From the UEFA Champions League to the UEFA Europa Conference League, all European cup competitions offer a level of difficulty unseen in local cup tournaments. Since the stakes are higher, defenders play as if their lives depend on it, which makes it tougher for players to find the back of the net.
Despite the lack of leeway, some players tend to find a way to score, fashioning openings through their relentlessness and converting half-chances with grace. Today, we will take a look at some gifted scorers who have done this effortlessly for English clubs. Here are the top five players, belonging to English teams, with the most goals scored in European competitions, excluding qualifiers:
#5 Harry Kane – 36 Goals
One of the best strikers in Premier League history, Harry Kane scored an impressive 36 goals and provided 11 assists in 67 European games for Tottenham Hotspur before his departure to Bayern Munich earlier this summer. Kane is the only player on this list to have played in all three tiers of European competitions: UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League.
Kane scored 21 goals and provided five assists in 32 Champions League games. He recorded 11 more goals and five assists in 31 Europa League games. The remaining four of his games came in the Europa Conference League, during which he scored four goals and claimed an assist. Shockingly, Kane never managed to win any European silverware during his time in north London.
#4 Didier Drogba – 36 Goals
A Chelsea legend in the truest sense, Didier Droga has claimed the fourth spot, having bagged a whopping 36 goals and 12 assists in 74 games in Europe. Unlike the other players on this list, Drogba never played in the UEFA Europa League for Chelsea, with all his goals and appearances coming in the UEFA Champions League.
Drogba enjoyed his best-ever Champions League campaign in the 2011-12 season. Not only did he score his career-best six goals in eight games, but he also lifted the coveted trophy at the end of the campaign.
#3 Sergio Aguero – 40 Goals
Manchester City‘s record goalscorer (260 goals), Sergio Aguero was a force to be reckoned with during his time at the Etihad Stadium. In addition to scoring for fun in the Premier League, he also proved his mettle in the UEFA Champions League as well as the UEFA Europa League, scoring 40 times and providing 10 assists in 68 games.
Aguero’s UEFA Europa League experience came in the 2011-12 season, during which he scored four times in as many games. His remaining 36 goals came in the UEFA Champions League. Surprisingly, the Argentine never managed to lift the Old Big Ears throughout his legendary career.
#2 Thierry Henry – 42 Goals
Arsenal icon Thierry Henry is the second name on the list, having scored an impressive 42 goals and provided 16 assists in 85 European games.
Henry played just eight Europa League matches (then UEFA Cup) matches in his career, scoring seven goals in them. The remaining 35 goals came in the most prestigious cup competition in club soccer, the UEFA Champions League. Unfortunately, Henry never tasted Champions League success with the Gunners, with him coming the closest in 2006 when his team lost the final to Barcelona.
#1 Mohamed Salah – 43 Goals
Having scored 43 goals for Liverpool between the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, Mohamed Salah sits at the summit as the new king of European competitions. The Egypt international has taken 67 games to surpass Thierry Henry’s tally, claiming 14 assists along the way.
Salah is playing in the Europa League for the first time this season since joining Liverpool six seasons back. The right-winger has struck twice in three Europa League games so far, with his remaining 41 strikes coming in the Champions League (64 games). Salah has won the Champions League once in his career, with his maiden triumph coming in the 2018-19 campaign.