CRISTIANO RONALDO is less prolific in the Champions League than Neymar, but neither star claims the No1 spot in the top five strikers in Europe this century.

That prize goes to Lionel Messi who tops the lot for goals and assists per 90 minutes in the Champions League since the turn of the Millennium.

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Neymar edges out Cristiano Ronaldo in the top five Champions League strikers

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Neymar edges out Cristiano Ronaldo in the top five Champions League strikersCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Neymar top the billing of Champions League strikers since 2000

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Former Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Neymar top the billing of Champions League strikers since 2000Credit: AFP or licensors

The Argentine maestro, 33, has bagged an incredible 117 goals and 41 assists in 145 Champions League matches for the Catalan giants.

Messi averages 1.18 goals and assists for every full European game.

His former Barca pal Neymar claims second spot despite having played far fewer games than the GOAT duo.

The Brazilian has scored 35 goals and notched 29 assists in just 62 games for Barca and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 28-year-old averages 1.12 goals and assists for every 90 minutes.

Despite being the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer, Ronaldo can only lay claim to the bronze medal.

The Juventus ace has bagged a staggering 130 goals in 170 games with 46 assists to boot.

But the 35-year-old only averages 1.08 goals and assists a game.

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The main reason behind Ronaldo’s relatively low ranking is that it took the Portuguese icon THIRTY games to register his first European goal.

It was not until the quarter-finals of the 2006-07 Champions League that CR7 finally found the net for Manchester United.

And in typical fashion – after waiting so long for one strike – the prolific marksman smashed home a brace in the 7-1 demolition of Roma.

Red hot Robert Lewandowski and Red Devils legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy complete the top five.

Both frontmen average 1.05 goals and assists for every 90 minutes on the field in Europe.

Polish striker Lewandowski, 32, has notched 68 goals and 22 assists in 92 games for current side Bayern Munich and old club Borussia Dortmund.

Legendary Dutch forward Van Nistelrooy found the back of the net 56 times and provided 15 assists in 73 games for United, Real Madrid and PSV.

Messi and Ronaldo's fight to be crowned the GOAT continues to rage on
Messi and Ronaldo’s fight to be crowned the GOAT continues to rage on
Neymar asks to be subbed after just 25 minutes of PSG’s clash with Basaksehir after apparent groin injury





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