The UEFA Champions League is where Europe’s elite soccer teams battle it out for the crown that decides which club is the best in the world.
Strikers in this competition come up against some of the best defenses that they’ve ever faced, which means that slotting one into the back of the net is not so straightforward.
You can’t really compare the level of the teams that play here to domestic divisions, as the latter typically contains quite a few clubs on smaller financial budgets that simply can’t compete with the big guns.
This inferiority gives bigger teams with good forwards a chance to “pad their stats” so to speak.
In the UEFA Champions League however, no side will give an opponent an easy time.
Fans look forward to watching this competition every season, and there’s no doubt that a lot of people like to know which players have won Europe’s prestigious Golden Shoe award in previous editions of this tournament.
That’s where this article comes in handy.
It reveals each UEFA Champions League seasons’ Golden Boot winner with an easily scannable list:
|1955/1956||Miloš Milutinović||FK Partizan||8|
|1956/1957||Dennis Viollet||Manchester United||9|
|1957/1958||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||10|
|1958/1959||Just Fontaine||Stade de Reims||10|
|1959/1960||Ferenc Puskás||Real Madrid||12|
|1960/1961||José Águas||S.L. Benfica||11|
|1961/1962||Heinz Strehl||1. FC Nürnberg||8|
|1961/1962||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Real Madrid||8|
|1961/1962||Justo Tejada||Real Madrid||8|
|1961/1962||Ferenc Puskás||Real Madrid||8|
|1962/1963||José Altafini||AC Milan||14|
|1963/1964||Vladica Kovačević||FK Partizan||7|
|1963/1964||Sandro Mazzola||Inter Milan||7|
|1963/1964||Ferenc Puskás||Real Madrid||7|
|1964/1965||José Torres||S.L. Benfica||9|
|1966/1967||Jürgen Piepenburg||Vorwärts Berlin||6|
|1966/1967||Paul Van Himst||Anderlecht||6|
|1968/1969||Dennis Law||Manchester United||9|
|1969/1970||Mick Jones||Leeds United||8|
|1971/1972||Antal Dunai||Újpest FC||5|
|1971/1972||Silvester Takač||Standard Liège||5|
|1972/1973||Gerd Müller||Bayern München||11|
|1973/1974||Gerd Müller||Bayern München||8|
|1974/1975||Gerd Müller||Bayern München||5|
|1974/1975||Eduard Markarov||Ararat Yerevan||5|
|1975/1976||Jupp Heynckes||Borussia Mönchengladbach||6|
|1976/1977||Gerd Müller||Bayern München||5|
|1976/1977||Franco Cucinotta||FC Zürich||5|
|1977/1978||Allan Simonsen||Borussia Mönchengladbach||5|
|1980/1981||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||Bayern München||6|
|1981/1982||Dieter Hoeneß||Bayern München||7|
|1983/1984||Viktor Sokol||FC Dinamo Minsk||6|
|1984/1985||Torbjörn Nilsson||IFK Göteborg||7|
|1985/1986||Torbjörn Nilsson||IFK Göteborg||6|
|1986/1987||Borislav Cvetković||Red Star Belgrade||7|
|1987/1988||Gheorghe Hagi||Steaua București||4|
|1987/1988||Jean-Marc Ferreri||Girondins Bordeaux||4|
|1987/1988||Rabah Madjer||FC Porto||4|
|1987/1988||Rui Águas||S.L. Benfica||4|
|1988/1989||Marco van Basten||AC Milan||10|
|1989/1990||Jean-Pierre Papin||Olympique de Marseille||6|
|1990/1991||Jean-Pierre Papin||Olympique de Marseille||6|
|1990/1991||Peter Pacult||Tirol Innsbruck||6|
|1991/1992||Jean-Pierre Papin||Olympique de Marseille||7|
|1991/1992||Sergei Yuran||S.L. Benfica||7|
|1993/1994||Ronald Koeman||FC Barcelona||8|
|1993/1994||Wynton Rufer||Werder Bremen||8|
|1994/1995||George Weah||Paris Saint Germain||7|
|1996/1997||Milinko Pantić||Atlético Madrid||5|
|1997/1998||Alessandro Del Piero||Juventus||10|
|1998/1999||Andriy Shevchenko||Dynamo Kyiv||8|
|1998/1999||Dwight Yorke||Manchester United||8|
|1999/2000||Mário Jardel||FC Porto||10|
|2001/2002||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||10|
|2002/2003||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||12|
|2003/2004||Fernando Morientes||AS Monaco||9|
|2004/2005||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Manchester United||8|
|2005/2006||Andriy Shevchenko||AC Milan||9|
|2007/2008||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United||8|
|2008/2009||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||9|
|2009/2010||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||8|
|2010/2011||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||12|
|2011/2012||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||14|
|2012/2013||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2013/2014||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||17|
|2014/2015||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||10|
|2014/2015||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||10|
|2015/2016||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||16|
|2016/2017||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||12|
|2017/2018||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||15|
|2018/2019||Lionel Messi||FC Barcelona||12|
|2019/2020||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern München||15|
|2020/2021||Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||10|
|2021/2022||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||15|
The table you can see above goes the extra mile compared to other sources you’ll find on the internet, as it provides top scorer data from as far back as 1955.
Of course during those days the competition was named differently and the format of play was dissimilar to the group stage and knockout format we get to watch today.
But nevertheless, it’s the same UEFA Champions League that we all know and love.
Who has the most Golden Boot awards in Champions League history?
Curiosity is a good thing!
You’d obviously want to know which player has grabbed the most top scorer trophies in arguably the world’s toughest soccer competition, right?
Well, the answer here is a name you’ve probably heard millions of times.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the most UEFA Champions League Golden Boot awards as he’s accumulated a tally of seven top scorer trophies in this competition over the course of his playing career.
The years in which he outscored everyone are as follows:
- 2016–17; and
From that record it’s quite evident that he’s not called “Mr Champions League” for nothing!
The Portuguese legend has a knack for performing on the biggest stage and there’s no question that Ronaldo deserves all the credit he gets for such scoring feats.
Here’s the list of players who follow after Ronaldo when it comes to total number of Golden Shoe awards:
|Player||Golden Boot Awards||Club(s)||Seasons|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||7||Manchester United; Real Madrid||2007–08, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18|
|Lionel Messi||6||FC Barcelona||2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2018–19|
|Gerd Müller||4||Bayern München||1972–73, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1976–77|
|Eusébio||3||S.L. Benfica||1964–65, 1965–66, 1967–68|
|Jean-Pierre Papin||3||Olympique de Marseille||1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92|
|Ruud van Nistelrooy||3||Manchester United||1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92|
|Ferenc Puskás||3||Real Madrid||1959–60, 1961–62, 1963–64|
|Torbjörn Nilsson||2||IFK Göteborg||1984–85, 1985–86|
|Romário||2||PSV Eindhoven||1989–90, 1992–93|
|Raúl||2||Real Madrid||1999–2000, 2000–01|
|Andriy Shevchenko||2||Dynamo Kyiv; AC Milan||1998–99, 2005–06|
|Alfredo Di Stéfano||2||Real Madrid||1957–58, 1961–62|
How many times was Ronaldo the top scorer in the Champions League?
It’s actually quite funny that this question is already answered in the previous section!
It just so happens that Cristiano Ronaldo – who is a seven time UEFA Champions League Golden Shoe winner – is also the record holder who has won the most top scorer awards in this competition’s history.
So, there you have it.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the top scorer in the UEFA Champions League on seven separate occasions.
Who is the highest Champions League goal scorer in the 2021/2022 season?
The goal scoring dominance shown by Ronaldo and Messi over the past decade has started to wane.
In the previous two campaigns, we’ve had different winners other than the usual aforementioned names.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich and Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund each claimed the Golden Shoe in the respective 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons.
And at the moment, the Polish international (Lewandowski) leads the scorer charts with 13 goals.
However, his Bayern Munich side was knocked out of the competition by La Liga side Villareal in the quarter final.
That leaves Karim Benzema – whose Real Madrid side still remain in the competition at the time of writing – with a free run at the trophy this year.
Update: Karim Benzema claimed the 2021/2022 Golden Boot in the UEFA Champions League after a series of scintillating performances in the later rounds of the competition. The Frenchman ended up with 15 goals for this years European campaign.
This post has covered the UEFA Champions League’s Golden Boot winners all the way back from 1955.
If you’ve enjoyed the short read, then you should definitely take a look at each of the following related posts:
- Premier League Golden Boot winners (1992 – 2021);
- What a golden boot award is;
- La Liga Pichichi winners (1928 – 2021);
- Serie A Capocannoniere winners (1923 – 2021);
- Bundesliga Golden Boot winners (1963 – 2021);
- Ligue 1 Golden Boot winners (1932 – 2021); and
- UEFA Europa League Golden Boot winners (1971 – 2021)
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