Liverpool’s all-time Champions League top scorers

Not many relationships in football are as enduring as Liverpool’s love affair with European football.

Manchester United might have their ’20 times’, but Liverpool have Rome twice, Wembley, Paris, Madrid, and, in the most dramatic circumstances of them all, Istanbul. Try knocking them off that perch!

Unsurprisingly, quite a few players have contributed towards this glittering European pedigree, and when it comes specifically to the modern Champions League the Reds might have one of the most eclectic, even bizarre lists of goalscorers – the only list, in fact, where Steven Gerrard can be found rubbing shoulders with the great Jari Litmanen and forgettable faces like David N’Gog.

Without further ado, here are the Reds’ top goalscorers in the Champions League era…

FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-AC MILAN

Henderson scored a cracker against AC Milan / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Not a regular scorer of Champions League goals, but so important for Liverpool nevertheless.

Henderson opened his UCL account in 2014 against Ludogorets, though the strike against AC Milan in 2021 is comfortably the better of the two.

James Milner

Milner netting a penalty against PSG / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Central midfield, on the wing, left back – wherever you play him, you’ll always get a 7/10 from James Milner. Or at least that’s how the cliche goes.

More of a work horse than a clinical midfielder, the former England international has just two UCL goals for Liverpool, both coming as penalties in the 2018/19 group stage games against Paris Saint-Germain.

Xabi Alonso

Alonso eventually brought Liverpool level against Milan in 2005 / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Never the most prolific at Liverpool but definitely one of their modern greats, Alonso broke hearts across Merseyside when he left for Real Madrid in 2009.

However, his penalty rebound in 2005’s classic final against AC Milan brought the score to 3-3 before…well, you know the rest.

Van Dijk was the star as Liverpool toppled Spurs in Madrid

Van Dijk was the star as Liverpool toppled Spurs in Madrid / Visionhaus/Getty Images

One of the most prolific goalscoring defenders in the world, the only surprise here is that the man who changed everything for Liverpool isn’t higher up on this list.

Van Dijk currently has two Champions League goals for the Reds.

Two-time European champion Daniel Sturridge

Two-time European champion Daniel Sturridge / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

In a world where life was fair, Sturridge would be right at the top of this list having had a long and healthy career.

As it is, he was released by Liverpool three days after their last European triumph – at least he got to keep the winner’s medal.

Fowler finally got off the mark with a brace against Galatasaray

Fowler finally got off the mark with a brace against Galatasaray / Mark Thompson/Getty Images

One of the most legendary marksmen in Liverpool’s history, a man who practically breathed goals…only got off the mark for the Reds in the Champions League in 2008 during his second spell at the club?

In fairness, it probably has something to do with Liverpool mainly playing in the UEFA Cup when Fowler was in his prime.

Sinama-Pongolle has since played for Atletico Madrid, Chicago Fire and Dundee United

Sinama-Pongolle has since played for Atletico Madrid, Chicago Fire and Dundee United / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Laugh all you like, but it’s easy to forget that without the heroics of the young Frenchman and Neil Mellor, Gerrard wouldn’t have had a comeback to complete against Olympiacos in the first place in 2005.

Yeah, keep laughing. Alright, stop it now. Really? Really? You’re still going? Whatever. Let’s move on.

N'Gog missed a fair few opportunities at Liverpool

N’Gog missed a fair few opportunities at Liverpool / Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

N’Gog’s career since leaving Liverpool is quite something – you very rarely see Ross County sandwiched between Panionios and Budapest Honved.

However, N’Gog has his own slice of European history for the Reds after scoring against PSV Eindhoven and Debrecen.

Keane scored against Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven

Keane scored against Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

The boyhood Liverpool (and Celtic and Spurs and LA Galaxy) fan lasted half a season in Merseyside before deciding he shouldn’t have bothered leaving White Hart Lane in the first place.

Keane still managed to fit in a couple of group stage goals in Europe.

Riise put the 'Nutter With a Putter' incident behind him to lay on an assist for Bellamy in Liverpool's next game!

Riise put the ‘Nutter With a Putter’ incident behind him to lay on an assist for Bellamy in Liverpool’s next game! / JOHN THYS/Getty Images

Riise was another Champions League winner who possessed a jackhammer of a left foot.

Unfortunately the moment that he is best remembered for in Europe involves a very angry Welshman hitting him repeatedly with a golf club.

A solid, solid footballer

A solid, solid footballer / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Murphy’s area of expertise was arguably Europe’s second-tier competition.

After winning the UEFA Cup with Liverpool in 2001, he came agonisingly close to doing so with Fulham in what would have been a pretty unique achievement.

Smicer had a pivotal role against AC Milan in Istanbul

Smicer had a pivotal role against AC Milan in Istanbul / JOHN D MCHUGH/Getty Images

Smicer never quite became the Steve McManaman replacement that Liverpool fans were looking for.

But given the part that his outside of the box effort played a part in dragging the Reds back into the 2005 final, they probably don’t mind.

Liverpool's Czech striker Milan Baros (L

Great hair, middling goalscoring record / MUSTAFA OZER/Getty Images

Liverpool’s 2005 squad was incredibly weird, and you wonder if they’d even manage to crack the top ten in the current Premier League.

Baros was Liverpool’s joint top-scorer in all competitions that season with – wait for it – 13 goals, and yet they still managed to beat Europe’s best and brightest.

Keita kicked off Liverpool's 6-1 aggregate win over Porto

Keita kicked off Liverpool’s 6-1 aggregate win over Porto / TF-Images/Getty Images

Overrated? Underrated? Flop? The missing piece to Liverpool’s midfield?

We may never know with Keita, but what we can tell you is that he has scored against both Porto and Leipzig in European football.

Rafa Benitez was never a massive fan of Cisse's

Rafa Benitez was never a massive fan of Cisse’s / AFP/Getty Images

His decent goalscoring returns in England were invariably less spectacular than his unique fashion choices.

However, Cisse deserves credit for coming back from a fractured tibia to score one of Liverpool’s penalties in the 2005 final.

Litmanen was another boyhood Liverpool supporter

Litmanen was another boyhood Liverpool supporter / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Litmanen’s body was basically falling apart at this point, and his relationship with Gerard Houllier wasn’t too great either.

To his credit, three Champions League goals in his second season at Anfield is surely proof of his greatness.

Just like Van Dijk, Hyypia was great at both ends of the pitch

Just like Van Dijk, Hyypia was great at both ends of the pitch / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

One of many Liverpool greats that you’d have loved to have seen in the current side, Hyypia wasn’t just a beacon of calm at the back for the Redmen, but had an eye for goal himself.

His volley against Juventus in the 2005 quarter-final was a vital part of Liverpool’s journey to Istanbul.

Origi scored twice in Liverpool's semi-final comeback against Barcelona and added a goal in the final

Origi scored twice in Liverpool’s semi-final comeback against Barcelona and added a goal in the final / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Where do we start with this man?

Origi has scored some of Liverpool’s most iconic goals in the Champions League, and yet he’s still in single figures. He doesn’t make any sense, but Liverpool fans don’t care.

Give this man the respect he deserves!

Give this man the respect he deserves! / ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Today’s kids will never remember, but before the existence of YouTube and those stepovers against Algeria, Heskey was a very highly regarded target man.

He was responsible for one of Liverpool’s great European goals, dumping Roma out of Europe with a thumping header.

A man for the big occasion

A man for the big occasion / Visionhaus/Getty Images

We’re often told that Wijnaldum does the things you don’t see on the pitch, but in vital moments for Liverpool he was very often the man in the spotlight.

He netted in the topsy-turvy semi-final against Roma in 2018, scored twice against Barcelona the year after, and came close to rescuing Liverpool’s bonkers tie against Atletico Madrid in 2020.

One of Anfield's best ever nights

One of Anfield’s best ever nights / ANTHONY DEVLIN/Getty Images

While the guy’s knees are undoubtedly made of porridge, when he’s been fit and firing he’s been a real asset for Liverpool. Remember when the Reds comprehensively blew Man City away in the 2018 quarter final first leg?

Oxlade-Chamberlain was front and centre of the carnage, scoring one of the great Champions League goals in the process.

Diogo Jota

Jota after scoring a hat trick against Atalanta / Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Jota wasted little time making his presence felt in the Champions League with his new side in 2020/21.

Having previously played in the competition for Porto, the Portugal international returned with a bang, first netting against Midtjylland before scoring a hat trick at Atalanta.

Coutinho scored a hattrick for Liverpool against Spartak Moscow

Coutinho scored a hattrick for Liverpool against Spartak Moscow / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

This man would have enjoyed quite the sigh of relief after Kingsley Coman got on the end of Joshua Kimmich’s cross in Lisbon in 2020’s final, because up to that point it looked as if he’d chucked his best ever chance of a Champions League winner’s medal away.

And yet, it was his sale which facilitated the Liverpool rebuild before their 2019 victory in Madrid, so in a way…he was always a winner.

Benayoun knew how to pick his moments

Benayoun knew how to pick his moments / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

If you were compiling a list of the Premier League’s all-time greats, you’d spend at least six hours in conversation before landing on Benayoun.

And yet the clutch midfielder has seemingly popped up in half of the big games of the 2000s, not least in a smash-and-grab win at the Bernabeu for Liverpool in 2009.

Like Coutinho, Owen has a hat trick against Spartak Moscow to his name

Like Coutinho, Owen has a hat trick against Spartak Moscow to his name / Getty Images/Getty Images

Like Fowler, Owen just missed the boat for the return of Liverpool’s European glory days.

To make matters worse, after refusing to take part in Liverpool’s 2004/05 campaign to avoid getting cup tied before a move to Real Madrid, Owen ended up watching the Reds win the whole thing, with that particular trophy missing from his repertoire.

Babel's late goal rubbed Arsenal's noses in it in the 2008 quarter-finals

Babel’s late goal rubbed Arsenal’s noses in it in the 2008 quarter-finals / PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Yes, that Ryan Babel.

Things weren’t ideal for him in Merseyside but a guy who still turns out for the Netherlands is always going to be handier than the headlines suggest, and he was a useful figure in Liverpool’s run to the 2008 semis.

Torres was part of a glorious period for English clubs in Europe

Torres was part of a glorious period for English clubs in Europe / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool weren’t quite the European juggernaut that they are now towards the back end of the 2000s, but they were still a force to be reckoned with, especially with this man up top.

From Inter to Arsenal, a host of mighty opponents were toppled by Torres’ brilliance before he left for pastures new, but ironically the one opponent that he could never quite master was his future club Chelsea.

Kuyt gave Liverpool a glimmer of hope in 2007

Kuyt gave Liverpool a glimmer of hope in 2007 / FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Though he was mainly known for doing lots of running around and scoring from about two yards out, Kuyt’s European credentials are pretty damn good, and he has the privilege of being in an exclusive group of Liverpool players to have scored in a European final.

The goal in question, in Liverpool’s losing effort against AC Milan, is vintage Kuyt, a scrappy flick-on from a corner that only a mother could love.

Crouch with a fan

Crouch with a fan / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

As Spurs fans will tell you, it wasn’t always pretty with Crouchy, but when the floodlights came on and the Handel started playing, he turned into a different animal.

Just like Benayoun and Babel, his tally has been conspicuously inflated by being involved in an 8-0 dismantling of Besiktas – but they all count.

Garcia sold his ghost goal incredibly convincingly

Garcia sold his ghost goal incredibly convincingly / ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Jerzy Dudek are the men who will forever be credited with Liverpool’s fifth Champions League trophy, but Luis Garcia laid the best teams in Europe to waste in the knockout rounds.

His hat trick against Bayer Leverkusen was pretty good, and his dipping half-volley against Juventus was even better, but he saved his best magic trick for Chelsea, scoring a goal where the ball quite possibly never even crossed the line. You can argue about the validity of his ‘ghost goal’ all you like, but he deserves all the credit in the world for celebrating so well that the referee almost didn’t have a choice.

There are many more goals to come from Firmino

There are many more goals to come from Firmino / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Yeah, he doesn’t score goals anymore, blah blah blah…

The Brazilian will still go down as one of the most important players as Liverpool reached back-to-back finals, with the man with the shiniest teeth in football radiant throughout the 2017/18 campaign in particular.

Mane has Gerrard in his sights

Mane has Gerrard in his sights / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Ahead of Bobby is his colleague in one of the all-time most destructive front threes, and just like the former Hoffenheim man, Mane’s fingerprints are all over some of Liverpool’s most glorious nights.

You can’t really argue against that turn and off-balance chip against Manuel Neuer as the pick of the bunch, while he does of course have the honour of a Champions League final goal to his name.

Will we ever see a player put a team on his back in the Champions League like Gerrard did again?

Will we ever see a player put a team on his back in the Champions League like Gerrard did again? / Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

For a long time, Gerrard’s record as Liverpool’s top scorer in the Champions League looked untouchable. He was, after all, their clutch king on the most magical nights at Anfield

In a very different time when he was carrying the likes of Baros and Igor Biscan and when Liverpool had to scrap for every knockout victory, the local hero came up time and time again. He’s since been surpassed at the top of this particular tree, but Gerrard’s record remains a testament to one of Europe’s great one-man shows.

From the agony of Kiev to the ecstasy of Madrid

From the agony of Kiev to the ecstasy of Madrid / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In 2017/18 during his debut Liverpool season, everything Mohamed Salah touched turned to gold. Scoring ten goals, it remains his best return in the Champions League for a season, but his appearance in the final was cut short due to injury.

However, he came back stronger a year later to dispatch a penalty early on in the final against Tottenham and has continued to score with regularity on the continent, if not quite matching the ridiculous pace he set in his first season.

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