The Champions League is back in all its tense glory, and an interesting subplot to who will win the actual title is which of Europe’s leading marksmen can finish top of the scoring charts.
Like so many of football’s top honors, this is an award that has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over recent years, with only Neymar managing to tie the duo back in 2015.
And Messi is neatly positioned for a run to end Ronaldo’s three consecutive seasons as the most prolific goal-getter in European football’s elite club competition in 2019, though trails Bayern Munich talisman Robert Lewandowski as we head into the last 16.
Neymar is one of six players level on five goals after the group stage, though will not have a chance to add to his tally against Manchester United after being ruled out of both legs through injury.
That will give the likes of Roma frontman Edin Dzeko, Juventus star Paulo Dybala and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann the chance to overtake the Brazilian, while Harry Kane will hope to return from an ankle injury for Tottenham’s second leg against Borussia Dortmund, whose Portuguese international Raphael Guerreiro has been in strong form.
Dusan Tadic will have to be on top form if Ajax is to topple holders Real Madrid, but Moussa Marega is expected to miss approximately two months with a muscle injury. Porto meets Roma next.
Andrej Kramaric cannot boost his individual stats at all – not even in the Europa League, like Mauro Icardi – after Hoffenheim finished rock bottom of a group containing Manchester City, Lyon, and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Kylian Mbappe, Gareth Bale, Nabil Fekir, Karim Benzema, David Silva, and Gabriel Jesus are among the next tier of players lurking on three goals, while Ronaldo has a long way to go to retain his crown having scored just once in five Champions League appearances for Juventus thus far.
Champions League top scorers
|Player||Goals||Assists||Mins per goal||Mins played||Total Shots||% on target|