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Who’d have been Champions League top scorer without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

For the last ten seasons no one has scored more Champions League goals than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

No matter what camp you are in we can all be in agreement that we’re watching two of the greatest players in the history of the game compete in the same era.

We’re spoiled rotten.

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We wouldn’t bother doing that, Crissy

Getty Images - Getty
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We wouldn’t bother doing that, Crissy

But spare a thought for those unlucky enough to be competing alongside Messi and Ronaldo.

For the last ten seasons no one has scored more Champions League goals each campaign than the duo.

So who would have been Champions League top scorer if, whisper it quietly, Messi and Ronaldo had never quite made it?

You two are just plain greedy

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You two are just plain greedy

2007/08

In a Ronaldo/Messi-less world Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard would have shared the golden boot with Chelsea’s Didier Drogba.

The trio all scored six times, equalling Messi’s total but falling two behind Ronaldo.

Torres would technically have nicked it, given he played less minutes than both Drogba, who got all the way to the final, and Stevie G.

Vintage Torres

Times Newspapers Ltd
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Vintage Torres

2008/09

Another strong showing from Gerrard saw him score seven goals and pip everyone but Messi.

He tied with Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose but did so playing 100 minutes less, so we’re given him the award.

The highlight of Gerrard’s campaign was undoubtedly a double in Liverpool’s 4-0 win against Real Madrid before Chelsea knocked them out (again) in the quarter-finals.

Don’t bother diving for those

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Don’t bother diving for those

2009/10

Bayern Munich made it all the way to the final in 2010 but fell one short at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Inter side.

Bayern’s catalyst was Ivica Olic, who scored seven goals during the run, trailing only to Messi.

If you can’t remember what he played like, think of a Croatian James Milner with added end product.

The Croatian James Milner putting Man United to the sword

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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The Croatian James Milner putting Man United to the sword

2010/11

Another tie as Bayern’s Mario Gomez and Inter’s Samuel Eto’o both scored eight, some way behind Messi’s total of 12.

Gomez reached his eight in 634 minutes while Eto’o took 937 minutes. Efficient.

If you were wondering, Ronaldo only scored six goals, which was the same amount as Roberto Soldado scored in half the time for Valencia.

Stepping on toes

EPA
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Stepping on toes

2011/12

No problems sharing for Gomez in 2012.

He saw off all the competition, apart from Messi, after scoring 12 goals for Bayern during their run to the final.

But there was no goal in the final as Drogba’s heroics secured a famous Chelsea win.

He only scored worldies

Reuters
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He only scored worldies

2012/13

You don’t get a nickname like Bobby Goals without some Champions League heroics.

What, no one calls Robert Lewandowski Bobby Goals? We’ll move on quickly then.

Lewandowski scored ten goals for Borussia Dortmund, including four in one game against Madrid, but couldn’t stop them losing to Bayern in the final.

2013/14

Ronaldo’s outrageous haul of 17 goals in one Champions League campaign was never likely to be topped.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came closest, scoring ten goals at a rate of one every 67 minutes for PSG, including one that broke the speed of sound.

How that didn’t literally break the net we’ll never know.


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2014/15

Spare a thought for Neymar.

In the 2014/15 campaign he did what no one else had managed to do since 2007- score as many Champions League goals as Ronaldo and Messi.

All three scored ten times, although Neymar did it in the quickest time.

That’s one way to commemorate Neymar’s Champions League efforts

Reuters
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That’s one way to commemorate Neymar’s Champions League efforts

2015/16

Having jumped ship from Dortmund to Bayern Lewandowski continued to do what he did best, scoring goals.

His nine goals were in vain as Ronaldo scored 16 times to lead Madrid to an 11th Champions League trophy.

You’re just being greedy now, Cristiano.

Doing his best penguin impression

REUTERS
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Doing his best penguin impression

2016/17

Stop us if we’re sounding like a broken record, but Lewandowski was amongst the goals again in the 2016/17 season.

He scored eight goals, trailing to both top scorer Ronaldo and Messi.

But Edinson Cavani sneaked in with eight goals in less time, 74 minutes less to be precise, to pick up the Best of the Rest golden boot.

Pick on someone your own size

AFP or licensors
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Pick on someone your own size