When we talk about Leo Messi and where Barcelona’s incomparable wonder of a striker ranks along the all-time list of UEFA Champions League scorers, the important thing to remember is the young man’s age. He is just 25.
Barring injury or the ugly residual of a Tiger Woods-like tumble from grace, he’ll probably be doing the Champions League thing for six or seven years to come, at least.
Somewhat lost yesterday in the high drama of Barcelona’s rise from the near-dead, and partially obscured by the stunning quality of his two strikes in second-leg rally against AC Milan was that Messi now stands as the competition’s second all-time leading scorer.
He moved past Ruud van Nistelrooy with the two hits against Milan. Van Nistelrooy scored the bulk of his Champions League goals with Manchester United (usually from inside the six-yard box; the man was peerless as a close-in weapon.)
Raul scored his goals over two decades (the 90s and 2000s) with Real Madrid.
Here’s the all-time Top Five: