Top 5 individual performance in CL history

Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by Isaías Silva Serafim, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    Inspired by the World Cup thread I went looking and didn't find any for the UEFA Champions League. In your opinion what were the top 5 individual performances in UCL history?
    I would especially like to know the opinions of @PDG1978 @carlito86 @SayWhatIWant @benficafan3 @leadleader @PuckVanHeel . But everyone's opinions are welcome.
     
  2. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #2 carlito86, Jan 10, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2023
    I think cristiano and Messi would dominate all top 5(unquestionably)



    Outside of these names I like the most
    Ricardo Kaká 2006/07
    Alessandro del Piero 1997/98

    And Andriy Shevchenko (specifically his last season at Dynamo Kiev even though the one before was very good too aswell)

    @PDG1978

    Nobody in 2022 played football as good as this Shevchenko


    These three players had the double digit goals in their respective best seasons and the all round to go with it looking really devastating against big teams

    I’m personally not including any of lewandowski and benzemas recent seasons in that top tier


    I feel Benzema 21/22 was spectacular in the R16 and QF
    Less so after that(1 non penalty goal across the SF and final matches) and before that in the groupstage he wasn’t really all that

    Chelsea have been on a downward spiral since last season culminating with the sacking of Tuchel and thereafter the appointment of a largely unproven mid table manager(languishing 10th in the EPL table as we speak)

    Uncertainty was around the club with the Russia/Ukraine war forcing their long term owner abramovich to sell the club.
    2021/22 was probably the most disruptive season in Chelsea’s modern history
    I say this as a matter of fact not opinion



    And PSG what can we say about that hasn’t been said
    We’ll see if Messi changes their history or even Mbappé




    I think if you widened the question a little bit it would be very interesting
    To include seasons prior to 1992/93 so the old European Cup aswell
    That would be very interesting


    Including The best EC campaigns of Di stefano,puskas,Jose altafini,Eusebio,George best,Johan Cruyff,Gerd Muller,Marco Van Basten and gheorghe Hagi

    They are the standouts for me in the pre CL era
    Comparing the available footage,alongside the statistical data would help build a nice picture
     
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  3. Tropeiro

    Tropeiro Member+

    Jun 1, 2018
    Benzema 21/22 vs City away was a great game, that was one of the game where he genuinely looked the best player on the pitch despite being the most advanced attacker... and City was just too powerful for Madrid, clearly was the best team.
     
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  4. Danko

    Danko Member+

    Barcelona
    Serbia
    Mar 15, 2018
    Probably a lot of recency bias on my part but I'd go with this top 4. Can't decide on a 5th one.

    Messi 2011
    Messi 2015
    Ronaldo 2017
    Benzema 2022
     
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  5. SayWhatIWant

    SayWhatIWant Member+

    Jan 10, 2015
    Benzema 2022 was the best, Cristiano campaign with the two hattricks close second.
    The top 5 CL campaigns are all in the Messi CR7 era imo. Club football changed and the superclubs arrived to advanced wtages with nuch greater regularity.
    So I don't think it's recency bias so much as past greats did not have the same conditions to shine.
    Theres a reason the top 5 goalscorers are all from the last generation not before
     
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  6. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    I think Cristiano 16/17 was better than Benzema 21/22. He came out of the group stage with just 2 goals and Messi's fans were raving about their idol already on 10 goals. Then he destroyed the top 3 goalkeepers of his generation (Neuer, Oblak and Buffon) scoring against the best teams to park the bus (Atleti and Juve) and against the mighty Bayern. I think the quality of the goalkeepers and the defensive system of the teams Cristiano faced in 17 was much higher than the ones Benzema faced in 22.
    I also think that Cristiano 13/14 is way ahead of Benzema 21/22. He broke the record for goals scored in a UCL edition. He scored 17 goals in 11 games playing against teams like Antonio Conte's Juve (102 points in serie A), Klopp's Dortmund, Guardiola's Bayern and the Best version of Simeone's Atletico.
     
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  7. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    I think they had the same chances to shine. Superclubs face other superclubs in the UCL especially from the QF to the final
     
  8. Danko

    Danko Member+

    Barcelona
    Serbia
    Mar 15, 2018
    13/14 Cristiano is a very overrated run. He was statpadding a lot in blowouts or garbage time. He had 9 goals in group stage, 4 in the R16 against Schalke which was a 9-2 aggregate win, 1 against Dortmund, 2 against Bayern but both came with the tie basically decided with one in garbage time and then 1 against Atleti which was a penalty in the 120th minute up 3-1. His only impactful goal was the one against Dortmund because that was a 3-2 aggregate win.

    16/17 Cristiano was legit great. You can nitpick and say the OT goal against Bayern was offside and Atleti weren't what they were from 2014-2016 defensively but he came up huge. One of the best CL runs of all time and by far Cristiano's best IMO.
     
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  9. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    By saying "9 goals were in the group stage" you are completely ignoring what I said about him facing Conte's Juve in whom he had 3 goals and 1 assists in 2 games aggregated in 4-3. I don't think it's fair to call him statpadding when he has scored/assisted in every game against stronger opponents. You are also ignoring that he also provided an assist against Atlético in the final, it was the 2-1 turnaround goal. If you only want to count the games against the strongest opponents, they were: 6 games (2 against Juve, 1 against Dortmund, 2 against Bayern and 1 against Atleti), 7 goals and 2 assists. In these games Real Madrid scored 16 goals with him directly involved in 9 of them. Goal contribution = 56,25%. This is basically the same contribution against the smaller teams. (13 G+A from Cristiano/21 Real Madrid goals = 61,9% of goal contribution) naturally he'll score/assist more goals against the weaker teams than the stronger ones because, well, they're stronger. Statpadding for me is scoring against the weakers and failing against the strongers. And this is clearly not his case.
     
  10. SayWhatIWant

    SayWhatIWant Member+

    Jan 10, 2015
    I can't agree with you on that for some very simple reasons. There is more parity, maybe even superiority of Real Madrid compared to those opponents. Benzema / Real Madrid won a CL they had no business winning. Extroardinary comeback after extraordinary comeback and Benzema was the protagonist every time. He tied Cristiano's record for most goals with an inferior squad against relatively superior opponents. Magical.
     
  11. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think the first contribution I'll make is to copy over the data I posted yesterday (on a more unsuitable thread, so it was in a spoiler section anyway) although while I think it may be correct for 94/95 onwards (I'll try to look into that more to be sure though), for 92/93 and 93/94 it is a bit incomplete I notice (more likely not having the full set of games detailed rather than missing off assists I'm thinking: at first I thought maybe it was just Round 1 and Round 2 being considered preliminary even though they weren't officially, because they were before the Group Stage, but I noticed for example that not only the contributions but also the games played were too low of Michael Laudrup in 93/94 - that's easy to cross reference with PuckvanHeel's thread about Laudrup in European games of course too - and then I saw the list of games they show for that season and indeed not all group games are included at this point so maybe they're still planning to add more?)

    The first name/s indicate top assister and the names after the semi-colon indicate the players with the highest number of goal involvements. Top goalscorers are easy to check too, but also well known already I suppose. From 2004/05 most other sites would have the correct assist data anyway I'm thinking (that's about where the cut-off was I thought anyway, in terms of when the data started being collected and published on stats sites, but unfortunately then sometimes the running tallies from then onwards for assists labelled as all-time for CL!)

    Voller 4; Sauzee 6
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1992/93 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1992/93 :: playmakerstats.com
    Savicevic 5; Savicevic, Stoichkov 8
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1993/94 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1993/94 :: playmakerstats.com
    Wahlstedt 4; Litmanen 9
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1994/95 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1994/95 :: playmakerstats.com
    Yuran, Vialli 4; Litmanen 10
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1995/96 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1995/96 :: playmakerstats.com
    Zidane 6; Simone, Pantic, Zidane 8
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1996/97 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1996/97 :: playmakerstats.com
    Jakobsen, Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Zidane 5; Del Piero 13
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1997/98 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1997/98 :: playmakerstats.com
    Beckham 8; Yorke 15
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1998/99 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1998/99 :: playmakerstats.com
    Figo 8; Figo 13
    Most Assists :: Champions League 1999/00 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 1999/00 :: playmakerstats.com
    Mendieta 8; Figo 12
    Most Assists :: Champions League 2000/01 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 2000/01 :: playmakerstats.com
    Veron 6; Van Nistelrooy 15
    Most Assists :: Champions League 2001/02 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 2001/02 :: playmakerstats.com
    Rui Costa 6, Van Nistelrooy 15
    Most Assists :: Champions League 2002/03 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 2002/03 :: playmakerstats.com
    Rothen 9; Henry, Morientes 11
    Most Assists :: Champions League 2003/04 :: playmakerstats.com
    Involved in goals :: Champions League 2003/04 :: playmakerstats.com


    One name to put into the mix (not sure about top 5 of course; possibly top 5 for this period I'm dealing with here....) is George Weah in 1994/95 - there isn't an overall video like the Shevchenko 1998/99 one (which at first glance I did think was all CL, and all 98/99 indeed) so I'll post a little series of videos to give an idea




    #PSGretro : Paris Saint-Germain FC Barcelone (2-1) 1995 - YouTube
    PSG-Bayern Munich (saison 94-95) - YouTube

    Others that come to mind from this period (perhaps contenders for top 10-20 or something potentially), other than Weah 94/95 plus Del Piero 97/98 already mentioned and likewise indeed Shevchenko 98/99, would be Del Piero 95/96, Zidane 97/98, Figo 99/00, ZIdane 01/02, Henry 03/04, with maybe following slightly behind the likes of Litmanen 94/95 and 95/96, Beckham and Yorke 98/99, Raul and Redondo 99/00, Savicevic 93/94 (he'd have had a better case mixing in 94/95 as well i.e especially adding the semi-final games from that season to 93/94, so like Litmanen he has two seasons with notable contributions in a row but possibly is a bit short for a single one overall)....
     
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  12. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Cross-checking Zidane's assists against this (which is outdated now of course, but was once the all-time CL assists list, in terms of assists per game, with 16 assists or more as the qualifier)

    On that site I linked above:
    Zidane 96/97 - 6 assists
    Zidane 97/98 - 5 assists
    Zidane 98/99 - 4 assists
    (Juventus not in 99/00 CL)
    Zidane 00/01 - 0 assists
    Zidane 01/02 - 2 assists
    Zidane 02/03 - 5 assists
    Zidane 03/04 - 2 assists
    Zidane 04/05 - 1 assist
    Zidane 05/06 - 0 assists

    That's 25 then, so close but not quite the same. Potentially due to assist definition between sources I guess....

    I think all games will be listed here for 94/95 (unlike with 93/94 like I say) so I presume for every season afterwards too...
    Champions League 1994/95 :: Champions League Football [Seniors] :: Schedule :: playmakerstats.com
     
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  13. Gregoire1

    Gregoire1 Member

    Dec 4, 2020
    Messi 2015
    Messi 2011
    Ronldinho 2006
    Zidane 2002
    Ronaldo 2017
     
  14. Isaías Silva Serafim

    Real Madrid
    Brazil
    Dec 2, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    Brazil
    He didn't tied Cristiano's record. Benzema Scored 15 goals. Cristiano overcame this in 2 different seasons. 16 goals in 15/16 and 17 goals in 13/14. Not to mention the number of assists Cristiano has doubled and the number of games. I can agree that Cristiano's Real Madrid in 13/14 and 16/17 were superior to Benzema's Real Madrid in 21/22, but that is partly down to Cristiano himself. And Cristiano's opponents were also superior to Benzema's. Chelsea and Liverpool were in decline. The only really strong team was City. But I think it was much more difficult to score against Atleti in 13/14.
     
  15. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think for Opta-rules assists this site would probably be better, but just goes back to 99/00 for assists (a few years earlier than most sources I think though)

    Figo 9; Raul, Figo 14 (per 90 minutes Kanu for assists with 4, Simone Inzaghi for goals/assists with 10 & with penalties deducted Figo is one clear of Raul for overall goals/assists)
    1999-2000 Champions League Stats | FBref.com
    Figo, Mendieta 7; Figo 12 (per 90 minutes Bernarbia for assists with 3, Simone for goals/assists with 7 & with penalties deducted Raul and Elber tie Figo for overall goals/assists)
    2000-2001 Champions League Stats | FBref.com
    Schneider, Van Nistelrooy, Veron 6; Van Nistelrooy 16 (per 90 minutes Salihamidzic for assists with 5, Carriere for goals/assists with under 8 & with penalties deducted Van Nistelrooy stays top overall for goals/assists even with a few penalties scored)
    2001-2002 Champions League Stats | FBref.com
    Raul, Rui Costa 6; Raul, Van Nistelrooy 15 (per 90 minutes Utaka for assists with 4, Van Nistelrooy for goals/assists & he didn't score any penalties this time and neither did Raul)
    2002-2003 Champions League Stats | FBref.com
    Henry, Giggs 5; Henry, Morientes 10 (per 90 minutes Giggs and Emre who had 2 for assists, Trezeguet for goals/assists with 5 & Morientes and Henry's goals tallies are all non-penalty)
    2003-2004 Champions League Stats | FBref.com

    They have a big difference on Rothen's 2003/04 assists! I can't find a Monaco 2003/04 Champions League goals video to review quickly right now though, and don't recall much about how many he got that season.



    Anyway, maybe my inclination is that Messi 2014/15, Kaka 2006/07, Messi 2010/11 might be in a top 5, with two from Zidane 97/98 & 01/02, C.Ronaldo 13/14 & 16/17, Salah 17/18, Ronaldinho 05/06 and Weah 94/95 (perhaps! - I'd find it more tricky than for World Cups for sure anyway I think, where I have a clearer top 2/3 but also a clearer idea for up to 5 or 7, then also for to about 10 or 12 perhaps).

    Possibly it'd have to be C.Ronaldo 16/17 and Ronaldinho 05/06 (but Zidane 01/02, with weighting towards the last games, is not ruled out really I don't think).
     
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  16. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid

    Poacher vs playmaker+striker


    Total Goals


    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    17


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    15



    Penalties scored

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    2


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    2



    Penalties won

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    1


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    0



    Assists

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    5


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    2




    Dribbles completed


    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    25



    Karim benzema 2021/22
    12




    Possession lost


    Karim benzema 2021/22
    19 times


    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    14 times



    Key passes


    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    21



    Karim benzema 2021/22
    19




    Fouls won

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    20


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    3



    Accurate crosses


    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    10


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    5



    Aerial challenges won

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    18


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    7



    Tackles made

    Cristiano Ronaldo 2013/14
    5


    Karim Benzema 2021/22
    3




    Minutes played

    Karim Benzema
    1062


    Cristiano Ronaldo
    963
     
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  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
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  18. SayWhatIWant

    SayWhatIWant Member+

    Jan 10, 2015
    Sorry I meant in knockouts
     
  19. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    As far as the idea of comparing to pre-Champions League campaigns (European Cup) goes, I was thinking it'd be a bit hard, largely because the format (and numbers of games played) was so different, while although it did alter a bit (and expand) during the CL era itself it's not so incomparable between early and late CL eras. Maybe a bigger reason is that we don't have the same amount of footage for European Cup as for World Cup though, and even stats and ratings are lacking in comparison too.

    I haven't really tried to think about that (or just come up with a separate attempt for a possible top 5, top 10, from European Cup only), but funnily I did think it could somehow be easier (despite a different amount of games played, with World Cup players playing less) to compare an idea for top World Cup performers to the CL list I've come up with there. If focusing on the handful of most important and/or most impressive CL games by the players maybe it's kind of do-able? I'm feeling if doing that then then the World Cup players might have the edge (though I'm thinking that going further down a list might change that a bit potentially, up to a certain point - if looking at an attempted list for 11th to 30th or something for example).

    I've got it like this perhaps:
    Maradona 1986 > Messi 2014/15
    Cruyff 1974 > Kaka 2006/07
    Pele 1958 >=< Messi 2010/11 (not really sure)
    Eusebio 1966 >= Ronaldinho 2005/06
    Garrincha 1962 >= C.Ronaldo 2016/17
    Pele 1970 >= Zidane 2001/02
    Jairzinho 1970 >=< C.Ronaldo 2013/14 (not really sure)
    Kopa 1958 >=< Zidane 1997/98 (not really sure)
    Fontaine 1958 >= Weah 1994/95 (not so much the goals rate as the final games leading me that way possibly)
    Kempes 1978 >=< Salah 2017/18 (not really sure)
     
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  20. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Too late to edit, but maybe makes more sense to put Ronaldinho vs Garrincha (lines 4 and 5 are I guess pretty much at the same tier anyway) then all the comparisons are quite comparable position/role wise too maybe. Maybe that can be a 'not really sure' line too, the Garrincha one, anyway.

    And on another matter, I realised after my previous comment on that Shevchenko video that it was indeed titled 1998/99 group stage of course (for anyone that just pressed play on Big Soccer without looking at it, like me originally). There was more to come in the knockout stage of course, and his best goal of the season was in the Ukrainian Cup Final probably I think (and like Carlito said he had good moments in the CL in 97/98 so maybe he's another one whose case improves on the basis of two seasons even rather than just one).
     
  21. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I see this video now, and it has 25, but including one from 2000/01 actually:
     
  22. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I will be posting what are in my personal opinion the absolute best individual performances of the best champions league seasons ever

    I will not be posting(at least for now) any of Cristiano or Messis as I’ve made it clear they occupy all top 5 positions IMO


    For today it’s Ricardo Kaka 2006/07

    Commonly the Manchester United SF tie away from Home is cited as his best.
    For me it was his most clutch he’s been against a European heavyweight team but it wasn’t his best(across 90 minutes)


    That would be this


    I’ll nominate this as his best and by further extension one of the most devastating individual performances in champions league history

    Kaka is one of the most difficult players of the modern era to rate
    At his best like this (or half a dozen instances elsewhere)he can probably claim to have been the player to reach the highest ever level wearing a Milanese jersey

    I think this level of attacking threat is higher then the level of Van basten,Gullit,Weah,Shevchenko and ibrahimovic In a Milan jersey
    At least from what I’ve seen

    But it was only 10 games of this level he had whilst in his peak and maybe I am even being generous with that


    Kaka categorically wasn’t some technical maestro pinging 50 yard passes across the pitch at least not with any sort of regularity.

    Nor was he the player with the most perfectly weighted through balls
    even though he could with one of the more famous examples being against Liverpool 04/05 with his assist for the 3-0 goal by Hernan crespo

    Nor was he the one to consistently beat 2 or 3 players one after the other with the ball glued to his foot


    But he had acquired the fundamentals of technique

    He was extremely direct
    He could travel with the ball like very few others could
    He was for sure one of the best long distance shooters of his generation

    And lastly but most importantly he had a belief if not conviction in his ability

    many players more talented then him do not have that belief and therefore haven’t reached the lofty heights that he did

    Kaka is a religious man (at least he was I don’t look into him much since he retired)
    Doesn’t drink,doesn’t ******** around with groupies and claims inspiration from his relationship with his god
    https://amp.theguardian.com/football/2009/jan/18/kaka-profile

    That spiritual connection he claims to of had allowed him to do the things that he did.
    The things he did in the 2006/07 CL are what many more talented players then him did not do (or in many cases did not even come close to replicating)
     
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  23. Neron Nuñez

    Neron Nuñez New Member

    Monterrey
    Mexico
    Dec 30, 2022
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    I can't really say all time but my top 5 In the last 20+ years would be

    2010/11 Messi
    2014/15 Messi
    2001/02 Zidane
    2005/06 Ronaldinho
    2021/22 Benzema
     
  24. PrimoCalcio

    PrimoCalcio Member

    Milan/Napoli
    Italy
    Oct 14, 2019
    The shame is that defenders and deeper-lying midfield players are going to be overlooked in these lists. It's almost harder to think of a standout defender's performance over the course of a UCL campaign than it is with a WC, which happens over just a few games in the span of one month. Not that I think a defender deserves a top 5 spot, but it'd be nice to remember the outstanding performances. I can maybe think of Sammer 1996, Maldini 2003, Ramos (whenever he scored those important headers, I can't remember), and VVD 2019. These might be based more on reputation that actual detailed evaluation of performance though. Like I said, it can be hard to evaluate a defender over a UCL campaign.
     
  25. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #25 carlito86, Jan 13, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2023



    The 6 Serie A players with the best EC/CL performances IMO are José altafini,Michel platini,Marco Van Van basten,Alessandro del Piero and Ricardo Kaká.

    Out of these names Kaka reached the highest peak in continental club competitions
    His run between 2003/04 and 2006/07 was out of this world
    I’m pretty sure Ronaldinho and Zidane were nowhere near as devastating as him in the CL

    We’re talking about one of the rare players in champions league history who did not require service to make a difference


    Weah did his damage at PSG and cristiano only had one legendary CL game at juventus(with the goals and elite all round play vs Atlético Madrid 2018/19)
     
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