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Cristiano Ronaldo to Lionel Messi: Who has scored most goals in Champions League in one season

Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most goals in the Champions League in one season. The Portuguese football star netted 17 goals for La Liga club Real Madrid during the 2013-14 season, helping his side clinch a record 10th UEFA Champions League title and their first since the 2001-02 campaign.

Most goals in Champions League in one season: Top 10 list

PlayerGoalsSeason
Cristiano Ronaldo172013-14
Cristiano Ronaldo162015-16
Cristiano Ronaldo152017-18
Robert Lewandowski152019-20
Karim Benzema152021-22
Lionel Messi142011-12
Robert Lewandowski132021-22
Ruud van Nistelrooy122002-03
Lionel Messi122018-19
Mario Gomes122011-12

Cristiano Ronaldo | 17 goals in 2013-14 UCL season

Cristiano Ronaldo started the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League season with a stunning hat-trick against Turkish side Galatasaray on matchday one. Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates Karim Benzema bagged a brace while Isco added another to thrash Galatasaray 6-1 at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi in Istanbul.

He went on to score six more goals in the group stage of the 2013-14 season to take his tally to 12 Champions League goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo later scored four goals against Bundesliga outfit FC Schalke 04 in the Round of 16. The former Manchester United footballer added one more strike against Borussia Dortmund in the quarter final and two more goals versus Bayern Munich in the two-legged semi-finals. Cristiano Ronaldo finished off the UEFA Champions League 2013-14 campaign with a 120th-minute strike against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid to secure a 4-1 in the final at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal.

The former Manchester United talisman surpassed the previous record held by his long-time rival Lionel Messi, who scored 14 goals for Madrid’s local rivals FC Barcelona in a single Champions League season in the 2011-12 campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo | 16 goals in 2015-16 UCL season

Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo came close to breaking his own record for most Champions League goals’ in a season twice during the 2015-16 and 2017-18 campaigns.

The Portugal football team captain netted 16 goals for Real Madrid in the 2015-16 season including setting a new record for the most goals in a UEFA Champions League group stage campaign. In the 2015-16 season, Ronaldo also became the first and only player to bag as many as three hat-tricks in one UEFA Champions League season. Ronaldo’s incredible form powered Real Madrid to their 11th Champions League title as they pipped rivals Atlético Madrid on penalties in the summit clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo | 15 goals in 2017-18 UCL season

Ronaldo registered his third-highest scoring season for Real Madrid in the 2017-18 season. The Portuguese forward scored on 15 occasions as Real Madrid became the first team to clinch three consecutive Champions League titles and their 13th overall. 

Karim Benzema’s strike in the 51st minute followed by a brace from Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid defeat English Premier League outfit Liverpool 3-1 in the 2017-18 final at Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Ukraine.

Cristiano Ronaldo also owns the record for most Champions League goals in history. Having represented Manchester United, Real Madrid and later Juventus, the star forward has scored 140 goals in 183 appearances since making his debut in the competition in 2003.

Furthermore, Ronaldo has the most goals in international football. He has scored 117 goals in 189 matches for the Portugal national football team.

The likes of Robert Lewandowski and Karim Benzema have also registered 15 goals in the UEFA Champions League in a single season. 

Robert Lewandowski | 15 goals in 2019-20 UCL season

In the 2019-20 season, Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski also netted 15 times as Bayern Munich claimed their sixth UEFA Champions League title, beating a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 1-0, courtesy a 59th minute strike by former Paris Saint-Germain player Kingsley Coman.

However, Lewandowski failed to equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of scoring in 10 different UEFA Champions League games in a season. The Polish striker had bagged goals in each of his last nine games prior to the UCL 2019-20 final.

Having played for Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski has the third most Champions League goals in history. He has 86 strikes in 106 appearances so far.

Karim Benzema| 15 goals in 2021-22 UCL season

Real Madrid’s star forward Karim Benzema also recorded 15 UCL goals during the 2021-22 campaign.

The French footballer equalled his former teammate Ronaldo’s record for most goals in knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League history. Ronaldo had netted 10 UCL goals in the knockout stages of the 2016-17 season.

Benzema scored a hat-trick against in the second leg of the Round of 16 tie against PSG and later followed it up by bagging another hat-trick against in the first leg of their quarter-final clash against Chelsea. He also scored a goal in the second leg of their quarter-final tie versus the Premier League side.

Benzema also netted three goals scored for Spanish giants Real Madrid against Manchester City in the two semi-final games.

While the Real Madrid talisman failed to score in the UCL 2021-22 final against Liverpool, his side clinched a record 14th title at the Stade de France. 

Karim Benzema has scored 86 goals in the Champions League so far in his 142 matches.

Lionel Messi| 14 goals in 2011-12 UCL season

In the 2011-12 season, Lionel Messi was in scintillating form as he netted a staggering 73 goals in 60 matches, including 14 goals in a single Champions League season.

Lionel Messi had scored as many as five goals against Bundesliga outfit Bayer 04 Leverkusen in an UEFA Champions League game to secure a massive 7-1 win in the second leg encounter of their Round of 16 tie at the Camp Nou in March 2012. Lionel Messi’s additional goals were scored against AC Milan, FC Viktoria Plzeň and FC BATE Borisov in the qualifying rounds of the group stage.

However, Lionel Messi-led Barcelona were knocked out by eventual champions Chelsea in the two-legged semi-finals.

Lionel Messi also holds the record for most goals for a single club, having scored 672 goals for his former club FC Barcelona.

Having played for Barcelona and PSG, Lionel Messi currently has the second-most Champions League goals. The Argentine talisman has netted 125 goals in 156 appearances so far.

Most goals in Champions League in one season: Top 10 list by team

TeamMatchesGoalsSeason
FC Barcelona16451999/00
Bayern Munich11432019/20
Real Madrid13412013/14
Liverpool 13412017/18
Real Madrid13362016/17

FAQs

Which player has scored most goals in the Champions League in one season by a team?

FC Barcelona has scored the most goals in the Champions League in one season. The La Liga giants scored 45 goals in 16 matches during the 1999-2000 campaign.

Who has scored the most goals in the Champions League final?

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored most goals in Champions League final history. He has scored four goals in the UEFA Champions League finals in 2008, 2014 and 2017.

Who has scored the most goals in Champions League history?

Cristiano Ronaldo has the most goals in Champions League history. Since making his debut in the competition in 2003, Ronaldo has scored 140 goals in 183 appearances.

What is Ronaldo’s most goals in a Champions League season?

Cristiano Ronaldo’s most goals in the Champions League season came during the 2013-14 UCL season when he bagged 17 goals.

Who has the most assists in a Champions League season?

James Milner and Luis Figo share the record for most assists in a single Champions League season. Both registered nine assists. While Milner recorded nine assists in the 2017-18 season, Figo registered nine assists in 1999-00 and 2000-01 campaigns.

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