Just like the list of most appearances, the all-time Champions League goalscorers chart is dominated by players from the 21st century.
More fixtures were added when the competition transitioned from the European Cup to the Champions League, and teams qualify on a more regular basis than they did for most of the 20th century.
Only one of the top 11 Champions League scorers played in the European Cup era.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 140* goals
Having the most goals in Champions League history is just one of many records to Cristiano Ronaldo’s name.
Ronaldo also has the most appearances and assists in the competition, plus five winners’ medals.
The vast majority (105) of Ronaldo’s tally came during his decorated stint with Real Madrid. He scored 21 times for Manchester United and 14 for Juventus.
2. Lionel Messi – 127* goals
Debuting in the competition in 2005, Lionel Messi was a champion of Europe by 2006, a feat he repeated in 2009, 2011 and 2015.
Now at Paris Saint-Germain, the Argentine magician is aiming for a fifth title and looking to close the gap to Ronaldo.
Just seven of his goals have come since swapping Catalunya for France, but Messi remains one of the best players on the planet and a constant goal threat.
3. Robert Lewandowski – 89* goals
Only one other player in the top 19 Champions League goal scorers has a better goals-per-game rate than Robert Lewandowski.
First, he was prolific and a runner-up with Dortmund before ascending to become the world’s best striker and a champion with Bayern. The Pole joined Barcelona last summer and has already opened his account.
4. Karim Benzema – 86* goals
It’s well over a decade ago, but Karim Benzema’s first 12 Champions League goals came with Lyon. The Frenchman then evolved into a superb complementary player for Real Madrid, and has taken his game to a new level since Ronaldo departed.
In the Champions League era, no player can better Benzema’s tally of five titles. If his form last season continues, he could reach a century of Champions League goals.
5. Raul – 71 goals
Holder of top spot for half a decade, Raul toppled Alfredo di Stefano but was eventually overtaken by Lionel Messi in 2014. The Spaniard twice finished as Champions League top scorer, and lifted the trophy on three occasions between 1998 and 2002.
El Ferrari was one of the best forwards of his generation, pairing smart movement and clinical finishing with a supreme work rate and versatility.
6. Ruud van Nistelrooy – 56 goals
First with PSV Eindhoven, then with Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the most relentless goalscorers of the 2000s.
The Dutchman took only 73 appearances for his 56 Champions League goals, and finished as top scorer in the competition three times in a four-year span.
7. Thomas Muller – 52* goals
Thomas Muller is a two-time Champions League winner renowned for his work rate, durability and versatility. At times, the German’s technical ability has been underrated as a result.
While not the most aesthetically pleasing player, Muller has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and has been integral to various great Bayern teams over the last decade.
8. Thierry Henry – 50 goals
If anything, it is surprising Thierry Henry only has 50 Champions League goals. His peak was shorter than many of the current greats, departing for MLS in his early thirties, but Henry was arguably the best player in the world for a period.
He was a loser in the 2005-06 Champions League final, though finally got his hands on a winners’ medal when Barcelona defeated Manchester United in 2009.
9. Alfredo di Stefano – 49 goals
The only player on this list to play in the European Cup, Alfredo di Stefano also scored his goals at the most efficient rate, taking just 58 appearances for his 49 goals.
The Real Madrid icon and two-time Ballon d’Or winner held the European Cup goalscoring record for almost half a century until Raul claimed top spot in 2009.
10. Andriy Shevchenko – 48 goals
Winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2004 and a Champions League winner with Milan a year prior, Andriy Shevchenko was a consistent goal scorer in Europe’s premier club competition for Dynamo Kyiv and the Rossoneri before a disappointing stint with Chelsea.
The Ukrainian’s goal-per-game mark took a slight hit with his time in west London, but his overall numbers still stack up alongside the best goalscorers in the history of the competition.
11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 48* goals
The only player to score for six different clubs in the Champions League, the greatest prize in European club football has eluded Zlatan Ibrahimovic but his record in the competition is phenomenal.
Into his forties and still performing for Milan, the Swede has a chance to add to his tally and could yet climb into the top six.