Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has recorded the most assists in UEFA Champions League history, excluding qualifiers. The former Real Madrid frontman tops the list with 42 assists in a record 181 UCL games.

Ronaldo, who also holds the record for most goals (140) in Champions League history, made his UCL debut in a Manchester United shirt against VfB Stuttgart in a 1-2 defeat in October 2003. 

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s best season in terms of assists in the UEFA Champions League was the 2016-17 campaign when the Portugal captain tallied an impressive six assists and 12 goals in 13 outings.

Ronaldo’s tally of 42 UCL assists is followed closely by his on-field rival Lionel Messi, who has provided 36 assists in the continental championship. Interestingly, both Ronaldo and Messi are without an assist in the competition in the ongoing season.

Messi’s Argentina and PSG teammate Angel Di Maria follows the aforementioned duo with 35 assists in the Champions League. The 34-year-old was particularly at his best during the 2019-20 season when he totalled seven assists in nine UCL games. It was, however, during the 2020-21 season that he surpassed Ryan Giggs’ figure of 31 assists in the Champions League, making the Welsman’s record the fourth-best in the competition.

Former Barcelona midfielder and current boss Xavi Hernandez completes the top five list for most assists in the UEFA Champions League. The four-time Champions League winner provided 30 assists in 157 UCL matches.

Most assists in UEFA Champions League

Player Teams Matches Assists
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid 181 42
Lionel Messi Barcelona, PSG 155 36
Angel Di Maria Real Madrid, Manchester United, PSG 98 35
Ryan Giggs Manchester United 151 31
Xavi Hernandez Barcelona 157 30

Featured photo: AFP / Marco Bertorello