Could Jose be on the move? Jose Mourinho unsure of Roma future amid Paris Saint-Germain linksFootball
Mbappe vs Haaland: The Number of Goals Each Player Needs to Beat CR7’s UCL Record
- Ronaldo left European football to join Al Nassr in late 2022, bringing an end to his Champions League reign
- Lionel Messi departed Paris Saint Germain months later to join Inter Miami in the MLS
- The 2023/24 season will be the first time without either Ronaldo or Messi in 20 years
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s respective European stints have finally come to an end, in what is a painful reality to veteran fans.
The two will no longer feature in the Champions League, and the upcoming season will be the first time in two decades without either of the two in Europe’s elite competition.
There is no question that both players leave European football having cemented their legacies in their own right.
Messi leaves with seven Ballon d’Ors, several La Liga titles and Champions Leagues, while Ronaldo also has his fair share of silverware including five Ballon d’Ors, according to Topend Sports.
The fact that the pair will possibly not play in the Champions League again in the future almost begs the question on who will be the one to break their respective Champions League goal tallies.
Ronaldo and Messi's goal tally?
According to Transfermkt, Ronaldo and Messi are first and second respectively in the all-time Champions League goal scorer charts.
Impressively, despite not playing in the Champions League since the 2021/22 season, Ronaldo remains the Champions League king, with 140 goals.
Messi, despite having one season up on Ronaldo in recent times, has 129 goals.
Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski comes in third on the list with 91 Champions League goals, and he is likely to add to that tally in the future before retiring from the beautiful game.
The other player who stood a solid chance of actually catching up to the pair was Karim Benzema, but the Real Madrid legend also brought an end to his European stint as he left Real Madrid for Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia. Benzema has 90 Champions League goals.
6 world class managers who are currently out of work including Luis EnriqueFootball
Can Mbappe and Haaland catch up?
While it is safe to say Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League record will stay for years to come, there are some interesting scenarios which suggest some players can actually surpass him.
Case in point is everyone’s favourite, Erling Haaland, who has an impressive 35 Champions League goals at only 22.
The Norwegian will surely only get better with age, and if he is to catch up to the great Cristiano Ronaldo, he would need to average eight goals in the competition between now and when he’s 35, which is the average age which world class football players decide to explore other areas away from Europe.
For Mbappe, he currently has 40 Champions League goals, needing 100 more to be level with Cristiano Ronaldo.
With this in mind, and the fact that he’s 24, the Frenchman needs to score at least nine goals every season between now and by the time he is 35.
Who secures La Liga's final slot in the Europa Conference League?Football
Other factors to consider
Of course, these are only estimations, and a number of factors might come into play for these two young superstars.
Their performances will highly depend on their ability to maintain top-notch fitness levels every season, and they also need to play for clubs which typically make it to latter stages of the Champions League.
In addition, it is hard to predict the futures of any player, as some like Zlatan Ibrahimovic played in Europe until the age of 41, while others like the great Ronaldo Nazario started their decline in their late 20s.
Childhood photo of Mbappe emerges
Sports Brief also reported on an interesting photo of Kylian Mbappe in the presence of a Chelsea shirt.
The Frenchman is said to have handed in an official letter to PSG chiefs, explaining to them his decision not to trigger an extension clause in his contract.
PSG are now faced with the prospect of losing the most interesting talent in world football for free next year. The other option would be to sell him this summer.