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Messi breaks Raúl's Champions League goal record

Lionel Messi has overtaken Raúl González to become the top scorer in UEFA Champions League history with a hat-trick in FC Barcelona's game at APOEL FC.

Top scorers in UEFA Champions League history ©Getty Images

Lionel Messi has surpassed Raúl González's record as the top scorer in UEFA Champions League history in FC Barcelona's game at APOEL FC.

The forward scored his 72nd goal in the competition proper, group stage to final, 38 minutes in at APOEL to put Barcelona 2-0 up, diverting Rafinha's effort past goalkeeper Urko Pardo. He subsequently added two more.

While it took Raúl 142 UEFA Champions League outings to run up his 71 goals, Messi's appearance against APOEL was his 91st in the competition. Cristiano Ronaldo, set to face FC Basel 1893 on Wednesday with Real Madrid CF, has 70 strikes in 107 tournament matches.

Messi's goal also ensured he overtook Raúl and Ronaldo, until tonight the joint-top European Cup scorers alongside the Argentinian. Whereas Messi and Raúl's goals all came in the competition proper, Ronaldo found the net for Manchester United FC in the third qualifying round back in 2005. In terms of UEFA club competitions, Raúl remains out in front with 77 strikes, two ahead of Messi and four of Ronaldo.

Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry
Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry©Getty Images

UEFA Champions League top scorers (group stage to final)
74 Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
71 Raúl González (Real Madrid CF/FC Schalke 04)
70 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF)
56 Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven/Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF)
50 Thierry Henry (AS Monaco FC/Arsenal FC/FC Barcelona)
48 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan/Chelsea FC/FC Dynamo Kyiv)
46 Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus/AC Milan)
44 Didier Drogba (Olympique de Marseille/Galatasaray AŞ/Chelsea FC)
42 Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)
42 Zlatan Ibrahimović (AFC Ajax/Juventus/FC Internazionale Milano/FC Barcelona/AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain)
41 Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyonnais/Real Madrid CF)
Fernando Morientes (Real Madrid CF/AS Monaco FC/Liverpool FC/Valencia CF)
Samuel Eto'o (RCD Mallorca/FC Barcelona/FC Internazionale Milano/Chelsea FC)
Kaká (Real Madrid CF/AC Milan)

Andriy Shevchenko when at Milan
Andriy Shevchenko when at Milan©AFP

European Cup top scorers
74 Lionel Messi
Raúl González
71 Cristiano Ronaldo
60 Ruud van Nistelrooy
59 Andriy Shevchenko
51 Thierry Henry
50 Filippo Inzaghi
49 Alfredo Di Stéfano
47 Eusébio
44 Alessandro Del Piero
44 Didier Drogba
43 Zlatan Ibrahimović
41 Karim Benzema
39 Fernando Morientes
35 Ferenc Puskás
34 Gerd Müller

Former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson
Former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson©Getty Images

UEFA club competitions top scorers
77 Raúl González
75 Lionel Messi
73 Cristiano Ronaldo
69 Filippo Inzaghi
65 Andriy Shevchenko
62 Gerd Müller  
62 Ruud van Nistelrooy
59 Henrik Larsson
59 Thierry Henry
56 Eusébio
54 Alessandro Del Piero
50 Alfredo Di Stéfano
50 Didier Drogba