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The race for Raul’s record: Will it be Messi or Ronaldo who tops the Champions League scoring charts?

by Josh Powell | September 28, 2014

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite what Nicklas Bendtner might think, these two guys are, far and away, the greatest players in football today. Arguably they are two of the greatest players to grace the turf ever.

This week both men are in Champions League action and have their sights firmly on the all-time top scorer record. That’s an honour currently held by Real Madrid legend Raul who notched up a mighty 71 goals in 142 games between 1995 and 2011. 66 of those goals were for Madrid, with the extra five coming when he moved to Shalke in July 2010. Raul gobbled up goals for fun while he was at Los Blancos, but his record is under threat as Messi and Ronaldo close in.


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The statistics are truly phenomenal with Messi and Ronaldo scoring goals at a sensational rate on the European stage. Raul may have averaged a goal every other game, but that impressive tally looks pretty meek alongside Messi and Ronaldo.

  • Messi has 67 goals in 87 games for Barcelona since making his Champions League debut in 2004. That’s an average of 0.77 goals every game.
  • Ronaldo is slightly ahead in the race, despite registering just one goal in his first 29 appearances. The well-gelled one has 69 goals in 107 games giving him an average of 0.64 goals a game. However, if you take his record from game 30 onwards, he has posted a mind-blowing average of 0.88 goals a game.
  • And it’s not as if both players are taking advantage of a few weaker Champions League groups to get their averages up. 46 per cent of Messi’s goals have come in the knock-out phase, as have 49 per cent of Cristiano Ronaldo’s.

Ronaldo celebrates

Ronaldo had his most prolific season in Europe last year with 17 goals in 11 games. That’s an average of a goal every 58 minutes, on Europe’s biggest stage. Ridiculous behavior. CR7 is two behind Raul’s record and faces a mouth-watering trip to Bulgaria on Wednesday to face Ludogroets with Real Madrid. Despite almost stealing a point away to Liverpool, Ludogorets are expected to be the whipping boys in this group and Ronaldo can take advantage. He is a super-skinny 3/10 to score at anytime, 6/5 to nab a brace or more, and 5/1 to beat Raul’s record in style with a hat-trick.

Messi on the other hand has averaged better than a goal a game in the Champions League since the start of the 2010/11 season. Again, a mind-boggling achievement by one of the all-time greats. He faces a significantly tougher test to beat Raul’s record as soon as this week, with Barcelona taking on PSG in Paris. Messi is 5/4 to score anytime or 7/1 to score two or more against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co.

The race for Raul’s record is on…

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