Manchester United's All-Time Champions League Top Scorers

Oct 26, 2020, 3:30 PM GMT
Beckham, Cole, Scholes and Yorke
Manchester United have a talented list of Champions League scorers | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It's been a love/hate relationship between the Champions League and Manchester United in recent years, with fans begrudgingly having to watch their side slump into the Thursday night slot of the Europa League at times, but the Red Devils are back among Europe's elite once more this season.

It wasn't always this up and down for United fans though, and it's hard to believe that it wasn't actually that long ago that they were good. Really good.

Rio Ferdinand
United celebrate winning the 2008 Champions League | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Here's a list of United's 30 top scorers in the Champions League.

30. Anderson

Manchester United's Portugese midfielder
The greatest player to grace the game, and Cristiano Ronaldo | FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Appearances: 37
Goals: 3

The 2008 Golden Boy winner starts us off. Easily the most talented name on the list. Obviously.

29. Laurent Blanc

Laurent Blanc gets stuck in on a young Dimitar Berbatov | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Appearances: 22
Goals: 3

The Frenchman finished his playing career with United from 2001 to 2003, but his three goals were never enough to inspire some more European glory following their treble in 1999.

28. Diego Forlan

Diego Forlan, Angelos Basinas
Diego Forlan is still remembered fondly by United fans for a brace against Liverpool | Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Appearances: 20
Goals: 3

This one's just a bid sad, because as we now know, Diego Forlan was a bloody brilliant footballer - it just didn't work out at Man Utd. Hopefully their newest Uruguayan striker enjoys a more successful spell.

27. Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick
Carrick was key to every iteration of the United squad he played in | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Appearances: 70
Goals: 4

Perhaps one of Europe's most underrated midfielders, Carrick is a genuine club legend at United.

26. Dennis Irwin

Denis Irwin, Ronaldo
Irwin fends off a challenge from Ronaldo, 1999 | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 62
Goals: 4

Irwin set the pace for the modern day full back. The Irishman wasn't afraid to get forward and show off his attacking capabilities, and could be relied upon to put away a penalty when needed.

25. Nani

Nani's inconsistency stopped him from reaching serious heights | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 49
Goals: 4

One incredible game would be followed up by three 2/10 performances which was always the problem with Nani, but on his day he was a joy to watch.

24. Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial
Anthony Martial is beginning to look like the number 9 United need him to be | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Appearances: 23
Goals: 4

The first entry who's still playing for United, one would expect Anthony Martial to be a lot higher up this list in a few years time. Or hope, at least.

23. Juan Sebastian Veron

David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron of Manchester United celebrate the opening goal
Veron celebrates with David Beckham | Phil Cole/Getty Images

Appearances: 22
Goals: 4

United broke the British transfer record to bring Veron to the club in 2002, but it didn't pay off in the slightest and he left just two years later. Four Champions League goals sees him creep into the list, though.

22. Louis Saha

Injuries limited the impact Saha had at United
Injuries limited the impact Saha had at United | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 19
Goals: 4

Injuries ravaged what could've been a seriously successful career at Old Trafford for Saha. Four Champions League goals doesn't do him justice.

21. Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck
Oh Danny, you tried. | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Appearances: 16
Goals: 4

'Dat Guy Welbz' actually looked like a decent striker option for United as a young academy graduate, but that all fell apart when he tried to chip Manuel Neuer in 2014. Respect the effort, not the execution.

20. Michael Owen

Manchester United's English forward Mich
Michael Owen in a United shirt will never be an easy thing to see | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Appearances: 9
Goals: 4

Decent strike rate, incredible player in his prime, but it still feels properly weird to think that Michael Owen played for Manchester United. That actually happened.

19. Dimitar Berbatov

Manchester United's Bulgarian forward Di
Berbatov's effortless was both a blessing and a curse | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Appearances: 25
Goals: 5

One of the most technically sound and aesthetically pleasing players in his prime, Berbatov was an incredible forward for United - even if he was infuriating to watch at times.

18. Eric Cantona

Cantona remains an icon of the game | Chris Cole/Getty Images

Appearances: 16
Goals: 5

Five goals in the Champions League doesn't tell the story of just how important Cantona was for United. Erratic, but supremely talented, and fans wouldn't have had it any other way.

17. Antonio Valencia

Valencia v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Group H
Valencia was a loyal servant to Man Utd during a 10-year stay | MB Media/Getty Images

Appearances: 45
Goals: 6

Before his days as a right back, Valencia signed for United as a tricky right winger and looked a constant threat. A broken ankle suffered in August 2010 felt like the undoing of his talents, limiting his game to an extent.

16. Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez
Tevez was everything a top team could want in a forward | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 21
Goals: 6

Hearing the name 'Tevez' as a United fan will hurt forever, even more so because of how ridiculously good he was. The Argentine had a stellar two seasons with United, before controversially moving to Manchester City in 2009.

15. Marcus Rashford

Appearances: 19
Goals: 6

Fighting poverty and sending defenders to the shops while he does so, Marcus Rashford is a credit to United on and off the pitch. Expect this number to shoot up in the future.

14. Javier Hernandez

Javier Hernandez, Daniel Alves
Hernandez proved the ultimate super sub for United | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Appearances: 24
Goals: 7

'Chicharito' will forever be a fan favourite at United. The Mexican was the ultimate super sub and could find a goal from nowhere. Never the number one pick, but always a safe pair of hands.

13. Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku's time in a United shirt was hit and miss | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Appearances: 17
Goals: 7

A career resurgence at Inter has left fans second guessing United's decision to sell Lukaku, but it was for the best. He didn't fit the mould under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but was bound to be a world beater in Italy.

12. Robin van Persie

United fans would've loved to have seen Van Persie join the club earlier in his career | ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Appearances: 12
Goals: 7

The Dutchman carried United to their 20th league title in 2012/13 and also holds a pretty impressive record in Europe for the Red Devils. If only he moved to Old Trafford a few seasons earlier...

11. Teddy Sheringham

Teddy Sheringham
Sheringham was pivotal to United's fortunes in the 1999 final | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 30
Goals: 9

Sheringham bagged nine Champions League goals for United during his time with club, one being arguably the most important Champions League goal in the club's history. He scored the equaliser in the 1999 final between United and Bayern Munich before assisting the winner. Iconic.

10. Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke
Dwight Yorke, 1999 | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Appearances: 36
Goals: 11

One half of one of the Premier League's deadliest striker partnerships ever, Yorke was also a success at European level. Obviously, because he was absolutely mint.

9. David Beckham

David Beckham, Samuel Kuffour
Beckham was unplayable in the 1999 Champions League campaign | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 77
Goals: 14

A right foot doesn't come better than David Beckham's. Him now being a club owner and massive celebrity makes it easy to forget that he was once a winger at Manchester United. A very good one, too.

8. Roy Keane

Champs League SF Roy Keane
Keane's performance against Juventus in the 1999 Champions league semi final was one of his best | Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Appearances: 74
Goals: 14

His aggressive style of play probably wouldn't go far in today's game, but his other incredible attributes would. United still lack a leader as influential as Keane and will probably never find anyone like him again.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani
Ronaldo lifts the Champions League with fellow Portuguese winger Nani | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Appearances: 52
Goals: 15

Hurts, doesn't it?

Watching Cristiano Ronaldo do his thing in the English game was a blessing, more for Manchester United fans and less for opposition defences. One of the greatest.

6. Andy Cole

Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
United's strike partnership throughout the 1990s was special | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Appearances: 48
Goals: 18

Yorke's partner comes in just above him with a few more goals in European competition. Andy Cole was a complete striker and more than just a goal scorer. His vision and reading of the game were incredible.

5. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer celebrates after winning Man Utd the 1999 Champions League | Getty Images/Getty Images

Appearances: 77
Goals: 20

Late in May in 1999, Ole scored the goal in extra time. Need we say any more?

4. Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes
Scholes is criminally overlooked by many | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Appearances: 124
Goals: 24

Contrary to what Twitter might think, Paul Scholes was an incredible footballer. An energetic and accurate midfielder with an eye for goal, and United's fourth-highest top scorer in Europe.

3. Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs is United's third-top goalscorer in the Champions League | Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Appearances: 145
Goals: 28

The Welshman is one of the most decorated footballers of all time and won two Champions Leagues with United as a part of two obscenely talented squads.

2. Wayne Rooney

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney holds u
Rooney is arguably the greatest British player of all time | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Appearances: 85
Goals: 30

United and England's all time leading goalscorer opened his account for the Red Devils with a hat-trick in the Champions League in 2004 against Fenerbahce. The rest is history.

1. Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy's 35 goals make him Man Utd's top scorer in the Champions League | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Appearances: 43
Goals: 35

Ruud the dude. The Dutchman was an absolute goal machine and it's quite mental to think he left United with as little silverware that he did. The Red Devils' all-time top scorer in the Champions League, and one of the most clinical strikers ever.