The ten records smashed in the Champions League group stage

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The Champions League group stage is over - and it has been one for the record books.

Close to a dozen records have been equalled or smashed over the course of the six match-weeks, opening up the tournament to be one of the most exciting in years.

The records cover individual success, national success, and team success - and mostly for the sheer amount of goals scored this season.

That in itself is a record: 306 goals over the 96 group-stage games comfortably beats the previous best, meaning the tournament is currently averaging a staggering 3.1 goals a game.

Virtually every team can claim to have played a part in that statistic, but two, in particular, reached special heights.

Paris Saint-Germain set a new record of 25 goals scored by a team in the group stage (4.16 a game, for those wondering), proving that yes, signing one of the world's best attackers for a ridiculously over-the-top fee does, in fact, get you goals.

The stat is made more impressive when you consider that they only managed the one goal in their final group game - and even more so when the opponents are taken into account: this was a group that featured Bayern Munich.

Not that PSG was the only team scoring for fun. Liverpool, with their all-out-attack mentality, racked up two 7-0 wins on their way to setting a new record for an English team in the group stage. The Reds scored 23 goals (a tally that would have been a competition record, if not for PSG's efforts), an astonishing number when compared to the 18 they managed when winning the competition in 2005 - that's 18 goals in total, not just the group stage.

The first of those 7-0 wins equalled a record, too, as the biggest away win a team has managed in the group stage, in a group stage where English teams returned to the top of Europe for the first time in years.

England will have five teams in the knockout stages of the Champions League - a feat never before managed. Now, of course, it's only twice before been possible, with the new ruling allowing the Europa League winners automatic qualification for the Champions League opening up the opportunity. Still, it's a fantastic accomplishment for English football,

And four of those sides topped their group, equalling the record and leaving Chelsea to wonder what might have been - the London side will instead be left with a much smaller, much stronger pool of teams to face in the next round.

England wasn't the only country celebrating new ground this group stage. Qarabağ became the first Azerbaijani side to get this far, even if they did finish bottom of their group, while Beşiktaş are the first Turkish side to ever win a Champions League group.

If goals were the big story of the group, then one record goes against the grain. Barcelona, the greatest attacking side of the past decade, showed a wholly different side to their game. The Catalonians equalled the record for the least goals conceded in a group stage - just the single goal in six matches - not bad in a group featuring Juventus.

And then there were the two individual records. Two players became the first to reach 60 career goals in the Champions League group stage. Can you guess their names? Yes, it was, in fact, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (prediction: they may just be the first to reach 70).

But in a year where he will likely win the Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo grabbed one record for himself. The Real Madrid legend became the first man to score in every single Champions League group stage game - hitting nine in the process.

If the rumours are right, that Ballon d'Or will be fully deserved.

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Paris Saint-Germain
Bayern Munich
Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo

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