8 of the greatest ever scoring streaks – starring Batistuta, Ronaldo, Messi and MullerAs Cristiano Ronaldo sets a new Champions League record by scoring in a 10th consecutive game at the expense of Juventus, Greg Lea reveals footballs most impressive uninterrupted streaks
Cristiano Ronaldo: 10 games, Champions League
Poor Ruud van Nistelrooy. His Champions League record of scoring in nine consecutive games (set in 2002/03) was matched by his old Manchester United team-mate in March 2018, after Ronaldo’s towering header against PSG booked Real Madrid’s place in the quarter-finals.
However, Real Madrid’s No.7 was never going to stop there. He broke Juventus hearts and the Dutchman’s record by scoring in a 10th successive game in the first leg of the last eight in Turin. Then he made us forget all about the record book with his second of the game: a picture-perfect bicycle kick.
Juve must be sick of the sight of him. Ronaldo’s current streak began with a brace against the same opposition in last season’s final, before two more doubles in this term’s group stage helped Madrid beat APOEL and Borussia Dortmund. The Portuguese then scored twice in two meetings with Tottenham, and added five more to his tally in the return fixtures against APOEL and Dortmund. His three goals in two knockout games against PSG were then key to the holders’ progress to the last four.
That means his record stands at 16 goals in his last 10 Champions League matches – and counting.
Fernando Peyroteo: 10 games, Campeonato da Liga
Even by the standards of the 1930s and 1940s when goals-per-game ratios were much higher than they are today, Peyroteo’s scoring record was remarkable. The Angola-born striker made the net bulge 15 times in his 20 outings for Portugal, but it was at club level where he truly thrived: in 334 appearances for Sporting CP, he scored an extraordinary 544 goals.
Such statistics mean it’s no surprise that Peyroteo holds the Portuguese record for the longest scoring run in the top flight. The one-club man struck a mind-boggling 31 goals in Sporting’s last 10 matches of his debut campaign of 1937/38, although even that wasn’t enough for the Lions to finish above runners-up Porto or champions Benfica.
Jamie Vardy: 11 games, Premier League
When Vardy scored for the 11th game in a row against Manchester United in November 2015, nobody anticipated it would form part of the story of Leicester’s title triumph. Breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record of 10 matches was an outstanding individual achievement, but his exploits in front of goal also helped Claudio Ranieri’s side collect 22 points on route to arguably the most astonishing collective feat in English football history.
Vardy scored 13 goals during his record-breaking run, including braces against Arsenal and Southampton, and single strikes against Man United, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Stoke, Norwich, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Watford and Newcastle.
Gabriel Batistuta: 11 games, Serie A
“I'm happy because nobody remembered my record until today," said former Bologna man Ezio Pascutti when Batistuta went one better than his 10-game scoring streak in 1994/95. The Fiorentina forward came flying out the traps at the start of the season, netting in the Viola’s first 11 outings as Claudio Ranieri’s men shot into Scudetto contention.
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The Argentine marksman opened his account with the winner against Cagliari on the first day of the campaign, before scoring 12 goals in his next 10 outings – including braces against both Cremonese and Napoli. Batistuta ended the season as Serie A’s top scorer with 26 strikes, but Fiorentina faded away and ultimately finished 10th.
Serge Masnaghetti: 13 games, French Division 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG), Sonny Anderson (Lyon) and Vahid Halilhodzic (Nantes) all scored in nine successive top-flight encounters, but the all-time French record is held by former Valenciennes forward Masnaghetti.
The two-time Les Bleus international scored in 13 games in a row in Division 1 in 1962/63 – a feat made all the more impressive when you consider his team only finished ninth in the 20-team division. Masnaghetti notched 35 goals in total that campaign, which remains the most by a Valenciennes player in a single season.
Gerd Muller: 16 games, Bundesliga
The greatest poacher in the history of the game was an expert at being in the right place at the right time, as he demonstrated over a number of years for both Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.
Gerd Muller’s best scoring streak came at club level, the striker netting in 16 straight Bundesliga games in 1969/70. The stretch began with a goal in the 4-0 defeat of Eintracht Braunschweig at the end of September, a week before he grabbed all four of Bayern’s efforts against Werder Bremen. Muller put the ball in the net in every other top-flight game he played until March 17, when he was finally shut out by 1860 Munich.
Stan Mortensen: 15 games, First Division
Vardy may have scored in more consecutive games than any other Premier League player but, as we’re frequently reminded, football didn’t start in 1992. It’s only fair, then, to recognise the accomplishment of Blackpool’s Mortensen, who converted in 15 First Division appearances on the bounce in 1950/51.
That stretch was punctuated by injuries, with the striker scoring three in three before being ruled out of the Tangerines’ next encounter. He netted in 11 consecutive games upon his return but was then forced back to the treatment table; although that halted his momentum, Mortensen again scored in his first match back to make it 15 in a row.
Lionel Messi: 21 games, La Liga
As is often the case, no one comes close to Messi in this particular category. The Barcelona forward scored in an incredible 21 consecutive La Liga games in 2012/13, beginning with a double against Mallorca in mid-November and lasting until the final day of the season when his luck finally ran out.
One strike in each of those matches would be impressive enough, but Messi took things further. He followed that aforementioned two-goal salvo against Mallorca with braces in his next five outings against Real Zaragoza, Levante, Athletic Club, Real Betis and Atletico Madrid, before smashing home four against Osasuna in January.
The Argentine did miss a handful of fixtures through injury, but he was back on the scoresheet after returning for the meeting with Athletic Club at the end of April. In total Messi scored 33 goals in 21 games, smashing the record previously held by ex-Barcelona striker Ronaldo (10 matches) in style.