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UEFA Champions League

Ronaldo, Messi in Champions League Goal Race



Ronaldo’s hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 3-0 defeat of Atletico Madrid has relaunched him into the path of retaining his reign as UEFA Champions League top scorer for another season.
His reign looked as good as over going into the quarterfinals. But suddenly, the flamboyant striker is back in contention.
Five goals across the two legs against Bayern Munich and his hat-trick at home to Atlético Madrid mean he is right back in contention.
The question however remains if he will outscore his fiercest rival, Lionel Messi of the domestic rivals, FC Barcelona.
Ronaldo had scored just two goals from his first eight outings of this continental campaign, and ahead of the quarter-finals he was nine adrift of frontrunner Messi.
Yet a sensational return to scoring form promptly made him the first man to net 100 goals in European Cup competition and then the first to hit 100 in UEFA Champions League, putting his great rival from Barcelona back in his sights.
He has even now matches Messi’s record of seven UEFA Champions League hat-tricks.
With Messi unable to add to his tally following Barcelona’s elimination, and a potential two games left, could Ronaldo finish top of the pile yet again?
If he manages at least a share of the lead, he will break yet another record: the first player to finish European Cup top scorer (or equal top scorer) for five seasons running.

Most Successive Seasons As Top Scorer

Nos.        Player                    Club                              Seasons  
4       Cristiano Ronaldo       Real Madrid               2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
4       Lionel Messi               FC Barcelona             2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12
3      Gerd Müller                 Bayern                        1972/73, 1973/74, 1974/75
3      Jean Pierre Papin        Marseille/Milan           1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92

2016/17 UEFA Champions League Top Scorers
Goals       Player                                          Club
11        Lionel Messi                                     Barcelona
10       Cristiano Ronaldo                             Real Madrid
8         Edinson Cavan                                  PSG
8        Robert Lewandowski                          Bayern
7        Pierre Aubameyang                            Dortmund

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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