ESPN My Blog Sports

Greatest Players in Champions League History (Part 1)

Summary

At club level, there isn’t any league get bigger than the UEFA Champions League. And, depending on who you might ask, UEFA might even be more prestigious than the FIFA World Cup. It’s important, indeed. Which is why, in this […]

At club level, there isn’t any league get bigger than the UEFA Champions League.

And, depending on who you might ask, UEFA might even be more prestigious than the FIFA World Cup.

It’s important, indeed. Which is why, in this article we will rank the top players in the history of the competition that replaced the old European Cup in 1992.

In any event, we’ve got a galaxy of stars to read about. Let’s get to it.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

He is the only footballer on our list that never won the Champions League, but from 1998 until 2009, there was hardly any a more fearful striker than Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Although he retired, but he remains its second-highest goalscorer with 60—11 back of Real Madrid legend Raul although he hasn’t played for over 4 years.

In 2002-03, the Dutchman hit an impressive 14 Champions League goals, although his Manchester United team were eliminated at the quarter final stage by long-time rival Real Madrid.

Alessandro Del Piero

It’s hard to believe the Juventus icon won just one European Cup over almost 20 years with the Bianconeri.

That trophy came in 1996, and his six goals were second only to the attacker Jari Litmanen of Ajax.

Juventus finished runners-up in each of the next two seasons and again in 2003, and after he left European football for good last spring, Del Piero sat 10th on the all-time goal scorers  list of 44 players, only three adrift of the great Eusebio.

Paul Scholes

Only five players have played  in more Champions League matches than Paul Scholes, and his European career lasted an incredible 19 long years.

At 33 years old, he played in his first Champions League final, and ended up winning his second European Cup as Manchester United triumphed over Chelsea on penalties.

His 25 goals in the competition also have him well above fellow midfielders Clarence Seedorf, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.