Who would be top scorer? Who would be king of social media? Whose trophy cabinet would be brimful? UEFA.com imagines a decade of European football without Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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A decade of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominating the UEFA Champions League scoring charts as well as Europe's individual accolades got UEFA.com thinking ... who might have been the main beneficiaries had the pair never graced European football with their presence?
All-time Champions League top scorers (including qualifying)
As it is: Ronaldo (115)
Would be: Raúl González (71)
Karim Benzema – currently fifth on the all-time list with 53 goals – would be the leading current player. Would Ronaldo's absence from our alternative football universe have meant more goals for the Frenchman, though? Might he already have surpassed Raúl? Mind blown, but we go on.
All-time UEFA club competition top scorers
As it is: Ronaldo (117)
Would be: Raúl González (77)
Zlatan Ibrahimović – joint-tenth on the list with 56 goals – would be the leading active player were it not for our deadly duo.
Most Twitter followers
As it is: Ronaldo (65.6 million)
Would be: Neymar (35.8 million)
Most Instagram followers
As it is: Ronaldo (116 million)
Would be: Neymar (85.1 million)
Champions League top scorer by season
Messi and Ronaldo have finished as sole or joint-top scorer in each of the last ten seasons (Neymar is the only player to have muscled in, in 2014/15), with the Real Madrid man having topped the charts on a record six occasions. Here's who would have headed the rankings without them:
2007/08: Torres, Drogba, Gerrard
2008/09: Gerrard, Klose
2010/11: Mario Gómez, Eto'o
2011/12: Mario Gómez
2016/17: Cavani, Lewandowski
Champions League top scorer on most occasions
As it is: Ronaldo (6)
Would be: Van Nistelrooy, Lewandowski (3)
Most goals in a single Champions League campaign
As it is: Ronaldo – 2013/14 (17)
Would be: Van Nistelrooy – 2002/03 (12), Mario Gómez – 2011/12 (12)
Most all-time UEFA Men's Player of the Year awards
As it is: Ronaldo (3)
Would be: Xavi, Iniesta, Ribery, Neuer, Suárez, Griezmann, Buffon (1)
All-time Ballons d'Or
As it is: Messi and Ronaldo (5)
Would be: Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten (3)
Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta and Neymar would all have won two awards apiece – as well as one each for Fernando Torres, Franck Ribéry, Manuel Neuer and Antoine Griezmann – in the pair's absence over the past decade, meaning no player would have challenged Platini, Cruyff and Van Basten's respective hat-tricks.
Most Champions League group stage goals
As it is: Messi, Ronaldo (60)
Would be: Benzema (40)
Most Champions League hat-tricks
As it is: Messi, Ronaldo (7)
Would be: Inzaghi, Mario Gómez, Luiz Adriano (3)
Most UEFA.com Team of the Year appearances
As it is: Ronaldo (11)
Would be: Casillas, Puyol, Ramos, Iniesta (6)
Of course, there's no telling who would have been picked in place of Messi and Ronaldo – we examined our Team of the Year stats trove but the voting figures were inconclusive – so that compels us to presume that those four players with six selections would be out in front.
Europe's all-time top international scorers
As it is: Ferenc Puskás (84)
Would be: Ferenc Puskás (84)
Admittedly, Ronaldo doesn't yet top this pile but he is now on 79 goals and closing in fast. We'd have to go down to joint-eighth to find Europe's highest-scoring active player; David Villa – recently recalled to the Spain squad for the first time in three years – is some way adrift on 59 goals.