Take advantage of the absence to begin to fill the hole, first. For the first time since his debut in the Champions League, during the 2004-2005 season, Lionel Messi is rid of the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the distance duel between the two best scorers in the history of the competition.
The 37-year-old Portuguese dug the hole in the heart of the 2010s to reach the total of 140 achievements (105 with Real) against 125 for the Argentinian 35 years old (120 with Barça). But having not found a way out at Manchester United, he will not play the queen of European competitions this season and will have to settle for the Europa League – if he plays a little more -, the Red Devils having finished 6th in the last England Championship.
This is a great opportunity for Messi to close the gap. Income honed to PSG in the off-season, the former Barça seems to have regained full possession of his meansfrom head to toe, even if he shines more as a passer (6 in as many Ligue 1 matches) than as a scorer (3 all the same against 6 last year in 26 matches. Even at 35, he will certainly be transcended by the scent of the C1.
Benzema and Lewandowski at a respectable distance
During its best accounting season in the Champions League (2011-2012), the “Pulga” had shaken the nets 14 times. He finished two exercises with 12 goals and had scored 5 last season. Behind Ronaldo and Messi, we find at a respectable distance the tandem composed of Karim Benzema and Robert Lewandowski with each 86 achievements.
The top scorers in the Champions League
Since the 1992-1993 season, preliminary rounds excluded. In bold, players still active.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United): 140 goals
2. Lionel Messi (PSG): 125
3. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich): 86
4. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid): 86
6. Andriy Shevchenko: 59
7. Ruud van Nistelrooy: 56
8. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich): 52
9. Thierry Henry: 51
10. Filipo Inzaghi: 50