Football this season is completely unpredictable. Not only is there mayhem in the English game but worldwide there are shocks galore. In the wake of Manchester United’s crushing defeat to City last weekend and Levante’s first league loss of the season on Sunday which finally edged them off their surprising top spot in La Liga, we look to some quality goal scorers in the Champions League in an attempt to reintroduce stability to the modern game.
As we enter the fourth week of the Champions League group stages, here’s a look back at some of the finest goal scorers of the past few years, many of whom will be hoping to make their mark again in this season’s competition.
5. Steven Gerrard
Liverpool’s stalwart talisman, in terms of statistics, is by no means the most prolific of UEFA Champions League goal scorers. Nonetheless, we think Gerrard deserves a place on the list. His goal in the 2005 final, arguably the greatest final of all time, sparked a six minute comeback by his team which would ultimately lead them to victory on that famous night in Istanbul.
4. Didier Drogba
Another footballer making his trade in the English game, Didier Drogba has always been a controversial figure. However, if we put aside the ‘dirtier’ aspects of his game, we find a consistent goal scorer and a man with such presence that any team would gladly have him, theatrics and all. His record in Europe of 39 goals from 77 appearances speaks for itself.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
The Portuguese sensation may not have grabbed as many goals as ‘a certain someone’ in last season’s tournament, but he did break records for his 40 (debatably 41) goal tally in the Spanish league in 2011/12. We must see his 30 goals from 79 appearances in the Champions League as a mere indication of what is to come with this man.
2. Lionel Messi
Last season’s top scorer in the Champion’s League, with 12 goals in only 13 appearances, Lionel Messi is a player who captivates the imagination of football fans worldwide. With a goal in each of the two finals (2009 and 2011) helping his team to victory, the eyes of the world will again be on him this year. Scoring a hat-trick on Saturday night against Villarreal to take his total to 19 goals in all competitions for the season, we eagerly await Barcelona’s Tuesday night clash with Czech side Plzen. Yes you may be surprised to see him at number two, but this Argentinian miracle will surely make it to number one on any ‘best of’ list in the years to come.
Not actually playing in the Champions League this season, some would say that Raul should not be included in this list with his time left in football limited. However, with 71 goals from 144 appearances, 15 years experience in the Champions League and 3 winner’s medals, it is hard to give the number one spot to anyone else. With an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time, Raul is undoubtedly the reigning master of the competition. Playing for Schalke, he may not be making any headlines this season, but he is still the greatest Champions League goal scorer of all time. It’s now up to the guy placed controversially at number 2 on my list, to bump him off the top spot.
Images courtesy of Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Raul