Competition Focus

How many UEFA Champions League titles has Lionel Messi won?

UEFA Champions League

One of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi wrote history in Europe’s premier club competition. Let’s take a look at the Argentine star’s UEFA Champions League titles.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
© Shaun Botterill/Getty ImagesLionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

The UEFA Champions League, formerly known as the European Cup, has seen countless superstars throughout its decades-long history. And it’s safe to say Lionel Messi is one of the greatest players to ever take part in the competition.

The Argentine superstar has etched his name in the European tournament’s history books by leading Barcelona to multiple titles, delivering unforgettable memories not only for Blaugrana fans, but also for soccer enthusiasts around the world.

The Rosario-born maestro took the spotlight whenever he took the field on a Champions League night, but many wonder how many times he actually went the distance and lifted the trophy. Here, let’s take a look at Messi’s record in the competition.

Total of Lionel Messi’s UEFA Champions League Titles

Lionel Messi has won the UEFA Champions League on four occasions. His success in 2006 has given a lot to talk about since Leo didn’t take part in the final, but he was still part of the Barcelona squad that campaign, recording one goal and two assists in six appearances.

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona poses with the trophy after victory in the UEFA Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United FC at Wembley Stadium on May 28, 2011 in London, England.

In which years and teams did Lionel Messi win the Champions League?

Lionel Messi has won all four UEFA Champions League titles with FC Barcelona. While his first success came as an 18-year-old prospect in 2006, the Argentine was already an established starter in the 2009, 2011 and 2015 triumphs.

  • 2006 | FC Barcelona 2-1 Arsenal (18 years old – not part of the squad)
  • 2009 | FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (21 years old – starter)
  • 2011 | FC Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United (23 years old – starter)
  • 2015 | FC Barcelona 3-1 Juventus (27 years old – starter)

What are the key moments in Lionel Messi’s Champions League victories?

Messi started to write Champions League history on November 2, 2005, scoring his first goal in the competition in a 5-0 group stage win over Panathinaikos. But his biggest contribution to Barca’s success that campaign came on February 22, 2006, scoring in a 2-1 away win at Chelsea in the last 16 first leg.

Three years later and with the No. 10 already on his back, an already regular starter Messi played a pivotal role in Barcelona’s road to the title. With a brace and two assists against Bayern in the quarterfinal first leg, Messi paved the way for a 4-0 win before assisting Andres Iniesta for a crucial goal in crunch time against Chelsea in the semifinals return leg. However, Messi’s most significant moment that season came in the final, when he scored a header to help Barca beat Manchester United.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring the second goal for Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Barcelona and Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico on May 27, 2009 in Rome, Italy.

In the 2010-11, Messi became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer in the Champions League by finding the net in a group stage win over Panathinaikos on September 14, 2010. But it’s safe to say the highlight of that campaign came in the semifinal first leg, with Messi putting on a show with a brace against lifelong rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Leo also stepped up in the final at Wembley, scoring in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Manchester United.

The Argentine ace once again carried the Cules to the promised land in the 2014-15, with an outstanding performance in the semifinal first leg against Bayern, racking up a double that included a goal that was eventually named UEFA Goal of the Season.

How does Lionel Messi’s Champions League record compare to other players?

While Messi’s four Champions League titles are quite impressive, the tournament has seen other players win the trophy on more occassions. Let alone if we only count final wins, as Messi took part in three finals.

But let’s take into account Messi’s four victories. Considering the European Cup era, Messi is two titles shy of Real Madrid legend Francisco Gento, who became the first player to lift the continental prize six times.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with the trophy watched by Luis Suarez after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been frequently compared to Messi, boasts one more Champions League trophy than Leo, as the Portuguese star won it once with Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid.

Players with most European Cup/Champions League titles (all time)

  • 6 Francisco Gento (Real Madrid)
  • 5 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  • 5 Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
  • 5 Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
  • 5 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, Real Madrid)
  • 5 Paolo Maldini (AC Milan)
  • 5 Alfredo Di Stéfano (Real Madrid)
  • 5 José María Zárraga (Real Madrid)
  • 4 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

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