Cristiano Ronaldo’s Rare Champions League Feat Hangs in Balance, as Lionel Messi’s Teammate Could Demolish Al Nassr Star’s Record Soon

Published 09/20/2023, 2:45 PM EDT

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Cristiano Ronaldo is known by many nicknames. However, the Portuguese talisman made a name for himself with his performances in the Champions League. Fans impressed with his stunning performances were quick to label him with the nickname ‘Mr.Champions League’. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was a different beast when it came to Europe’s most prestigious tournament. However, following his departure from European soccer, it seems like one of his most coveted records is under threat, by none other than one of Lionel Messi’s closest teammates.

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Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo set the stage on fire during their stay in the Champions League. The two competed alongside each other over the years, but it seems like their departure has given the space for other big names to leave their mark across the coveted competition.

Angel di Maria eyeing Cristiano Ronaldo’s elite record

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Cristiano Ronaldo has set multiple records in the UEFA Champions League over the years. While many remember the star for his iconic goals, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is also the leading name when it comes to assists. Heading into the ongoing edition of the Champions League, Cristiano still holds the record for the most assists in Champions League.

The Portuguese star has helped his teammates find the back of the net 42 times in Europe’s premier competition. Cristiano is closely followed by rival Lionel Messi who has 40 assists to his name. However, with both players now out of the competition with both their respective sides playing outside Europe, it seems like the record is up for grabs.

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Messi’s teammate and Argentine star Angel di Maria, who signed up with Benfica this season, has a fair chance of dethroning both Cristiano and Leo to take the top spot for himself. Angelito has assisted 38 times in the competition and is just five more away from taking the top spot for himself.

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The player will also have a fair chance to do so with the Portuguese side set to open their campaign tonight. Benfica will be up against Austrian champions RB Leipzig as both sides hope to start their campaign with a bang.

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Di Maria hoping to leave a mark against RB Salzburg

Portuguese side Benfica will kick-start their UCL campaign as they take on RB Salzburg in their opening clash. Benfica seems like the strong contender for the win but will have to bring their best game forward against the Austrian side. The side is drawn in Group D with the likes of Salzburg, Inter Milan, and Real Sociedad.

Argentine star Angel di Maria will surely be eying the group stages as a great opportunity to go past Cristiano Ronaldo’s elite record. Benfica will play six games in the group stages which present the Argentine with a significant chance to etch his name in history.

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It will be interesting to see the approach Angel di Maria takes heading into the upcoming games. The Argentine World Cup winner will surely have the record at the back of his mind, as he hopes to find new glory with his new side.

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Written by:

Saurabh Saket

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Saurabh Saket is a soccer writer at EssentiallySports. While Saket has been a football fan for a while, his passion for the sport stems from FIFA 17 which featured Borussia Dortmund superstar Marco Reus on its cover. With dreams of standing as a part of the Yellow Wall at Signal Iduna Park, Saket loves to write about the game from a fan’s perspective giving his take on recent happenings.
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Edited by:

Nidhi

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