How Many Goals Does Lionel Messi Need With PSG To Catch Up With Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League?

Published 09/15/2021, 11:58 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – AUGUST 19: Neymar Jr and Lionel Messi warmup during a Paris Saint-Germain training session at Ooredoo Center on August 19, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier – PSG/PSG via Getty Images)


Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the greatest Champions League player of all time. The former Real Madrid winger recently tied up with Iker Casillas’ record of making 177 appearances in the Champions League. In 177 appearances, CR7 has scored a mind-boggling 135 goals making him the highest goalscorer in the tournament’s history.

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Lionel Messi is, obviously, also not far behind when it comes to scoring goals in the Champions League. He’s currently the second-highest goalscorer in the tournament. With Ronaldo scoring goals left and right, it will be difficult for Messi to catch up.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 08: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus F.C. is put under pressure by Lionel Messi of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group G stage match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on December 08, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi has scored 120 goals in 149 games in the Champions League

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Lionel Messi sent shockwaves around the world when he left Barcelona to join PSG. All his Champions League goals have come from his time at Barcelona. In 149 Champions League games, Lionel Messi has found the back of the net 120 times. His goal-scoring average is in fact better than Ronaldo, who is the top scorer.

For the former Barcelona captain to catch level up with Ronaldo, Messi will have to score 15 goals more. This is where Messi playing for a world-class team like PSG could help him. PSG have a world-class squad and are genuine Champions League contenders. At the same time, Ronaldo’s Manchester United, with all due respect, aren’t on the level of PSG. United’s recent loss to Young Boys is a testament to that.

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PSG are highly likely to reache the latter stages of the tournament, meaning more matches for Messi to score. At the same time, Ronaldo‘s Manchester United have had an inconsistent run in Europe over the past few years.

Moreover, Lionel Messi is 34 while Ronaldo will turn 37 soon. While doubting Ronaldo and his fitness has always been a mistake, it is hard to imagine even Ronaldo playing at the top level for too long. This 2-year gap that Messi has combined with the team he plays in should help him catch up with Ronaldo’s Champions League record.

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MONACO, MONACO – AUGUST 29: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus, Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool react during the UEFA Champions League Draw, part of the UEFA European Club Football Season Kick-Off 2019/2020 at Salle des Princes, Grimaldi Forum on August 29, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Harold Cunningham – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
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Suresh Menon

47 articles

Suresh Menon is a Football and NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing BMM from St Xaviers College with his specialization in Advertising. Juventus is his favorite football club and he one day plans to go to Italy and watch a Juve match live.

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