Champions League

5 players with the most goals in the Champions League before the Cristiano Ronaldo era

Arjun Singh Devgan
Raul won three Champions League titles during his time with Real Madrid
Raul won three Champions League titles during his time with Real Madrid / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

The Champions League is widely considered to be the most prestigious club competition in the world with a number of top players and clubs participating in it in order to win the trophy each season.

The competition has seen a number of great players participate in it, both in the past and at present, though there are very few who manage to make a mark when it comes to winning the trophy.

Cristiano Ronaldo is all-time highest goalscorer in Champions League history, but there were a few who were extremely prolific in the competition before his era of dominance started. Here, we take a look at five of them.

Stats courtesy of Transfermarkt.

1. Raul - 43 goals in 79 games

Raul / Michael Steele/GettyImages

Before Ronaldo, Raul was arguably one of the most prolific goalscorers in Europe, with the Spaniard without a doubt the best Spanish striker of his generation.

The striker led Real Madrid to three trophies in the Champions League during his career, and his goals played a big role in their success in the competition.

2. Alessandro Del Piero - 31 goals in 61 games

Alessandro Del Piero
Nantes v Juventus - UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Widely hailed as one of the greatest strikers of his generation, Alessandro Del Piero established himself as Juventus' greatest ever player during his career and despite scoring a lot of goals, he was perhaps unlucky to win the Champions League title only once.

The Italian produced some memorable performances in the Champions League, the most famous one coming against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in 2003.

3. Ruud van Nistelrooy - 30 goals in 35 games

Ruud van Nistelrooy of Manchester United
Ruud van Nistelrooy of Manchester United / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Ruud van Nistelrooy was the best goal poacher and for a time in the 2000's with Manchester United, he was without doubt the best striker in the world. The Dutchman was brilliant for the Red Devils, scoring a number of goals - but unfortunately failed to win the competition during his career.

4. Patrick Kluivert - 29 goals in 68 games

Patrick Kluivert
Borussia Dortmund v Ajax - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1st Leg / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Part of Ajax's Golden Generation of the 1990s, Patrick Kluivert scored the winner at the age of 18 in the 1995 Champions League to help the Dutch side lift the trophy.

The striker also enjoyed a successful spell with Barcelona and even played for Newcastle United later on in his career.

5. Filippo Inzaghi - 28 goals in 41 games

Filippo Inzaghi
AC Milan v PSV Eindhoven - UEFA Champions League Group A / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Filippo Inzaghi enjoyed great success in the Champions League during his career, winning the title twice while also scoring loads of goals for AC Milan during their trophy laden years.

The Italian enjoyed great success at Milan, and was deadly in front of goal when in full flight.