Messi sweeps up goalscoring honours

Lionel Messi has ended a memorable campaign with yet another personal accolade after his goal in FC Barcelona's final victory, his ninth of this UEFA Champions League season, ensured he was the competition's top scorer.

Lionel Messi struck his ninth goal of this campaign in Rome
Lionel Messi struck his ninth goal of this campaign in Rome ©Getty Images

Lionel Messi's goal in FC Barcelona's 2-0 final victory against Manchester United FC capped a memorable season for the forward and ensured he ended it with yet another personal accolade having finished as top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.

Nine goals
The Argentinian international managed nine goals in eleven games to take the crown from Cristiano Ronaldo, who last term had edged Messi into joint-second place alongside Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. This time, the 21-year-old has prevailed ahead of Liverpool FC's Gerrard and Miroslav Klose of FC Bayern München, both on seven goals, one more than FC Porto's Lisandro. Six players netted five goals, including Messi's club-mate Thierry Henry.

All-time high
Messi was, however, unable to match the European Champion Clubs' Cup record haul of 14 goals in a season, shared by José Altafini (AC Milan, 1962/63) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United, 2002/03). He nonetheless becomes the first Argentinian to top-score in Europe's élite competition since ten-goal Alfredo di Stéfano (Real Madrid CF, 1957/58). Current Madrid striker Raúl González remains the European Cup's all-time leading marksman with 64 goals, four clear of team-mate Van Nistelrooy, with Andriy Shevchenko on 56.

2008/09 UEFA Champions League top scorers
Player Club Goals
Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 9
Steven Gerrard Liverpool FC 7
Miroslav Klose FC Bayern München 7
Lisandro FC Porto 6
Emmanuel Adebayor Arsenal FC 5
Thierry Henry FC Barcelona 5
Alessandro Del Piero Juventus 5
Didier Drogba Chelsea FC 5
Robin van Persie Arsenal FC 5
Karim Benzema Olympique Lyonnais 5

UEFA Champions League top scorers season by season
Season Player Club Goals
2007/08 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United FC 8
2006/07 Kaká AC Milan 10
2005/06 Andriy Shevchenko AC Milan 9
2004/05 Adriano FC Internazionale Milano 10
2003/04 Fernando Morientes AS Monaco FC 9
2002/03 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United FC 14
2001/02 Ruud van Nistelrooy Manchester United FC 10
2000/01 Andriy Shevchenko
Mário Jardel
AC Milan
Galatasaray AŞ
1999/00 Rivaldo
Mário Jardel
Serhiy Rebrov
Raúl González
FC Barcelona
FC Porto
FC Dynamo Kyiv
Real Madrid CF
1998/99 Andriy Shevchenko FC Dynamo Kyiv 10
1997/98 Alessandro Del Piero Juventus 10
1996/97 Ally McCoist Rangers FC 6
1995/96 Jari Litmanen AFC Ajax 9
1994/95 George Weah Paris Saint-German FC 8
1993/94 Ronaldo Koeman
Wynton Rufer
FC Barcelona
Werder Bremen
1992/93 Romário FC Barcelona 7