Lionel Messi’s goal in FC Barcelona’s 2-0 final victory against Manchester United FC capped a memorable season for the forward and ensured he ended it with yet another personal accolade having finished as top scorer in the UEFA Champions League.
The Argentinian international managed nine goals in eleven games to take the crown from Cristiano Ronaldo, who last term had edged Messi into joint-second place alongside Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. This time, the 21-year-old has prevailed ahead of Liverpool FC’s Gerrard and Miroslav Klose of FC Bayern München, both on seven goals, one more than FC Porto’s Lisandro. Six players netted five goals, including Messi’s club-mate Thierry Henry.
Messi was, however, unable to match the European Champion Clubs’ Cup record haul of 14 goals in a season, shared by José Altafini (AC Milan, 1962/63) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (Manchester United, 2002/03). He nonetheless becomes the first Argentinian to top-score in Europe’s élite competition since ten-goal Alfredo di Stéfano (Real Madrid CF, 1957/58). Current Madrid striker Raúl González remains the European Cup’s all-time leading marksman with 64 goals, four clear of team-mate Van Nistelrooy, with Andriy Shevchenko on 56.[ad#link_unit]
|2008/09 UEFA Champions League top scorers|
|Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||9|
|Steven Gerrard||Liverpool FC||7|
|Miroslav Klose||FC Bayern München||7|
|Emmanuel Adebayor||Arsenal FC||5|
|Thierry Henry||FC Barcelona||5|
|Alessandro Del Piero||Juventus||5|
|Didier Drogba||Chelsea FC||5|
|Robin van Persie||Arsenal FC||5|
|Karim Benzema||Olympique Lyonnais||5|
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