Goals per game: Europe's most efficient scorers

How do Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi measure up to the likes of Gerd Müller and Ferenc Puskás?

©Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in UEFA Champions League and European Cup history, but when it comes to goals per game he is seventh in the all-time rankings, with Lionel Messi in fifth.

The Argentinian averages 0.83 goals per game (105 in 127 matches) in Europe's top competition to Ronaldo's 0.76 (121 goals in 159 games).

Gerd Müller's 0.97 goals per game ratio continues to look an unbreakable record. In order to reach a similar figure, Messi would need to fire hat-tricks in his next nine games in the competition, while Ronaldo would require trebles in each of his next 16.

NB: Only players who have featured in 20 or more matches in the competitions are included in these lists

Top goals per game averages in UEFA Champions League/European Champion Clubs' Cup

Fellow hotshots Eusébio and Gerd Müller in 1973
Fellow hotshots Eusébio and Gerd Müller in 1973©AFP

0.97: Gerd Müller (Bayern München) – 34 goals in 35 games
0.86: José Altafini (Milan, Juventus) – 24 goals in 28 games
0.85: Ferenc Puskás (Budapest Honvéd, Real Madrid) – 35 goals in 41 games
0.84: Alfredo Di Stéfano (Real Madrid) – 49 goals in 58 games
0.83: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 105 goals in 127 games
0.82: José Águas (Benfica, Austria Wien) – 18 goals in 22 games
0.77: Cristiano Ronaldo (Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid) – 121 in 157 games
0.76: Jean-Pierre Papin (Marseille, AC Milan, Bayern München) – 28 goals in 37 games
0.75: Eusébio (Benfica) – 47 goals in 63 games
0.74: Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV, Manchester United, Real Madrid) – 60 goals in 81 games

Top goals per game averages in UEFA Champions League group stage to final

Paris have three forwards in the top ten
Paris have three forwards in the top ten©Getty Images

0.83: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 105 goals in 127 games
0.77: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid) – 120 in 155 games
0.77: Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid) – 56 goals in 73 games
0.70: Roberto Soldado (Real Madrid, Valencia) – 16 goals in 23 games
0.63: Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund, Bayern München) – 47 goals in 75 games
0.61: Vincent Aboubakar (Porto, Beşiktaş) – 14 goals in 23 games
0.60: Edinson Cavani (Napoli, Paris) – 33 goals in 55 games
0.60: Neymar (Barcelona, Paris) – 30 goals in 50 games
0.60: Kylian Mbappé (Monaco, Paris) – 12 goals in 20 games
0.59: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart, Bayern München) – 26 goals in 44 games

Top goals per game averages in UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup

Six outrageous chips featuring Falcao, Messi and Lampard
Six outrageous chips featuring Falcao, Messi and Lampard

1.10: Jupp Heynckes (Borussia Mönchengladbach) – 23 goals in 21 games
1.00: Darko Kovačević (Crvena zvezda, Real Sociedad, Juventus, Olympiacos) – 20 goals in 20 games
0.94: Radamel Falcao (Porto, Atlético) – 31 goals in 33 games
0.81: Dieter Müller (Köln, Stuttgart, Bordeaux) – 29 goals in 36 games
0.76: Ruud Geels (Club Brugge, Ajax, PSV) – 16 goals in 21 games
0.76: Anthony Yeboah (Eintracht, Leeds, Hamburg) – 16 goals in 21 games
0.75: Alan (Salzburg) – 18 goals in 24 games
0.75: Torbjörn Nilsson (IFK Göteborg, Kaiserslautern) – 18 goals in 24 games
0.73: Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) – 24 goals in 33 games
0.73: Allan Simonsen (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Barcelona) – 19 goals in 26 games

Top goals per game averages in all UEFA club competitions*

Watch all of Gerd Müller's EURO 1972 goals
Watch all of Gerd Müller's EURO 1972 goals

0.87: Gerd Müller (Bayern München) – 62 goals in 71 games
0.86: Stéphane Guivarc'h (Auxerre, Rennes, Newcastle) – 24 goals in 28 games
0.86: Ferenc Puskás (Budapest Honvéd, Real Madrid) – 37 goals in 43 games
0.83: Alfredo Di Stéfano (Real Madrid) – 50 goals in 60 games
0.82:
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 108 goals in 131 games
0.82:
Ivan Mráz (Slovan Bratislava, Sparta Praha, Dukla Praha) – 18 goals in 22 games
0.82: Jupp Heynckes (Borussia Mönchengladbach) – 45 goals in 55 games
0.81: Radamel Falcao (Porto, Atlético, Monaco) – 48 goals in 59 games
0.80: Kees Kist (AZ Alkmaar, Paris Saint-Germain) – 20 goals in 25 games
0.80: Denis Law (Manchester United) – 20 goals in 25 games
0.80: Kevin Hector (Derby County) – 16 goals in 20 games

Top goals per game averages in EURO games**

Davor Šuker celebrates a goal for Croatia
Davor Šuker celebrates a goal for Croatia©Getty Images

0.91: Davor Šuker (Croatia) – 20 goals in 22 games
0.79: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Netherlands) – 19 goals in 24 games
0.78: David Villa (Spain) – 18 goals in 23 games
0.75: Toni Polster (Austria) – 15 goals in 20 games
0.71: Jon Dahl Tomasson (Denmark) – 22 goals in 31 games
0.70: Raúl González (Spain) – 19 goals in 27 games
0.67: Thierry Henry (France) – 18 goals in 27 games
0.67: Marco van Basten (Netherlands) – 16 goals in 24 games
0.65: Shota Arveladze (Georgia) – 17 goals in 26 games
0.64: Filippo Inzaghi (Italy) – 14 goals in 22 games

* UEFA club competitions = UEFA Champions League/European Champion Clubs' Cup, UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Intertoto Cup, European/South American Cup

Several players scored at a higher rate but did not play enough games to meet UEFA.com's criteria, most notably:

UEFA Champions League/European Champion Clubs' Cup
1.25: Just Fontaine (Reims) – 10 goals in 8 games
1.10:
Claudio Sulser (Grasshoppers) – 11 goals in 10 games
1.08: Denis Viollet (Manchester United) – 13 goals in 12 games

All UEFA club competitions
0.94: Georgi Asparuhov (Botev Plovdiv, Levski Sofia) – 17 goals in 18 games
0.94: Kiril Milanov (Levski Sofia) – 17 goals in 18 games
0.89: Borivoje Kostić (Crvena zvezda) – 17 goals in 19 games

EURO games
1.33:
Gerd Müller (West Germany) – 16 goals in 12 games
1.00: Michel Platini (France) – 10 goals in 10 games
0.92: Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) – 12 goals in 13 games

** Qualifiers and finals games

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