Cristiano Ronaldo is not playing in the UEFA Champions League this season, as Manchester United had to settle with a UEFA Europa League berth. That puts many of his records in jeopardy, as Lionel Messi and another Argentine star are getting close to a mark set by him long ago.
Manchester United have come off their worst ever Premier League campaign, costing them a place in the group stage of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League. The Red Devils have experienced that situation since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but it was something completely new for Cristiano Ronaldo.
For all these years, playing in Europe’s top competition was never in doubt for the Portuguese star. It was a big shock when United failed to secure a top four finish. In fact, it nearly got him kicked out of Old Trafford.
Ronaldo was reportedly interested in a move during the summer, with the lack of UCL football understood to be a key reason for his desire to leave. We can’t blame him as he is now unable to protect his own records.
Messi among Argentine stars who could break UCL record set by Cristiano Ronaldo
Last season, former Real Madrid teammates drew level with Ronaldo on five Champions League titles won. This campaign, United’s absence in the competition puts more records in jeopardy. While his goal scoring record looks safe (Lionel Messi is 13 goals behind), Ronaldo could be surpassed in assists given.
Ronaldo currently leads the all-time Champions League assist list with 42, but Angel Di Maria has recently put himself only four assits shy of the Portuguese after setting up three goals for Juventus against Maccabi Haifa. Messi is also close to Ronaldo with 37 assists provided.
Most assists in Champions League history
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 42
- Angel Di Maria – 38
- Lionel Messi – 37
- Neymar – 32
- Ryan Giggs – 31
- Xavi – 30
- Andres Iniesta – 29
- Karim Benzema – 28
- Thomas Muller – 27
- Cesc Fabregas / Zlatan / Luis Suarez – 26