UEFA Champions League top scorers by season – 2001 to 2023

UEFA Champions League highest goal scorers by season (group stage to final) 2001 to 2023

Step into the storied history of the UEFA Champions League, where footballing titans have left an indelible mark on the game. Among the pantheon of greats, two names stand tall – Messi and Ronaldo, whose dominance in the scoring charts has been nothing short of legendary.

From the early 2000s to 2023, these icons have ruled the tournament with their unparalleled skill and insatiable hunger for goals.

Join us as we embark on a journey spanning over two decades, reliving the magic of Messi and Ronaldo’s goal-scoring exploits that have defined the very essence of the Champions League from 2001 to 2023.

List of UEFA Champions League top scorers by season 2001 to 2023

Champions League Top Scorers

Champions League Top Scorers

Season Player and Club Goals
2022/23 Erling Haaland (Man City) 12
2021/22 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 15
2020/21 Erling Haaland (Dortmund) 10
2019/20 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern) 15
2018/19 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 12
2017/18 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 15
2016/17 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 12
2015/16 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 16
2014/15 Messi & Neymar (Barcelona), Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 10
2013/14 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 17
2012/13 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 12
2011/12 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 14
2010/11 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 12
2009/10 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 8
2008/09 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 9
2007/08 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) 8
2006/07 Kaká (AC Milan) 10
2005/06 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan) 9
2004/05 Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) 8
2003/04 Fernando Morientes (Monaco) 9
2002/03 Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) 12
2001/02 Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United) 10
2000/01 Raúl González (Real Madrid) 7

UEFA Champions League Record

The greatest individual goalscoring season in UEFA Champions League history came in 2013-14

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored 17 times, making a huge contribution to their title win.

Messi and Ronaldo in Champions League scoring history

In 2007/08, Cristiano Ronaldo emerged as a force to be reckoned with, representing Manchester United and scoring 8 goals. This marked the beginning of his journey towards becoming a dominant force in the Champions League.

The 2008/09 season saw Lionel Messi of Barcelona scoring 9 goals, setting the stage for his future dominance in the competition. This season marked the inception of Messi’s remarkable scoring prowess in the Champions League.

From 2019/20, when Lewandowski clinched the title, until then, either Messi or Ronaldo consistently ruled the Champions League scoring charts. Their names became synonymous with goal-scoring excellence in the tournament, each pushing the other to greater heights season after season.

In the 2022/23 season, Erling Haaland, representing Manchester City, showed his scoring prowess, netting an impressive 12 goals throughout the tournament.

The previous season 2021/22, Karim Benzema of Real Madrid led the charge with an outstanding tally of 15 goals, showing his undeniable talent on the grand stage.

However, Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund swiftly emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the 2020/21 season, securing the top scorer spot with 10 goals, setting the stage for a potential striking rivalry akin to the legendary Ronaldo-Messi duels.

The Early 2000s and Mid-2000s Goal Scoring in the Champions League

In the mid-2000s, Kaká lit up the Champions League with AC Milan, scoring 10 goals in the 2006/07 season, while Andriy Shevchenko netted 9 goals in 2005/06.

Ruud van Nistelrooy dominated the early 2000s Champions League, scoring multiple times for Manchester United. In 2001/02, he netted 10 goals, followed by 12 in 2002/03. Even in 2004/05, he made an impact with 8 goals. His consistency and scoring ability solidified his status as one of the tournament’s greats.

Fernando Morientes impressed for Monaco in 2003/04 with 9 goals and in 2000/01, Raúl González led Real Madrid with 7 goals.

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