Often overlooked, yet surprisingly exciting, the Europa League has been home to some of the best games of the past decade. Routinely overshadowed by the Champions League (it’s European counterpart), the immense satisfaction of seeing a last minute underdog upset is second-to-none. Recent news of four-time finalists Borussia Mönchengladbach making it out of Europa and into the Champions League (for the first time since 1977) has given a glimmer of hope to those competing for the former UEFA Cup. With Yusuf Yazici leading this year’s charge, today we count down the five most prolific poachers in Europa League history to find the all time top goalscorer.
Who is the all time Europa League top goalscorer?
5. Aritz Aduriz
The fifth top goalscorer in Europa League history is Athletic Bilbao faithful Artiz Aduriz. With three separate spells at Athletic before retiring at the end of last season, Aduriz racked up an impressive 26 goals in the Europa League.
Fans described his final 8 year-stint with the Basque-based side as his glory years, with most saying that the former striker only got better with age. His first call up to the Spanish national side came at the ripe old age of 29 against Lithuania, where he only saw the pitch for a mere 15 minutes.
It wasn’t until 6 years later, with heavy pressure from fans, that Aduriz earned his second cap, and later that year became Spain’s oldest ever goal scorer – testament to a player that was still on the up, even on the way out.
4. Dieter Muller
The first and only player on our list from a past era in football is Dieter Muller of FC Koln / West Germany fame, who netted 29 goals in the Europa League from 1973 – 1984.
Considered one of the legends of Die Geißböcke (or ‘The Billy Goats’), Muller still holds the record for the most goals in a single Bundesliga match. Some 43 years ago, in August of 1977, the German forward managed to put 6 goals past Werder Bremen in a 7-2 landslide win.
3. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Up next on our list of Europa League’s top goalscorers is Dutch international Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Hunter has scored 30 goals in 50 appearances to date, representing Ajax, FC Shalke and Heerenveen in the competition so far.
A formidable career in both the Bundesliga and Eredivisie, he’s known for his precision and agility in the box, having won multiple UEFA tournament top goalscorer and young player of the tournament trophies. In the four seasons since his return to Ajax in 2017, Huntelaar has taken home the Eredivisie league title, Johan Cruyff Shield and the KNVB cup.
2. Radamel Falcao
Boasting the best goal-to-match ratio on our list, Radamel Falcao sits in the penultimate spot with a huge 30 goals in 31 appearances in the Europa League. Colombia captain and Galatasaray forward, Falcao is widely considered one of the greatest players to grace the European tournament.
A high-flying career with spells at Porto, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and Monaco, he is also the first player ever to win back-to-back Europa League trophies with two different teams – Porto in 2011 and Atletico Madrid in 2012.
Other notable achievements include a two-time club record transfer fee recipient, Colombia’s all-time top scorer and winner of the Primeria League, Ligue 1 and the Copa Del Rey.
1. Henrik Larsson
The all-time Europa League top goalscorer is none other than Henrik Larsson, with a huge 31 goals across all competition matches.
One of Celtic’s most influential players, Larsson scored a whopping 242 goals in 313 appearances for the Bhoys. He also took home the European Golden Boot in 2001 after a huge 51 goals in a single season, securing his name in Scottish folklore for years to come.
The Swedish striker turned Barcelona assistant manager has a huge array of accolades from his 24 year career, the most noteworthy being 4 Scottish Premier League titles, back-to-back La Liga wins, a Champions League trophy and a Premier League winners medal with Manchester United – even if he did play in just 7 games.
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