Most UEFA Champions League group stage goals
Credit (Getty via UEFA.com)

The group stage matches of this season’s Champions League have been concluded and all the qualified teams have discovered their opponents in the first knock-out stage of the competition. UEFA has, therefore, released some stats relating to history of the competition’s group stages, and it makes for interesting reading.

Three sets of statistics about the group stages have been released, and they are:

  1. Most UEFA Champions League group stage goals

  2. Best goals per game ratio (minimum 20 scored)

  3. Most UEFA Champions League group stage appearances

Lionel Messi, the recently crowned European Golden Boot winner, is top in the first two categories.

With 66 goals, five more than his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 61, Messi is easily the all-time highest goal scorer in the group stages of the Champions League. Karim Benzema, with his goals for Lyon and Real Madrid, is third on the list with 43 goals.

Other notable names on the list are Raul Gonzalez, Thierry Henry, and Robert Lewandoski.




In the Best goals per game ratio category, Messi, with an incredible 66 goals in 67 matches, has a goals ratio of 0.99, and again tops the list. Cristiano Ronaldo is third in this category with a ratio of 0.73 goals per game. Compared to Messi’s, it seems low but it’s a ratio that all the legendary strikers of the game will be envious of.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy, of PSV, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Hamburg, is second with 0.76 goals per match.

Legendary Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Cassilas, with 95 games under his belt, has the most UEFA Champions League group stage appearances

The lists 

Most UEFA Champions League group stage goals*

66: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

61: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus)
43: Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid)
39: Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Hamburg)
37: Raúl González (Real Madrid, Schalke)
36: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale Milano, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris, Manchester United)
34: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern München)
31: Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)
30: Didier Drogba (Marseille, Chelsea, Galatasaray)
29: Thierry Henry (Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona)
29: Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus, AC Milan)



Best goals per game ratio (minimum 20 scored)

0.99: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 66 goals in 67 games
0.76: Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Man. United, Real Madrid, Hamburg) – 39 goals in 51 games
0.73: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester. United, Real Madrid, Juventus) – 61 goals in 83 games
0.72: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern München) – 34 goals in 47 games
0.72: Roy Makaay (Deportivo La Coruña, Bayern München) – 23 goals in 32 games
0.68: Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid) – 43 goals in 63 games
0.68: Edinson Cavani (Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain) – 28 goals in 41 games
0.64: Didier Drogba (Marseille, Chelsea, Galatasaray) – 30 goals in 47 games
0.62: Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus, AC Milan) – 29 goals in 47 games
0.57: Sergio Agüero (Atlético Madrid. Manchester City) – 28 goals in 49 games

Most UEFA Champions League group stage appearances

95: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, Porto)
83: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus)
80:
 Xavi Hernández (Barcelona)
77: Raúl González (Real Madrid, Schalke)
74: Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)
74: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris, Manchester United)
72: Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan)
69: Sergei Ignashevich (Lokomotiv Moskva, CSKA Moskva)
68: Gianluigi Buffon (Parma, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain)
67: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
67: Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe)

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