Scoring goals in the knockout stages is particularly difficult but some players flourish under the pressure.

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most prestigious tournaments in football. It is the biggest honour in club football in Europe. Every football team and player aspires to play in and win the competition. The round-robin format sees incredible fixtures during group stages followed by the knockout phase where each round is then played over two legs.

The competitive nature of the Champions League is intense, to say the least. Goals are sometimes hard to come by and it takes incredible skill to beat an equally abled opposition. However, there are players, the legends of the game, who adore the knockout stages. The grand nature of the occasion produces exceptional performances from them, leading to lots of goals.

Keeping these goalscorers in mind, here are the top five players with the most goals in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase:

5. Andriy Shevchenko – 18 goals

Andriy Shevchenko is regarded as the greatest footballer from Ukraine. The striker was a prolific striker in his playing days who represented teams like Dynamo Kyiv, Chelsea and AC Milan among others. He scored 18 goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The former Ukrainian international won the Ballon d’Or in 2004. He also won the Champions League with AC Milan in 2002-03.

4. Thomas Muller – 24 goals

FC Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the UCL knockout stages. He has 24 goals to his name and could add to his tally in future. The 32-year-old is the second player in the top-five rankings from the Bavarians.

The German international has helped FC Bayern Munich win the Champions League on two occasions. He was part of the winning team in 2012-13 and 2019-20.

3. Robert Lewandowski – 26 goals

He won the Champions League 2019-20 with Bayern Munich (Courtesy: Bundesliga)

Robert Lewandowski is two goals ahead of his teammate Thomas Muller with 26 goals in the knockout stages. The Polish international has several records to his name. One of them is being the highest goalscorer in the UCL knockout stages for FC Bayern Munich.

Unlike Muller who has two UCL titles with the club, Lewandowski has won it once. The 33-year-old helped the side win the 2019-20 edition of the tournament. Overall, he has 86 goals in the continental showpiece.

2. Lionel Messi – 49 goals

The Argentinian is the second-highest goalscorer in the Champions League history (Courtesy: UEFA)

Lionel Messi is second on the list of all-time leading goalscorers in the UCL knockout stages. The legendary Argentine has 49 goals and will likely surpass the 50 goals mark in future. The former FC Barcelona player currently plies his trade with Paris Saint-Germain, hoping to guide the club to the Champions League triumph.

Lionel Messi has won the UEFA Champions League four times in his career. He won the competition with FC Barcelona in 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2014-15. It remains to be seen if the attacker can surpass his rival and deliver a UCL trophy for PSG before retiring.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 67 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the best ever goalscorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League. After all, he is the leading player with 67 UCL knockout goals, in merely 80 games. He is currently playing for Manchester United, where he won his first-ever UCL title.

Later on, the Portuguese helped Real Madrid win four Champions League trophies. In terms of all-time leading goalscorers, Cristiano Ronaldo leads the lot with 140 goals in 183 appearances. He is one of two players, alongside Messi, to score more than a century of goals in the competition.

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