Real Madrid’s five highest goalscorers in Champions League history
Posted on December 02, 2019
For many clubs the Champions League is the pinnacle, but for Real Madrid it remains an obsession.
The Spanish giants have a special relationship with Europe’s premier competition, with no side in history having been crowned champions of the continent on more occasions than Los Blancos.
The club’s Bernabeu home has played host to some of the game’s most iconic stars, with several having produced their most memorable moments on Champions League nights.
We’ve decided to look back at some of the club’s greatest, with a look at Real Madrid‘s five highest goal scorers in Champions League history, as per iSports API data.
5. Gareth Bale; Luis Figo; Guti – 16 goals
The Welsh winger may be enduring an unhappy time in the Spanish capital at present, but there can be no denying Bale’s contribution to Real’s unprecedented success in the Champions League in recent seasons.
Having arrived in a world-record deal in 2013, Bale would help the La Liga side to win the elusive La Decima title in 2014, scoring in the final victory over city rivals Atletico.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man would then play his part in a hat-trick of consecutive titles between 2016 and 2018, the latter of which he came off the bench to score twice against Liverpool – the first of which was arguably one of the greatest goals in the competition’s history, according to iSports API.
A four-time winner, Bale has scored 16 Champions League goals in 53 appearances since moving to the Bernabeu, a figure also matched by two midfield talents of the club’s first Galactico era – Luis Figo and Guti.
4. Fernando Morientes – 17 goals
Part of the Real Madrid side who won three Champions League trophies between 1998 and 2002, Morientes enjoyed a hugely successful eight-year spell at the club after joining from Real Zaragoza before being squeezed out as the Galactico era began at the Bernabeu.
A goalscorer in the competition’s first ever final between two teams from the same country in 2000, Morientes scored 17 Champions League goals for the club before departing on loan to Monaco, where he famously finished as the tournament’s top scorer and scored in both legs of their victory over parent club Real Madrid.
The Spaniard joined Liverpool the next season, but he was cup-tied for their miraculous Champions League final triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul.
3. Karim Benzema – 48 goals
An arguably underrated presence in a Real Madrid side that has dominated the Champions League in recent seasons, Karim Benzema has won the competition four times since moving to the Bernabeu from Lyon in 2009.
Having helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side to La Decima in 2014, Benzema would be part of the side that would become the first of the Champions League era to retain the trophy by winning three consecutive editions between 2016 and 2018.
A goalscorer in fortuitous circumstances in the latter final victory against Liverpool, Benzema has often scored goals at crucial moments in big European fixtures and has an impressive one in two record, scoring 48 Champions League goals in just 96 appearances for the club, as per iSports API.
2. Raul – 66 goals
An iconic figure at the Bernabeu, the former Spain striker would come through the ranks at the club before establishing himself as one of their greatest ever goalscorers, whilst he would also become the Champions League’s most prolific forward until the arrival of the Lionel Messi/Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Raul would help the Spanish giants to three Champions League titles with five years between 1998 and 2002, scoring in deciders against Valencia and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.
Named as UEFA Club Forward of the Year for three successive seasons at the turn of the millennium, the former club captain is regarded as one of the best players in Real Madrid’s long and illustrious history and scored 66 goals in the famous white shirt.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 105 goals
The greatest goalscorer in the history of both Real Madrid and the Champions League, the Portuguese superstar has often turned Europe’s elite tournament into his own personal playground during a glittering career at some of the continent’s leading clubs.
Having moved to the Bernabeu in a world-record move from Manchester United in 2009, Ronaldo would hit a staggering 105 Champions League goals in just 101 appearances during nine seasons in the Spanish capital, helping the club to lift the trophy on four occasions and extend their record to 13 European Cups, recorded by iSports API.
He would become the first player to win the trophy five times in the Champions League era, whilst also becoming the first player ever to score in three separate finals. His incredible list of records include the most goals in a single Champions League campaign (17), becoming the only player to score in 10 consecutive games and the most assists in the tournament’s history.
Five most expensive signings in Bundesliga history
Germany’s Bundesliga clubs broke their record transfer spend in the 2019 summer transfer window, with the 18 clubs splashing out around £670m on new talent. Notable arrivals to the division included the likes of Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho, whilst stars such as Benjamin Pavard, Mats Hummels and Thorgan Hazard transferred between divisional rivals. Following another summer of spending, where do the new additions rank in terms of the Bundesliga’s biggest ever buys? Here are the six most expensive signings in Bundesliga history, and it’s a list unsurprisingly dominated by one club, as per iSports API data. Arturo Vidal Juventus to Bayern Munich – €37m The powerhouse midfielder had spent four impressive years in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen before departing for Serie A and Juventus, before Bayern Munich opted to bring the Chilean back to German football in a €37m deal n 2015. Three seasons in Munich would deliver three successive Bundesliga titles, with Vidal bringing tenacity to his role as a box-to-box midfielder. He would also win one German Cup and two German Super Cups, scoring 22 goals in 123 appearances for the club before leaving for Barcelona in 2018, as per iSports API. Mario Götze Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich – €37m Having been a key figure in the Dortmund side which won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, emerging star Götze shocked the club in 2013 by announcing he would be leaving for rivals Bayern Munich. The timing of the announcement sparked anger and came on the eve of the club’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid, with the news that the Dortmund starlet would defect for the Bavarian giants. Götze’s decision was in part due to the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager in Munich, though the attacking midfielder struggled to establish himself as an undisputed first choice. Three seasons at Bayern brought three successive titles, though having found himself on the periphery and returned to Dortmund in 2016. Gotze looks like he will never quite fulfil that early promise, although he can console himself with having scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup. Javi Martinez Athletic Bilbao to Bayern – €40m Bayern Munich broke the Bundesliga transfer-record to sign midfielder Javi Martinez in 2012, activating the Spaniard’s €40m release clause in his Athletic Bilbao contract. Since his arrival from La Liga seven years ago, Martinez has won a host of trophies in Munich, including seven successive league titles, four German Cups and the 2013 Champions League, according to iSports API. Now 31, he continues to play an important role in the Bayern squad, with his ability to be equally adept in central midfield or at centre-back proving invaluable. Corentin Tolisso Lyon to Bayern Munich – €47.5m Despite boasting a wealth of midfield talent, serial Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich once again broke the league’s transfer-record in 2017, as Lyon midfielder Tolisso moved to Munich in a deal worth up to €47.5m in 2017. The 25-year-old scored 10 goals in 40 appearances during his debut season at the club, before a ruptured cruciate ligament injury hindered his progress and saw him miss the majority of the 2018/19 season, as per iSports API. An athletic box-to-box midfielder who is comfortable in a variety of midfield roles, Tolisso will hope to re-establish himself in the Bayern side this season as the club seek a record-extending 29th league title. Lucas Hernandez Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich – €80m The most expensive signing of Germany’s 2019 summer transfer window and the most expensive in Bundesliga history, champions Bayern Munich secured the signing of Atletico Madrid’s French international Hernandez for a fee of €80m. The 23-year-old played a key role as France were crowned world champions in 2018 and had impressed in La Liga during his time in the Spanish capital, also helping Diego Simeone’s side to the 2018 Europa League. Comfortable centrally or at left-back, he bolsters a defensive line already including the likes of Niklas Süle and Jerome Boateng and will be looking to establish himself as a leading figure in Niko Kovac’s side. A knee injury delayed his start to life in Munich but having now returned to full fitness, will be hoping to make a major impact following his arrival in Germany.
Rating the six players with the most Champions League hat-tricks
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski joined an exclusive list of players on Tuesday night, scoring four times against Red Star Belgrade to become just the sixth player in history to score three or more Champions League hat-tricks. Lewandowski’s fine form has seen him score 10 times already in this season’s group stage, but how does the prolific Pole compare to the players with the most Champions League trebles? Here are six players with the most Champions League hat-tricks, according to iSports API data. Mario Gomez – 3 hat-tricks The veteran forwards three hat-tricks all came during a successful and trophy-laden four-year spell at Bayern Munich, in which Gomez helped the club to seven honours including the 2013 Champions League. Gomez’ first treble came in a 4-0 group stage thrashing of CFR Cluj in November 2010, before repeating the feat almost a year to the day the following season in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Napoli at the Allianz Arena. The German got his third hat-trick during a 7-0 humiliation of Basel in the last-16 in 2012, helping himself to a four goal haul as Bayern recovered from a 1-0 first leg defeat to set a new record for biggest ever knock-out stage victory. A regular goal scorer at Champions League level, Gomez has scored 26 goals in 44 appearances in the tournament for Stuttgart and Bayern, recorded by iSports API. Luiz Adriano – 3 hat-tricks Perhaps a surprising name on this list, the Brazilian was for some time Shakhtar Donetsk’s go-to man as the Ukrainian side looked to make an impression on Europe’s biggest stage, netting his first Champions League treble in a 5-2 group stage victory over FC Nordsjælland in 2012. Adriano gained notoriety two years later however, becoming the first player in history to score hat-tricks in back-to-back games, a feat since matched by only Cristiano Ronaldo. Bate Borisov were the forward’s victims on both occasions, being thrashed by an aggregate score of 12-0 over two group stage fixtures, whilst the first of those meetings saw Adriano become just the second player in the tournament’s history to score five times in a single fixture. The former AC Milan and Spartak Moscow forward can be proud of his records, however, his lack of impact at the business end of the tournament counts against him in our rankings. Filippo Inzaghi – 3 hat-tricks An iconic penalty-box poacher of European football, Inzaghi would enjoy a stellar career at the likes of Juventus and AC Milan. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Raul have scored more than Inzaghi’s 70 goals in European club competition, with 46 of those strikes coming at Champions League level. That total is boosted by a record of three hat-tricks, the first coming in 4-1 victory against Dynamo Kiev for Juventus in 1998 before also netting a treble for the Turin side in an entertaining 4-4 draw with Hamburg two years later, according to iSports API. The Italian’s greatest success on the European stage would come with Milan, however, twice lifting the trophy which included scoring a match-winning brace in the 2007 final against Liverpool in Athens. Inzaghi scored a third Champions League hat-trick prior to that, hitting a treble in a 4-0 away victory at Deportivo La Coruna. A prolific scorer on football’s biggest stage and a two-time Champions League winner, Inzaghi scores highly in our ratings. Robert Lewandowski – 3 hat-tricks The latest player to join this list courtesy of a four-goal haul against Red Star Belgrade, the Bayern Munich forward is arguably enjoying the finest form of his career at present. The Polish international has long been recognised as one of the great forwards in the world game, having hit 63 goals in just 85 Champions League appearances during spells at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern. It would be Lewandowski’s first treble that would truly announce himself as a superstar, producing one of the great individual Champions League displays to hit four goals against Real Madrid in the 2013 semi-finals. Lewandowski’s performance would help Dortmund advance to a final meeting with Bundesliga rivals Bayern, ultimately ending in defeat in agonising fashion at Wembley. Since making the switch to Munich his incredible goalscoring exploits have continued, the 31-year-old hitting his second treble against Dinamo Zagreb in 2015 before his one-man demolition of Red Star. His latest showing saw him score four times in just 14 minutes, Lewandowski joining Lionel Messi as only the second player to score four or more Champions League goals in two different matches. Cristiano Ronaldo – 8 hat-tricks Holding the joint record for most Champions League hat-tricks is Juventus superstar Cristi**ano Ronaldo, with perhaps no player in history having thrived quite as much on European club football’s biggest stage. The most prolific goalscorer in the history of the competition, Ronaldo became the first player in the Champions League era to win the trophy five times, also becoming the only player to score in three separate finals. Ronaldo’s feats include scoring back-to-back hat-tricks against Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the knockout stages as Real Madrid would win the second of three consecutive titles in 2017, remarkably netting two trebles within the space of 14 days in the latter stages of the tournament. Ronaldo would score seven hat-tricks during his spell in the Spanish capital before adding an eighth during his debut season at Juventus, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner having scored an incredible 127 goals in 167 appearances in the Champions League, as per iSports API. His move to Juventus was confirmed with the hope Ronaldo could inspire the Turin side to an elusive Champions League title, few would back against the forward delivering. Lionel Messi – 8 hat-tricks Level with Ronaldo is generational rival Lionel Messi, the duo having vied for the position of world’s best player for over a decade. The Barcelona star has lifted the trophy on four occasions with the Catalan side, scoring 113 Champions League goals in just 139 appearances during a glittering career at the Camp Nou. Those goals include eight hat-tricks, memorably dismantling Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal with a four-goal haul in a quarter-final in 2010 for his first Champions League treble, before becoming the first player in the competition’s history to score five times in a single fixture against Bayer Leverkusen two years later. The first of those performances led to former Arsenal boss Wenger describing Messi as the greatest player he had ever seen, and who are we to argue with that assessment?
Rating the 10 managers to have won the Premier League title
Only 10 managers have tasted the ultimate success since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, owing largely to the serial success of a certain Scot at Old Trafford. Remarkably no English manager is yet to win the country’s top flight since the formation of the Premier League, Howard Wilkinson at Leeds the last Englishman to have seen his side crowned champions in the season prior to the competition’s inaugural campaign. That said, several coaching greats have plied their trade in English football in the years since, and we’ve decided to rate each of the exclusive eight title-winning managers. Here is the Football Faithful‘s rating of the eight managers to win the Premier League, according to iSports API. Sir Alex Ferguson The Manchester United great would guide the club to the league title in the Premier League’s first-ever season, ending the club’s long title drought before overseeing two decades of domestic dominance. During his 26-year dynasty at the club he would win 36 trophies, including a record-breaking 13 Premier League titles as he evolved his winning machine at Old Trafford. Ferguson once famously said his greatest challenge was knocking arch-rivals Liverpool ‘off their f** perch’, a promise he made good on as he eclipsed their 18 title landmark before retiring following United’s 20th league success in 2013. From the iconic hairdryer to the manipulative mind games, they simply don’t make them like Fergie anymore, arguably the greatest manager in the history of the game. Rating: 10/10 Kenny Dalglish The first side to challenge the dominance of Manchester United were Blackburn Rovers, who backed by Jack Walker’s millions began an ambitious project to conquer English football. Guided by former Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish and propelled by the goals of Alan Shearer, Blackburn would deliver the ultimate success following a tantalising title race that would go down to the final day. Dalglish had guided the club to promotion to the top flight and on to a Premier League title triumph, but his switch to a Director of Football position coincided with the club’s decline. He would later enjoy less successful spells at Newcastle and Liverpool, though remains one of a select few managers to have won titles with two different English clubs, having won the old Division One three times in his first spell with Liverpool pre-Premier League. Rating: 5/10 Arsene Wenger An unknown upon his arrival at Highbury from Japanese football, Arsene Wenger would go on to become a revolutionary figure in the history of the Premier League. The Frenchman would help end Arsenal’s famed drinking culture and introduced innovative sports science methods, whilst his ability to unearth unheralded gems from foreign soils helped him develop a formidable side in North London. His early years would see him twice win a league and FA Cup double, before embarking on one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of English football by guiding Arsenal to an unbeaten season in 2003/04, becoming the first side in 115 years to complete a season without defeat. Wenger would spend an incredible 26 years at the club, though his latter years were hindered financially by the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium and saw Arsenal endure a nine-year trophy drought, as per iSports API. New challenges following billionaire takeovers of Chelsea and Manchester City also made silverware more difficult to obtain, though Wenger undoubtedly produced one of the Premier League’s great teams in the early 2000’s. Rating: 8.5/10 ** Jose Mourinho** From the moment Jose Mourinho declared himself as ‘The Special One’ at his unveiling as Chelsea manager, the Premier League sat up and took notice. The charismatic Portuguese coach arrived at Stamford Bridge after guiding underdogs Porto to Champions League glory, and backed by Roman Abramovich’s millions turned Chelsea into a force in English football. His first season saw Chelsea end a 50 year wait for a league title, remarkably conceding just 15 goals in the process, before back-to-back titles were secured the following year. However, as has been the way for much of Mourinho’s career, his spell was short, sweet and then a little sour and he departed in surprise circumstances in 2007. Successful spells in Italy and Spain followed before a return to Chelsea, where he again guided the West London club to the league title. After leaving Stamford Bridge for a second time he would join rivals Manchester United, though despite League Cup and Europa League success a runners-up finish would be as good as it got at Old Trafford, Mourinho famously declaring their second-placed finish as amongst his greatest achievements. Undoubtedly a brilliant manager who often gains the full respect and admiration of his players, however, Mourinho’s magic often fades a little too fast. Rating: 8.5/10 Carlo Ancelotti Few managers in European football possess a CV as impressive as that of Carlo Ancelotti, who has won league titles in four countries and lifted three Champions League trophies during an illustrious career in charge of some of the continent’s leading sides. It was no surprise then that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich turned to the serial winner to take charge following unsuccessful spells under Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari, and the Italian certainly delivered instant results. Ancelotti’s debut season began with the club winning the Community Shield, before he guided Chelsea to the club’s first ever domestic double, becoming the first team in the Premier League era to score over 100 goals as his attacking side pipped Manchester United to the title. The following year, however, saw Chelsea finish without silverware and Abramovich’s trigger-happy nature was once again evident, sacking Ancelotti at the end of the 2010/11 campaign despite him boasting the third best win percentage in Premier League history, according to iSports API. Rating: 7/10 Roberto Mancini The second of four Italian’s to have lifted the Premier League title, Roberto Mancini will be an ever-popular figure at Manchester City after guiding the club to their first silverware since their billionaire takeover in 2008. Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club catapulted City into the elite of English football, and Mancini was the winner who oversaw their transition to regular contenders for the game’s biggest prizes. Having ended the longest trophy drought in the club’s history the previous season, Mancini would lead City to the Premier League title in the most dramatic conclusion to a season in history in 2011/12. Needing to win to pip rivals Manchester United to the title, City trailed at home to QPR in stoppage-time before scoring twice late on to snatch the title on goal difference, Sergio Aguero immortalising himself in Premier League history with an iconic late winner. He would, however, fail to build on that success and was sacked at the end of the following season, though his place in the club’s history is assured. Rating: 6/10 Manuel Pellegrini The first and so far only non-European manager to win the Premier League title, Manuel Pellegrini was the second Manchester City manager to see his side crowned champions of England in 2013/14. The former Real Madrid boss saw his side pip a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool to the title, Steven Gerrard’s now infamous slip handing City the title initiative and a flawless end of season run delivered the club’s second Premier League title. Pellegrini would spend three unassuming years in charge at the Etihad and whilst always a likeable character, was never truly regarded as the man to take the club to the next level as they sought Champions League success. Ushered out of the door and replaced by Pep Guardiola, he is currently in charge of West Ham where he has overseen an indifferent beginning to his time at the London Stadium. Rating: 5/10 Claudio Ranieri Perhaps the hardest of the eight managers to rate, given his relatively mediocre Premier League career was crowned with arguably the biggest anomaly in the history of English football. The former Chelsea boss was appointed as Leicester City manager in 2015, a decision which was questioned by many given the Italian’s relevant lack of success in recent roles. With Leicester having performed a miraculous recovery to escape relegation the previous season many anticipated another season of struggle despite the new coach at the helm, though what followed will live long in the memory for football fans worldwide. A strong start to the season saw Leicester build momentum, momentum which would not slow as Ranieri guided his team of underdogs to an unthinkable title triumph, the Foxes being crowned champions for the first time in their 132-year history despite being odds of 5000-1 at the season began. Their success would not transfer to the following season, however, and Ranieri was sacked, later being appointed at Fulham but lasting less than four months after winning just three of his 17 games in charge. Ranieri’s managerial career in the Premier League may be entirely forgettable, but for one unforgettable season, though that’s enough for a solid score from us. Rating: 7/10 Antonio Conte Another Chelsea manager who brought instant rewards, only to be swiftly shown the door as things began to take a turn for the worse. Conte arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2016 having previously guided Juventus to three Serie A titles, and would deliver Chelsea the ultimate success in his maiden campaign in charge. The Italian’s title-winning season was notable for a defining mid-season change in tactics, switching to his preferred 3-5-2 formation following a humbling defeat at Arsenal which proved the catalyst for a 13-game winning streak, as per iSports API. Conte would become the first manager in history to win three consecutive Premier League Manager of the Month awards, securing the title with two games to spare and setting a new record for most wins in a season in the process. Despite FA Cup success the following year the club the wheels had already begun to come off for the fiery Italian, and he was sacked amid unrest in the dressing room in July 2018. Rating: 6/10 Pep Guardiola The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager arrived in English football with a reputation as one of the greatest coaches of his generation, with the Manchester City hierarchy convinced the Spaniard was the right man to finally deliver Champions League success. Whilst that is yet to happen in Guardiola’s first three seasons at the Etihad, there can be no denying that the current City boss has left an everlasting mark on the Premier League. His first season saw the club finish third as he acclimatised to the demands of the English game, though having identified his side’s weaknesses, he would strengthen to form arguably the best team the division has ever seen. That second campaign would see City romp to the Premier League title, breaking a whole host of records including most wins, most goals, biggest winning margin and becoming the first side in history to reach 100 points. They would follow that up with another similarly impressive campaign, pushed all the way by Liverpool but delivering back-to-back titles and a huge 98 point haul. That title was joined by FA Cup and League Cup success, making City the first side ever to complete English football’s domestic treble. Aside from the extensive silverware Guardiola has implemented innovative and attractive football, his City side a relentless winning machine in what is often regarded as the most competitive league in world football. Rating: 9/10