Champions League: Ten incredible records that might never be broken

Champion league ball

As much as it might anger purists of the sport, there are many players that would prefer to lift ‘Big Ears’ with their club than they would the FIFA World Cup with their nation.

But what we can all probably agree on is that the Champions League is the pinnacle when it comes to club football and collecting its famous trophy is crucial if you’re going to be considered a legend.

Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it remains to be seen when the 2019/20 iteration will be able to resume and Liverpool are set to enjoy ‘European champion’ status for a little longer.

However, in the absence of any live Champions League action for the foreseeable future, we’ve decided to reminisce some of the craziest moments from the competition’s massive archives.

Greatest Champions League records

Champion league cup

As much as we know football did exist before 1992, we’re only taking about the modern era under the competition’s current name for ease’s sake and to avoid some whacky post-war statistics.

And, yes, we’re well aware that every record has the potential to be broken, but if we were putting our money on which 10 will stand the test of our time, these would be our safest bets:

Bafetimbi Gomis vs Dinamo Zagreb

1. Fastest ever hat-trick
(8 minutes – Bafetimbi Gomis vs Dinamo Zagreb, 2011/12)

We’re actually starting with one of the ‘weaker’ records on the list, especially when you consider Sadio Mane’s Premier League history-maker stands at a mind-blowing two minutes and 56 seconds.

But if you bear in mind that Gomis’ rapid treble in Croatia – which he later added to with a fourth – overtook Mike Newell’s record of almost 20 years, you can understand why we think it’ll stand the test of time.

Even Cristiano Ronaldo’s fastest ever hat-trick in Europe finishes three minutes short of the mark.

Lionel Messi vs Bayer Leverkusen

2. Most goals from one player in a knockout game
(5 – Lionel Messi vs Bayer Leverkusen, 2011/12)

Can you see anybody scoring a double hat-trick in a Champions League knockout tie? Yeh, neither can we.

Messi is the only player to notch up five goals in 90 minutes after the group stages and for our money, nobody will ever replicate his display that tore apart Leverkusen during his 91-goal year.

Jens Lehmann

3. Most consecutive clean sheets
(10 games – Jens Lehmann – October 2005 to April 2006)

This record is truly bonkers.

After conceding away to Ajax in the second game of Arsenal’s 2005-06 campaign, Lehmann then went the remaining four group games and the ENTIRETY of the knockout stages without conceding a single goal.

Being sent off after 18 minutes in the final means that, technically, Lehmann’s record is extended to a surely unassailable double figures totalling more than 800 minutes and 13.5 hours. Madness.

Hans-Jörg Butt

4. Most goals by a goalkeeper
(3 – Hans-Jörg Butt)

It’s mind-boggling to think that a goalkeeper has scored three times in the Champions League and cult hero Butt holds the strange distinction of bagging all three goals against Juventus.

That’s right, Butt humiliated the Old Lady on a hat-trick of occasions for Hamburg, Leverkusen and Bayern Munich respectively with all three strikes coming from the penalty spot.

We can’t see a ‘keeper racing to four goals in the Champions League any time soon, that’s for sure.

Borussia Dortmund 8-4 Legia Warsaw

5. Most goals in a match
(12 – Borussia Dortmund 8-4 Legia Warsaw, 2016/17)

There were some mental games during the European Cup era, but TWELVE goals in a Champions League match? Beggar belief.

We’re struggling to envisage some sort of 9-4, 8-5 or 10-3 game in Europe’s top tier that could possibly overtake the madness that unfolded at Signal Iduna Park as recently as four years ago.

Marco Ballotta

6. Oldest ever player
(43 years and 253 days – Marco Ballotta vs Real Madrid, 2007-08)

When Ballotta shipped three goals against Los Blancos just a few months shy of his 44th birthday, he blew the previous record of Alessandro Costacurta out the water by almost three years.

And bearing in mind that the second oldest player in the competition’s history – Olexandr Shovkovskiy – was two years his junior, the record looks pretty safe with Ballotta.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 2013-14

7. Most goals in a single season
(17 – Cristiano Ronaldo, 2013-14)

To tell you the truth, we could have inserted about ten gazillion of Ronaldo’s records in the Champions League, but few compare to scoring more in Europe than most strikers produce in all competitions.

The Real Madrid superstar bagged nine goals in the group stages, four goals in the round of 16, one strike in the quarter-finals, two in the semi-finals and one more for good luck in the climax itself.

The only person that’s ever come close to beating this tally is, well, Ronaldo himself.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain

8. Highest ever attendance
(115,500 – Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain, 1994/95)

We’ll let you decide whether we’re cheating by putting this record on the list, but it’s fair to say this is the figure we’re most confident about.

Although Camp Nou still boasts the highest capacity in the Champions League, changes to stadium regulations have seen attendances drop in modern times and we may never see a six-figure crowd ever again.

Layvin Kurzawa

9. Most goals by a defender in one match
(3 – Layvin Kurzawa vs Anderlecht, 2017-18)

A hat-trick from a defender!??!?!?

That’s right, Paris Saint-Germain left-back Kurzawa became the first player to achieve this feat just two years ago and let’s be honest, no defender is ever going to score FOUR in a Champions League tie. This record is a banker.


10. Youngest scorer of a hat-trick
(18 years and 114 days – Raul vs Ferencvaros, 1995/96)

Considering only five teenagers have ever scored a Champions League hat-trick, the fact Real Madrid legend Raul did it with over a year and a half to spare stands him in good stead.

Plus, we think Rodrygo Goes gave this record about as much of a scare as it can possibly receive when he bagged a hat-trick against Galatasaray last year, but even he was nearly 200 days too old.

Barring a real surge in Ansu Fati’s goalscoring form at Barcelona, this is one record that Raul will probably retain for as long as he lives.


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