The 2021-22 Champions League scoring crown belongs to Karim Benzema. He didn’t score in the final against Liverpool, but he did enough damage in the previous knockout rounds to finish on 15 goals, two better than Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, but short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s single-season record of 17 (2013-14).
Lewandowski and his Bayern Munich team were eliminated from the competition in the quarterfinals, and he watched Benzema catch up and overtake him with a stunning knockout round performance.
Benzema, who also won the scoring race in La Liga with 27 goals, had a magical season in the Champions League, willing Real Madrid into the final with his goals. His three goals against Man City in the semis were critical: He scored a sensational volley and a panenka penalty in the first leg, and then another penalty in extra time of the second leg to see his side advance.
In the previous round, Benzema silenced Chelsea’s home crowd with three goals in the first leg, and then he scored the decisive blow in extra time of the second leg. He accounted for four of Real Madrid’s five goals in the 5-4 aggregate-goal quarterfinal triumph.
In third place in the top scorers’ table was Ajax forward Sebastien Haller who wrapped up his tournament with 11 goals, including scoring in each of his first seven matches. But Haller’s Ajax squad were eliminated in the Round of 16 after he could not score in an eighth straight game. Ajax lost that match at home to Benfica 1-0, dropping out of the tournament 3-2 on aggregate.
In the chart below, the players were ranked by their goal totals, beginning with the group stage. Assists were used as the first tiebreaker, and the second tiebreaker is fewest minutes played. Both are in line with the top scorer tiebreakers that European governing body UEFA implemented for the European Championships.
Champions League Top Scorers (2021-2022)
Final standings as of the end of the tournament on Sat., May 28.
|1.||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||15 (3)||1||12||1106|
|2.||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||13 (3)||3||10||876|
|3.||Sebastien Haller||Ajax||11 (1)||1||8||668|
|4.||Mohamed Salah||Liverpool||8 (1)||2||13||1008|
|5.||Riyad Mahrez||Man City||7 (2)||2||12||986|
|Christopher Nkunku||RB Leipzig||7||0||6||531|
|7.||Leroy Sane||Bayern Munich||6||6||10||798|
|Arnaut Danjuma||Villarreal CF||6 (1)||2||11||906|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Man United||6||0||7||611|
|Darwin Nunez||Benfica||6 (1)||0||10||613|
|Lionel Messi||PSG||5 (2)||0||7||630|
|16.||Vinicius Junior||Real Madrid||4||6||13||1199|
|Thomas Muller||Bayern Munich||4||3||10||778|
|Pedro Goncalves||Sporting CP||4 (1)||2||5||329|
|Antoine Griezmann||Atletico Madrid||4||2||9||518|
|Gabriel Jesus||Man City||4||1||8||352|
- 3 goals: 20 players
- 2 goals: 30 players
- 1 goal: 111 players
Note: There have also been nine own goals among the total of 380 scored in the tournament.
Here are the top scorers for each UEFA Champions League tournament since the new format was adopted in 1992-93.
No surprise as to who the players are who have topped the list on most occasions: Cristiano Ronaldo has led the charts seven times, and Messi six. Their dominant run has happened in the past 14 editions of the Champions League, though neither has claimed the honor in the past two campaigns.
|2020-21||Erling Haaland||B. Dortmund||10|
|2019-20||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||15|
|2017-18||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||15|
|2016-17||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2015-16||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||16|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||10|
|2013-14||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||17|
|2012-13||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2007-08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Man United||8|
|2005-06||Andriy Shevchenko||AC Milan||9|
|2004-05||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||8|
|2003-04||Fernando Morientes||AS Monaco||9|
|2002-03||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||12|
|2001-02||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Man United||10|
|2000-01||Raul Gonzalez||Real Madrid||7|
|Raul Gonzalez||Real Madrid||10|
|1998-99||Andriy Shevchenko||Dynamo Kyiv||8|
|Dwight Yorke||Man United||8|
|1997-98||Alessandro Del Piero||Juventus||10|
|1996-97||Milinko Pantic||Atletico Madrid||5|