The 10 record Champions League scorers since the competition revamped in the 1992-93 season.
1. Raul – 71 goals
For a long time, Raul was a one-club man. Real Madrid’s captain, the former Spain international was the club’s talisman and played a huge role in the three Champions League titles the Merengues won while he was there. But the player left for German club Schalke after Jose Mourinho’s appointment as coach in the summer of 2010. What Raul lacks in pace, he makes up for in rat-like cunning in the opposition box.
It is now beyond doubt that Messi will become the record Champions League scorer. The Argentinean is so much more than a goalscorer, however; his combination play with teammates and sublime dribbling ability helping to make him the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Three-times winner of the Champions League in 2006, 2009 and 2011, he scored in the latter two finals against Manchester United.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo - 61
The only player on this list who occupies a position on the wing. Ronaldo, of course, regularly pops up in more central positions as he is given license to roam, but the fact many of his goals have been scored from deeper positions makes his feet of reaching the top 10 at the age of just 27 all the more impressive.
4. Ruud van Nistelrooy - 56
The Dutchman scored most of his Champions League goals with Manchester United where he had a fantastic goals-to-games ratio and often saved his best for European nights. Sir Alex Ferguson signed the player from PSV Eindhoven and he also went on to play for Real Madrid and Hamburg. A spiky character on the field, Van Nistelrooy was a real predator who could finish adeptly on the ground and with his head.
5. Thierry Henry - 50
For pure artistry, perhaps only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo compare with Henry in this list, which makes his tally of 50 goals all the more impressive. At his peak, Henry was one of those players who justified the admission fee alone, such was his vast repertoire of skills combined with deadly pace. Netted most of his Champions League goals at Arsenal, but realized his dream of lifting the trophy when he moved to Barcelona in 2007.
6. Andriy Shevchenko - 48
A former European player of the Year, ‘Sheva’ scored the winning penalty in AC Milan’s 2003 shootout triumph over Juventus in the final. Before moving to Milan in 1999 Shevchenko terrorized defenses with Dynamo Kiev, producing some eye-catching Champions League performances along the way. The player quickly adapted to the demands of a more intense league when he moved to Italy, and has been one of the great strikers of the last 15 years. A disappointing spell at Chelsea followed his seven-year stint at the San Siro.
7. Filippo Inzaghi - 46
A penchant for feigning injury and getting caught offside should not detract from Inzaghi’s stunning record in European competition. ‘Pippo’ was the ultimate ‘fox in the box’ when in his prime, helping AC Milan to the Champions League in 2003 and 2007. Previously at Juventus, Inzaghi became the first ever player to score two Champions League hat-tricks when he netted a treble in the Bianconeri's 4-4 draw with Hamburg in 2000; his first came against Dynamo Kiev in 1998.
8. Alessandro Del Piero - 42
A free-kick specialist, with superb technical skills, Del Piero has generally played as a support striker throughout his career. The former Italy international formed prolific partnerships with Inzaghi and David Trezeguet in his prime, but it was prior to the arrival of those two that the player won his only Champions League title. He played the full 120 minutes as Juventus beat Ajax 4-2 on penalties after extra-time in the 1996 final which ended 1-1.
An old fashioned striker capable of bullying center backs into submission with his physical style of play. The Galatasaray striker is a menace in the air, an unerring finisher with his right foot and also a fine free-kick taker. He finally lifted the trophy in 2012 as a Chelsea player when he equalized to force a 1-1 draw in the final against Bayern Munich before coolly converting a penalty to win the shoot-out.
10. Fernando Morientes - 33
Like Raul, ‘El Moro’ was crucial to Real Madrid’s Champions League success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Superb in the air, Morientes was often under appreciated in his time at Real. Rarely one to produce the flashy backheels or clever tricks, the former Spain international was nonetheless a reliable option in attack. In the 2003-04 season he finished as the tournament’s top scorer with nine goals in a loan spell with Monaco. He helped the Ligue 1 club to the final where they were beaten 3-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Porto.