Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo (2024)

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the greatest players to have ever graced the Champions League, but several surprising names boast a superiorgoal-per-minute ratio in the competition.

Scoring goals is deemed to be the hardest thing in football, but players like Ronaldo and Messi have made it look easy over the years, especially in the Champions League.

Both players are the highest scorers in the history of the competition, but you’d be surprised by just how many forwards have managed to score at a greater rate than them in Europe.

Surprisingly, eight players rank ahead of both Ronaldo and Messi when it comes to their goal-per-minute ratio in the Champions League. We’ve taken a closer look at those eight names and have compared their stats.

Note: this data only takes into consideration goals after the year 2000. It’s also worth noting that players such asRuud van Nistelrooy,Ciro Immobile andRobert Lewandowski rank between Ronaldo and Messi, but haven’t been included on this list.

10. Cristiano Ronaldo –114 minutes per goal

Ronaldo’s name is synonymous with the Champions League. A five-time winner and the competition’s all-time top scorer, his name is etched into European history.

In total, he’s scored 140 Champions League goals in15,914 minutes of football. That means he averages a goal every 114 minutes in Europe. While that return is very impressive, it’s not good enough to earn him the top spot on this list.

=8. Lionel Messi – 105 minutes per goal

While Messi has scored fewer goals than Ronaldo in Europe, he does boast a slightly better goals-per-minute ratio. In13,566 minutes of UCL football, Messi has managed to stick the ball in the back of the net 129 times.

Champions League nights these days just don’t hit the same without Messi and Ronaldo.

Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo (1)

TRY A QUIZ:Can you name every club Lionel Messi has scored against in the UCL?

=8. Gabriel Jesus – 105 minutes per goal

Amazingly, Jesus has the exact same minutes-per-goal ratio as Messi in the Champions League. We were just as surprised to learn this fact as you no doubt are.

The Brazilian forward is aided by the fact that a lot of his Champions League appearances for Manchester City came from the bench. He’s managed to score nine UCL goals in just931 minutes, giving him an impressive 105 minutes-per-goal average.

=6. Roberto Soldado – 102 minutes per goal

Considering he couldn’t hit a barn door during his time with Tottenham, it’s quite surprising thatSoldado has such a good Champions League record.

The Spanish striker scored the bulk of his European goals during his stint withValencia, before his move to the Premier League.

In1,627 minutes of Champions League football,Soldado managed to score 16 goals which is a more than respectable return. It’s a shame Premier League fans never saw the best of him.

=6. Mario Gomez – 102 minutes per goal

Given that the German forward made 44 UCL appearances throughout his career, it’s impressive that he managed to maintain such a consistent scoring record.

Predominantly playing for Bayern Munich, Gomez scored 26 Champions League goals in2,640 minutes. That gives him a slightly superior goals-per-minute ratio than both Ronaldo and Messi.

5. Darwin Nunez – 101 minutes per goal

It seems utterly bonkers on the surface, but Nunez does indeed boast a tremendously good UCL record – it was his prolific spell in Europe with Benfica that first alerted Liverpool to his talents.

Nunez has scored 10 Champions League goals from just1,006 minutes of football which is some effort. If he was to never play in the competition again, he’d retire with a better goal ratio than Messi and Ronaldo.

You can’t help but love him.

Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo (2)

READ:10 of Darwin Nunez’s funniest moments from fighting thin air to absurd finishes…

4. Julian Alvarez – 89 minutes per goal

The Argentine forward has already managed to complete football at the tender age of 24. Already a World Cup, Premier League and Champions League winner, he’s won almost every big trophy on offer.

His goal record is aided by the fact that he’s only made 15 UCL appearances, but his output is still impressive nonetheless.

It’s worth remembering that he was on the scoresheet in last year’s Champions League semi-final as Manchester City disassembled Real Madrid. In total, he’s got eight goals in713 minutes.

3. Wissam Ben Yedder – 87 minutes per goal

The Monaco forward hasn’t played in the Champions League since 2017-18, but boy was he prolific when he last got his chance in the competition.

In just873 minutes of UCL football, the French forward has scored 10 goals, meaning he averages a strike every 87 minutes. That’s some return.

2. Sebastien Haller – 75 minutes per goal

Haller’s European record is massively boosted thanks to his unbelievably prolific campaign with Ajax in 2021-22. During that campaign, he scored 11 goals and was only outscored byLewandowski and Karim Benzema.

Taking his full UCL record into consideration, the former West Ham striker has averaged a goal every 75 minutes in the competition which earns him the second spot.

1. Erling Haaland – 71 minutes per goal

We’ve almost run out of superlatives to describe Haaland’s goalscoring greatness. Having played 2,894 minutes and scored 41 goals, he’s scoring at a rate that has never been seen in the modern era of the competition.

If Haaland were to play as many minutes in the Champions League as Ronaldo throughout his career while maintaining his current strike rate, he would end his career with a record 224 UCL goals. God help us all.

Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo (3)

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TRY A QUIZ:Can you name the 35 top goalscorers in Champions League history?

Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo (2024)


Darwin Nunez among 8 surprising players with a superior UCL goal-per-minute ratio to Messi & Ronaldo? ›

Darwin Nunez – 101 minutes per goal

Who has the best goal ratio in UCL history? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo

Who has a better goal to game ratio in La Liga Messi or Ronaldo? ›

La Liga players with 100 or more goals
1Lionel Messi0.91
2Cristiano Ronaldo1.07
3Telmo Zarra0.91
4Karim Benzema0.54
57 more rows

What is the most goals scored by Messi in UCL? ›

Lionel Messi is the second highest scorer in UEFA Champions League history with 129 goals. He does, however, hold the record of scoring the most goals for a single club in UCL history, with 120 of his 129 goals coming at Barcelona.

Who has the most hat-tricks in football history? ›

But the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Pele as the player with the most hat-tricks in the history of football with 92. He also holds the distinction of being the youngest player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. Pele did it for Brazil in 1958 at the age of 17. That record is still intact 64 years later.

Who scored 5 UCL goals in one game? ›

Erling Haaland became just the third player to score five goals in a single UCL game in March 2023, after Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano.

Who is better, Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Both have extraterrestrial numbers but Messi is better. Cristiano: 573 goals in 761 games = 0.75 goals per game. Messi: 552 goals in 637 games = 0.87 goals per game.

Who is better than Messi? ›

At the moment, Ronaldo is better than Messi. Both left their clubs and joined a new club, Messi to PSG and Ronaldo to Manchester United.

Who's faster, Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Ronaldo is renowned for his impressive physical attributes, including his speed and power [1]. He has a higher top speed compared to Messi, especially when he is at full pace [1].

Who is better at free kicks, Messi or Ronaldo? ›

Messi has scored three more free-kick goals than his long-time rival Ronaldo in his career. The Argentina international has scored 62 in total, 10 of which have come on the international stage.

Did CR7 score 5 goals in one match? ›

Cristiano Ronaldo's five goals beat several records. It is the first time that he has achieved the feat in his entire career. Cristiano Ronaldo achieved another epic achievement against Granada CF.

Does Messi have 3 UCL? ›

Messi has won the Champions League three times – in 2009, 2011 and 2015 (all with Barcelona).

Has Messi scored 5 goals in one match? ›

"La Pulga" achieved this feat in the second-leg match of the 2011-2012 Round of 16, where Barcelona faced Bayer Leverkusen. The same match where the Blaugrana crushed their opponents 7-1. Of those seven goals, the Argentine maestro took charge of scoring five, also achieving his first "poker" in the process.

Has anyone scored 2 hat-tricks in a row? ›

Only six players – Les Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane (twice), and Erling Haaland – have scored hat-tricks in two league games in a row.

Who scored 11 hat-tricks in football? ›

Alan Shearer – 11 Hat-Tricks

It barely seems credible but in the space of 476 days between 26 November 1994 and 16 March 1996 Shearer scored eight hat-tricks, including five in the 1995-96 season alone (unsurprisingly a Premier League record).

Who has more hat-tricks than Ronaldo? ›

Ronaldo now has 64 career hat-tricks, whereas Messi, who plays for American club Inter Miami, has done it on 57 occasions. The Argentine has performed impressively for his new club and has time to score seven more hat-tricks to tie with Ronaldo.

Who is the best team in UCL history? ›

UEFA Champions League - All time standings
1Real Madrid85
2Bayern Munich78
3FC Barcelona77
4Manchester United69
56 more rows

Who has scored the most UCL group stage goals in one season? ›

Who is the Highest Scoring Team in a UCL Group Stage? Paris Saint-Germain scored 25 group stage goals in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League, which remains a record tally in a UCL group stage. Nearly half (12) of these goals came against Celtic, who they beat 5-0 away and 7-1 at home.

Who has most goals in UCL knockout stage? ›

The top 10 Champions League knockout goalscorers: Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo…
  • =9. Arjen Robben – 16 goals.
  • =6. Andriy Shevchenko – 18 goals.
  • =6. Raul – 18 goals.
  • =6. Kylian Mbappe – 18 goals.
  • Thomas Muller – 27 goals.
  • Robert Lewandowski – 30 goals.
  • Lionel Messi – 49 goals.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 67 goals.
Mar 12, 2024

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