We at 101 have already given you the collated list of the top ten goalscoring strikers, players, and defenders in Premier League history for your – hopeful – reading pleasure. With names like Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard, and John Terry invoking short strolls down memory lane for many fans across the top flight of English football, it was time for us to dip a little further into the next installment of our top ten series and look at matters on the continent; the Champions League.
This time, we wanted to pay homage to the growing admiration and continued influence of African football in Europe.
And with that in mind, here is the top ten goalscorers list in Champions League history.
All stats are sourced directly from uefa.com
10| Emmanuel Adebayor – Togo (AS Monaco, Arsenal, Real Madrid); 11
A better forward than many give him credit for or perhaps remember, there is a reason why he featured prominently for Monaco, Arsenal, and Real Madrid across a pretty credible club career. Though his 11-goals in the Champions League does not place him high on the overall list, it does put him in the top ten of the African footballing pantheon.
9| George Weah – Liberia (AS Monaco, PSG, AC Milan); 13
Thirteen goals are such a low-ball figure when you consider the earthshattering career that George Weah embarked on, but the notion that he hit that goal figure in just 21-Champions League appearances is a reminder of just how good he was. As a Ballon d’Or winner, Weah is a giant amongst men despite only being ninth on the list.
8| Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroon (FC Porto, Besiktas JK); 14
Vincent Aboubakar is a name that many certainly would have known previously, but his goalscoring exploits at this season’s African Cup of Nations that saw him top the tournament’s goal chart was a reminder of how lethal he can be. His 14-goals in the Champions League, many of which came for Portuguese giants Porto, stand in testament to that fact.
T-6| Seydou Doumbia – Ivory Coast (CSKA Moscow, Sporting Club); 15th
A favorite transfer for FIFA players because of his pace, beyond his virtual world ability, Seydou Doumbia was the scourge of quite a few back-lines during his pomp at CSKA Moscow where he scored some crucial goals for the Russian outfit. His strike rate across his history in the competition is credible for a reason.
T-6| Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Gabon (Borussia Dortmund); 15th
Though he has divided opinion across a few fanbases in his day, what has not divided opinion is just how good a goalcorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been regardless of the club he suited up for. He only ever featured in the Champions League for German giants Borussia Dortmund, his prowess in front of the goal was always on display.
5| Riyad Mahrez – Algeria (Leicester City, Manchester City); 16
Picking up the mantel from another iconic Algerian footballer in Porto’s Rabah Madjer, Riyad Mahrez has shone on the continent first for Leicester City and is now currently with Manchester City. One of the silkiest players on the ball you will ever see, his knack for a beautifully bent effort is as prevalent as his ability to bag a poacher’s goal.
4| Sadio Mané – Senegal (Liverpool); 21
An out-and-out hero in his homeland of Senegal after guiding Les Lions de la Téranga to their first-ever major international honor when they defeated Mohamed Salah’s Egypt on penalties in the AFCON final, Sadio Mané has set the world alight time and again in the Champions League for Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp. He is truly one of the game’s top forwards and his legend in Africa continues to grow.
3| Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon (Real Madrid, Real Mallorca, Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter Milan); 30
A truly legendary figure both at home and abroad, Samuel Eto’o is one of the best forwards to ever ply his trade in Europe in his generation. His goals for the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea, and Inter helped win countless pieces of silverware, including three Champions League wins where many of his 30-goals in the competition pushed towards that measure of success.
2| Mohamed Salah – Egypt (FC Basel, Chelsea, AS Roma, Liverpool); 36
Mohamed Salah is one of the best players on the planet and there is no debate, but it all could have gone so wrong for him during a period at Chelsea that saw him largely forgotten after bursting on to the scene with Basel. But now as the headline Liverpool frontman, Salah has morphed into one of the most feared goalscorers on the continent as evidenced by his place on the list.
1| Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast (Olympique de Marseille, Chelsea, Galatasaray SK); 44
There remains a debate among Arsenal and Chelsea fans on whether or not Didier Drogba had a better career than Thierry Henry despite the Frenchman being streets ahead of him in the goals column. But where Drogba trumps Henry was how he turned up when it mattered most, and his goals in the Champions League for Chelsea, in particular, proved that. It’s no surprise that he tops this list and, unless Mohamed Salah does not dip in form any time soon, he could remain there for a little longer.
*Goal return ratios: Weah (0.61), Aboubakar (0.60), Salah (0.55), Doumbia (0.48), Drogba (0.47), Aubameyang (0.46), Mané (0.42), Mahrez (0.39), Eto’o (0.38 ), Adebayor (0.25)