ronaldo won five; four with Real Madrid and one with Manchester United. Another record the Portuguese forward takes with him is the fact that he remains the only man to have scored in three Champions League finals. Messi however beats him to another stat, that of being the player to have scored most Champions League goals at one club – 120 goals at Barcelona.

Ronaldo scored 105 of his goals while playing for Real Madrid. In 12 straight seasons, from 2007/08 to 2018/19, either Ronaldo or Messi finished as the Champions League top scorer. In 2014/15 though, they were joined by Neymar, the three players managing 10 goals each.

No player has scored more in a single season than Ronaldo’s 17 goals in 2013/14. That was just the fifth time in the tournament’s history for a player to hit 15 or more goals – three times it was Ronaldo, while Lewandowski and Benzema have done it once apiece. Apart from Messi and Ronaldo, the other top players missing in this season’s competition are Neymar and Karim Benzema, who moved to Saudi Arabia.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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