Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battle for the ball in Barcelona's Champions League game against Juventus, Camp Nou, Barcelona, December 2020

The 10 players with the most Champions League goals & assists

The Champions League is seen as the pinnacle of club football and the competition where a number of legendary players have forged their reputations as all-time greats.

But which have been the European competition’s greatest difference-makers when it comes to the final third? There have been some incredible goalscorers and spellbinding playmakers, but it takes something special to score goals and set them up.

We’ve taken a look at the 10 players with the most goals and assists in Champions League history.

10. Thierry Henry – 66

Famously the only player in Premier League history to score and assist 20+ goals in a single campaign, Henry was also able to finish and create at the very top level.

The Frenchman scored 50 goals (seven for Monaco, 35 for Arsenal and eight for Barcelona) in the Champions League and chipped in with a further 16 assists for good measure.

9. Ruud van Nistelrooy – 72

The Dutchman was one of the most lethal strikers of his generation and represented both Manchester United and Real Madrid in Europe’s most prestigious cup competition – but he never got his hands on ol’ big ears.

Van Nistelrooy couldn’t have conceivably much more on an individual basis, having notched 56 goals and 16 assists from just 73 Champions League appearances.

Erling Haaland has just broken his record for most goals in a Champions League season for a Premier League club – 12 goals as Manchester United reached the quarter-finals in 2022-23.

8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 74

Ibrahimovic has won no fewer than 14 league titles in a career that’s spanned over two decades. He’s turned out for some of Europe’s elite clubs and notched 74 direct goal contributions (48 goals, 26 assists) but the Champions League remains elusive.

The 41-year-old has not been included in AC Milan’s Champions League squad this season and won’t receive a winner’s medal if the Rossoneri go all the way.

7. Neymar – 76

Of the players that make up the top 10, Neymar has the most balanced proportion of goals (43) and assists (33) – doing so from just 81 appearances.

The Brazilian’s world-record move to PSG hasn’t delivered the Ballon d’Or he’s coveted, nor the Champions League glory that’s their obsession – but don’t let it be forgotten he’s not an exceptional player when fit and available.

6. Thomas Muller – 81

Only seven players in Champions League history have more assists than Bayern Munich’s Raumdeuter (27).

Muller is also seventh in the competition’s all-time top scorers list with 53 goals. He’s also won it twice, having shone in the Bavarians’ historic treble-winning campaigns of 2012-13 and 2019-20.

5. Raul – 87

The legendary Spanish striker boasted a perfect one-in-two goalscoring record with 71 goals in 142 Champions League appearances for Real Madrid and Schalke.

Raul also chipped in with a further 16 assists.

4. Robert Lewandowski – 113

Now we’re into stratospheric territory.

Lewandowski is the Champions League’s third all-time top scorer with 91 goals in 111 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

The Poland international has a further 22 assists.

3. Karim Benzema – 119

Benzema made his Champions League debut for boyhood club Lyon all the way back in 2005.

He’s won the competition no fewer than five times with Real Madrid and started in each and every final.

The forward has been an elite player for almost two decades but he’s arguably peaked in his thirties.

Since Cristiano Ronaldo left the Bernabeu in 2018, Benzema has notched 34 goals and eight assists in 46 Champions League appearances – which takes his total tally to 90 goals and 29 assists.

King Karim has been particularly deadly in the knockout stages. The epitome of a big-game player.

Karim Benzema celebrates after Real Madrid win the Champions League final. Stade de France, 28th May, 2022.

READ: The top 10 Champions League knockout scorers: Ronaldo, Messi, Benzema…

2. Lionel Messi – 169

Currently runner-up for both goals (129) and assists (40), it’s no surprise that Messi sits in second place, miles clear of the rest of the competition.

Arguably the greatest player in history, Messi will have ambitions of overtaking his eternal rival for both goals and assists by the time he hangs up his boots.

Erling Haaland is the only other player that boasts a better-than-goal-or-assist-per-game ratio. Messi’s 169 direct goal contributions have come from just 163 Champions League appearances.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 182

The undisputed king of the Champions League, Ronaldo has surely played his last game in the competition but it’s not unthinkable that his record stands unbeaten forever.

That 38-year-old stands as the European Cup’s all-time top goalscorer (140) and assister (42).

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