5 Greatest Goals in Champions League History

Cristiano Ronaldo is the Champions League's all-time leading scorer but has he also scored the competition's best goal ever?

Cristiano Ronaldo

There have been some absolutely sensational goals since the European Cup was rebranded as the Champions League in 1992 and we have been back through the archives to pick out the very best for you.

Before we delve into the goals, this was a far from easy top-five list to compile and there are several strikes that could have made the final cut.

Liverpool fans might be miffed why Steven Gerrard’s superb strike in the win over Olympiakos in December 2004 has been edged out, a tough call baring in mind the Reds went on to lift the trophy that season.

Also, Aaron Ramsey’s absolute screamer for Arsenal against Galatasaray in December 2014 has been left off the list, while Dejan Stankovic’s outrageous strike versus Schalke in 2011 is nowhere to be seen.

It is safe to say everyone will have their own opinion on the greatest Champions League goals. Have a read of our top five and see if you agree with the selections.

5) Ramires – Barcelona v CHELSEA (2011/12)

Former Brazil international Ramires went down in Chelsea folklore during the second leg of the semi-final in Barcelona eight years ago, his stupendous chip sparking the Blues’ comeback.

Trailing 2-0 on the night, 2-1 on aggregate and down to 10 men after John Terry’s sending off, Frank Lampard slipped a neat through ball to Ramires right on the stroke of half-time before the latter then produced a sublime chip over Victor Valdes.

Chelsea would end up drawing the match 2-2, advancing 3-2 on aggregate, before beating Bayern Munich on penalties to lift the Champions League trophy for the very first time.

4) Lionel Messi – BARCELONA v Arsenal (2010/11)

Messi could have filled this top-five list by himself with the magician scoring a plethora of stunning goals, but it was his strike in the second leg of the las-16 tie against Arsenal in 2010/11 that really stands out from the crowd.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Barcelona welcomed the Gunners to the Nou Camp for the return leg with Messi producing one of his all-time great performances to rip Arsene Wenger’s side to shreds, including an incredible piece of skill to score in first-half stoppage time.

Controlling a pass into the box from Andreas Iniesta, the Argentine then proceeded to dink the ball over the onrushing Manuel Almunia before thumping a strike into the back of the net.

Barca managed to progress 4-3 on aggregate before making it all the way to the final, where Messi put on another masterclass as they beat Manchester United 3-1 in the final.

3) Cristano Ronaldo – Juventus v REAL MADRID (2017/18)

You couldn’t have a greatest goals list without the Champions League’s all-time leading scorer Ronaldo and he described his strike against Juventus, who he now plays for, back in the 2017/18 edition as “probably the best of my career”.

Playing the first leg in Turin, Dani Carvajal chipped a ball into the area and Ronaldo, moving away from goal, produced an amazing overhead kick to find the bottom-right corner, which had everyone in the stadium on their feet.

Words just don’t do this goal justice. Watch the video below to refresh your memory.

2) Gareth Bale – REAL MADRID v Liverpool (2017/18)

The runner-up is the sensational overhead kick from Wales international Bale, whose effort was just that little bit better than Ronaldo’s in the quarter-finals earlier in the competition.

The 31-year-old may not be in a great situation with Los Blancos right now but he produced one of the greatest goals of all time two years ago in the 2018 final, firing in a stunning acrobatic effort into the top-left corner from just inside the box moments after coming on as a substitute.

That goal put Madrid 2-1 ahead and they would go on to lift the trophy for a record 13th time, beating Liverpool 3-1 in the end.

1) Zinedine Zidane – REAL MADRID v Bayer Leverkusen

Time for the number one goal now, the creme dela creme of the Champions League, and Zidane’s outstanding volley in the 2002 Champions League final once again gets tops billing, even all these years on.

With the scores locked at 1-1, Roberto Carlos helped a high ball towards the edge of the box and Zidane, watching it come out of the sky, unleashed an incredible left-foot volley that found the top-left corner.

It was a goal of absolute perfection and, quite fittingly, would prove to be the decisive moment as Madrid won the match 2-1 to secure their ninth crown at the time.

A single-handicapper, James always offers an interesting insight to the world of golf, with extensive knowledge of both the US and European Tours. James also has a wealth of information about the domestic and international football scene.
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