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Champions League 40-goal club: Lionel Messi closes gap on Cristiano Ronaldo at top

Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi closes the gap on perennial rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the all-time Champions League goalscoring charts with his brace against Brugge.

Lionel Messi scored twice against Club Brugge on Tuesday night to close the gap on Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of all-time top Champions League goalscorers.

Messi stroked home a trademark curling left-footed finish for his first of the evening, before doubling his personal tally from the penalty spot as PSG cruised to a 4-1 win.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner remains 15 goals behind his perennial rival, although he boasts a better goals-per-game ratio over the course of his Champions League career.

Ronaldo has a chance to move further clear this evening when Manchester United take on Young Boys, as he looks to score in every group game for the second time in his career.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at every player to have scored more than 40 Champions League goals and how Messi's latest brace has changed things.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus)

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Villarreal in the Champions League on September 29, 2021© Reuters

Goals: 140
Appearances: 181
Ratio: 0.77

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain)

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain in November 2021© Reuters

Goals: 125
Appearances: 154
Ratio: 0.81

3. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich)

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski pictured on September 29, 2021© Reuters

Goals: 82
Appearances: 101
Ratio: 0.81

4. Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid)

Karim Benzema celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in November 2021© Reuters

Goals: 76
Appearances: 135
Ratio: 0.56

5. Raul (Real Madrid, Schalke 04)

Raul in action for Real Madrid in 2009© Reuters

Goals: 71
Appearances: 142
Ratio: 0.50

6. Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid)

Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United© Reuters

Goals: 56
Appearances: 73
Ratio: 0.77

7. Thierry Henry (Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona)

Thierry Henry celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Sparta Prague in the Champions League on October 18, 2005© Reuters

Goals: 50
Appearances: 112
Ratio: 0.45

8. Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)

Goals: 49
Appearances: 58
Ratio: 0.84

9. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller celebrates scoring their first goal on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Goals: 49
Appearances: 129
Ratio: 0.38

10. Andriy Shevchenko (Dynamo Kiev, AC Milan, Chelsea)

Andriy Shevchenko pictured for AC Milan in 2006© Reuters

Goals: 48
Appearances: 100
Ratio: 0.48

11. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain)

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring their second goal on September 12, 2021© Reuters

Goals: 48
Appearances: 124
Ratio: 0.39

12. Eusebio (Benfica)

Eusebio pictured for Benfica during his playing career© Reuters

Goals: 46
Appearances: 65
Ratio: 0.71

13. Filippo Inzaghi (Juventus, AC Milan)

Filippo Inzaghi celebrates for AC Milan in 2010© Reuters

Goals: 46
Appearances: 81
Ratio: 0.57

14. Didier Drogba (Marseille, Chelsea, Galatasaray)

Didier Drogba with the Champions League trophy in 2012.© Reuters

Goals: 44
Appearances: 92
Ratio: 0.48

15. Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)

Alessandro Del Piero celebrates scoring for Juventus in 1998© Reuters

Goals: 42
Appearances: 89
Ratio: 0.47

16. Neymar (Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain)

Neymar in action for Paris Saint-Germain in September 2021© Reuters

Goals: 41
Appearances: 73
Ratio: 0.56

17. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, Manchester City)

Sergio Aguero in action for Manchester City on March 10, 2021© Reuters

Goals: 41
Appearances: 79
Ratio: 0.52

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Lionel Messi in action for Paris Saint-Germain in December 2021
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