Robert Lewandowski became the third-fastest player after Ruud van Nistelrooy and Lionel Messi to reach 50 goals in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night. He took just 77 matches to complete his half-century in Bayern Munich’s comprehensive 5-1 win over SL Benfica.
Retired Dutch footballer and the current manager for the PSV youth team Van Nistelrooy reached 50 goals at his 62nd match, while Argentina’s Messi took 66 matches to complete the job. Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently the competition's all-time record goalscorer with 121 goals, needed 91 UCL games to score 50 goals.
Lewandowski, the 30-year-old Polish international is now the only seventh player to join the elite “club of 50” in the goal-fest at Allianz Arena.
All-time leading scorers in the UEFA Champions League (group stage to final):
121 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus)
105 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
71 Raúl González (Real Madrid, Schalke)
59 Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid)
56 Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid)
51 Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund, Bayern München)
50 Thierry Henry (Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona)
In the Tuesday night’s completion, Arjen Robben opened the scoring with two early goals, maintaining a comfortable lead for Bayern. It was followed by a shower of goals, including Franck Ribery’s 76th minute winning strike as the final nail in Benfica’s coffin.
With this victory, Bayern secured their place in the knockout stage of the Champions League with a game to spare in Group E.