The Champions League is commonly regarded as the world’s most prestigious club competition, with a number of the world’s best players and clubs competing for the trophy each season.
Several famous players have competed in the competition in the past and present, but only a handful have succeeded in capturing the cup. The players who compete come from all over the world, but only a few achieve glory in Europe, and we look at five individuals who have scored in the group stages.
Top 5 players with the most goals in UCL group stage matches
Lionel Messi: 76 goals in 81 games
Lionel Messi is the second-highest goalscorer in Champions League history, but there has never been a better goal scorer in the group stages than the Argentinian. In the group stage, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 76 goals in just 81 games, which is one of the key reasons why the clubs he plays for almost always advance to the knockout stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 73 goals in 98 games
Cristiano Ronaldo, the all-time leading striker in Champions League history, sits second on the list with 73 goals in the group stage. The 36-year-old is undoubtedly the competition’s most prolific matchwinner, and he’ll be looking to add to his record before hanging up his boots.
Robert Lewandowski: 56 goals in 61 games
Over the last two to three years, Robert Lewandowski has established himself as the best striker in the world, hitting goals for joy for both club and country. He has scored 56 goals in just 61 group stage games and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Karim Benzema: 56 goals in 79 games
Since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, Karim Benzema has emerged as the club’s finest player, and the Frenchman has become the club’s talisman. The striker has been outstanding for Madrid in the group stages, and he will be expected to keep up his form as long as he stays at the Bernabeu.
Raul: 53 goals in 96 games
Raul is regarded as one of Spain’s and Real Madrid’s finest players, and the striker was the team’s fulcrum throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In the group stages, the now-retired legend scored 53 goals, with a few more crucial goals in the knockout stages.