Top scorers in 2019: Robert Lewandowski set to beat Lionel Messi, Cristiano

Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo tended to steal the headlines and demolish yet more records and defences this year, but both will finish behind another gluttonous goalscorer at the top of the club and country total on the final day of 2019.

As Spurs discovered to their cost on the stroke of half-time in what would become a humiliating 7-2 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Champions League in OctoberRobert Lewandowski needs only the slightest sight of goal to inflict precise pain.

Spurs had been ahead and level before Lewandowski turned and struck with the most lethal of finishes on a grim night for Mauricio Pochettino that hastened the manager’s departure and underlined the striker’s capacity for brilliance.

No one has scored more than Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in the last 12 months

No one has scored more than Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in the last 12 months

Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed another prolific year

Despite injury problems Lionel Messi has still excelled

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have both enjoyed a prolific 12 months for club and country

With 54 goals in 58 games for Bayern and Poland, Lewandowski has comfortably the most goals this calendar year. 

He has been helped by Lionel Messi’s injury travails this season, but his more talked-about rival missed the chance to overtake him during December, ending on 50 goals from the same number of games as Lewy. 

Messi has not done badly himself. The Argentina magician’s receipt of a record sixth Ballon d’Or reflected the aesthetically dazzling nature of his craft and his ability to change a game breathtakingly quickly, as Liverpool learned in cruel fashion when they were beaten 3-0 at Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals in April.

Two goals in seven minutes seemed to have put paid to Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the final, although Messi would undoubtedly trade those goals for the horror show Barca put on in the return leg, when they were vanquished 4-0 at Anfield on arguably the most memorable night of last season’s Champions League.

The bar has been raised from last year, when Messi finished top with 51 goals from 54 matches. He would have done so again had he repeated his feats of 2016, when he scored 59 goals, and 2010, when he netted 60 times.

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane is among the leading scorers in Europe

Sadio Mane helped Liverpool to win the Champions League in June

Harry Kane and Sadio Mane have hit the same number of goals for club and country this year

Of the four occasions in the last decade when Messi has finished top, 2012 stands out. He finished on an incredible 91 goals that year – no other player has scored more than 70 in the last ten years.


Robert Lewandowski 54 goals in 58 apps

Lionel Messi 50 goals in 58 apps

Kylian Mbappe 44 goals in 49 apps

Raheem Sterling 41 goals in 61 apps 

Cristiano Ronaldo 39 goals in 50 apps 

Alfredo Morelos 38 goals in 53 apps

Andraz Sporar 36 goals in 46 apps

Erik Sorga 35 goals in 45 apps 

Sergio Aguero 35 goals in 49 apps

Karim Benzema 35…

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