UEFA Champions League is considered to be the pinnacle of club football. Therefore, the teams and players who do well in this competition are considered among the best in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two such players. But it seems that they both trail one Liverpool star in knockout stage prolificacy.
According to statistics accumulated by Opta, Sadio Mane holds the record for best minutes per goal in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages. The Senegalese has scored a goal in the latter half of the competition every 95 minutes and is ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar.
95 – Of all players to have scored 10+ goals in @ChampionsLeague knockout stage matches, Sadio Mané currently has the best minutes per goal ratio in the history of the competition. Pivotal. pic.twitter.com/OuMTgyJVtZ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 18, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo follows Mane into the second position. The Portuguese international has scored a staggering sixty-five goals in the knockout stages. However, the Juventus star has indeed played more games than Mane and holds a minute-per-goal ratio of 107.
Lionel Messi, on the other hand, has scored forty-four goals in the Champions League knockout stages with a goal coming every 129 minutes.
However, one aberration to consider here is the number of games that Mane has played as compared to the two. The Senegalese international has witnessed considerably less action as compared to his two more experienced competitors, being the part of the UCL knockout stages for only two seasons.
Nonetheless, Mane will look to continue his tremendous form when his side plays Barcelona in the Champions League semifinal.