Two of Europe's hottest strikers are doing battle atop the UEFA Champions League scoring charts: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski added to his tally with a stunning bicycle kick goal in Kiev, but Ajax Amsterdam's Sebastien Haller responded with two goals in a substitute appearance against Besiktas to catch him in the standings.
The nine goals are especially notable for Haller who has scored in every game that Ajax has played, and is the first player in Champions League history to score nine in his first five matches. He exploded for four goals in Ajax's opening group match and then scored at least a goal in the next four games. Both Lewandowski and Haller have reached an already impressive haul when you consider that last season's top scorer, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, had the best goal-scoring total of the tournament with 10.
RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku is also charging hard after his sixth and seventh goal against Club Brugge. Also keep an eye out for superstars Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), and Mo Salah (Liverpool), who are both lurking close behind the top spots.
In the chart below, the players are ranked by their goal totals beginning with the group stage. Assists are used as the first tiebreaker, and the second tiebreaker is fewest minutes played. Both are in line with the top scorer tiebreakers that European governing body UEFA implemented for the European Championships.
Champions League Top Scorers (2021-2022)
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||9 (1)||1||5||439|
|3.||Christopher Nkunku||RB Leipzig||7||0||5||441|
|4.||Mohamed Salah||Liverpool||6 (1)||0||5||400|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Man United||6||0||5||431|
|6.||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||5 (1)||0||5||439|
|7.||Leroy Sane||Bayern Munich||4||4||5||410|
|Pedro Goncalves||Sporting CP||4 (1)||2||3||249|
|Riyad Mahrez||Man City||4 (2)||0||5||428|
|10.||Gabriel Jesus||Manchester City||3||1||4||79|
|Paulo Dybala||Juventus||3 (2)||1||3||198|
|Edin Dzeko||Inter Milan||3||1||5||391|
|Hans Vanaken||Club Brugge||3||1||5||450|
|Antoine Griezmann||Atletico Madrid||3||0||4||196|
|Darwin Nunez||Benfica||3 (1)||0||5||255|
|Lionel Messi||PSG||3 (1)||0||4||360|
|Karim Adeyemi||RB Salzburg||3 (2)||0||5||393|
Note: Total of 28 players tied with two goals scored and 98 players tied with one goal scored. There have also been eight own goals among the total of 243 scored in the tournament.
9 - Sébastien Haller is the first player in UEFA Champions League history to score nine goals in his first five appearances in the competition. Maestro. https://t.co/ReIMTrMuQ9— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) November 24, 2021
Champions League Top Scorers (since 1992-93)
Here are the top scorers for each UEFA Champions League tournament since the new format was adopted in 1992-93.
No surprise as to who the players are who have topped the list on most occasions: Cristiano Ronaldo has led the charts seven times, and Messi six. Their dominant run has happened in the past 14 editions of the Champions League, though neither has claimed the honor in the past two campaigns.
|2020-21||Erling Haaland||B. Dortmund||10|
|2019-20||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||15|
|2017-18||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||15|
|2016-17||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2015-16||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||16|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||10|
|2013-14||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||17|
|2012-13||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2007-08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Man United||8|
|2005-06||Andriy Shevchenko||AC Milan||9|
|2004-05||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||8|
|2003-04||Fernando Morientes||AS Monaco||9|
|2002-03||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||12|
|2001-02||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||10|
|2000-01||Raul Gonzalez||Real Madrid||7|
|Raul Gonzalez||Real Madrid||10|
|1998-99||Andriy Shevchenko||Dynamo Kyiv||8|
|Dwight Yorke||Man United||8|
|1997-98||Alessandro Del Piero||Juventus||10|
|1996-97||Milinko Pantic||Atletico Madrid||5|