Tavernier, Ronaldo, Messi: The highest scoring XI in the 21st century

Rangers are through to the 2021/22 Europa League final where they will play Eintracht Frankfurt in Seville.

Gio van Bronckhorst’s side beat RB Leipzig 3-1 at Ibrox on Thursday, which saw them prevail 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final tie.

Goals from James Tavernier, Glen Kamara and John Lundstram secured the famous victory, with Christopher Nkunku’s 32nd strike of the season nothing more than a consolation.

Tavernier’s goal was his seventh in the Europa League this campaign and that makes him the competition’s leading scorer in 2021/22.

Not bad for a full-back, eh?

Tavernier’s goal record at Rangers is nothing short of exceptional and as a result, he’s part of the XI with the most goals for club and country in the 21st century.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the team…

GK – Rogerio Ceni

Goals: 58

It’s not normal for a goalkeeper to score 58 times, but Ceni wasn’t your ordinary shot-stopper. He was prolific from free-kicks and the penalty spot, which saw him finish his career – which began in 1990 – with 132 goals in total.

Ceni in action with Sao Paolo
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – MAY 06: Rogerio Ceni of Sao Paulo looks on during a first leg match between between Sao Paulo and Cruzeiro as part of round of sixteen of Copa Bridgestone Libertadores 2015 at Morumbi Stadium on May 6, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

RB – James Tavernier

Goals: 89

In his 343 appearances for Rangers, Tavernier has scored 81 goals and assisted a further 106, a ridiculous return. A world-class attacking midfielder would be proud of it and that’s why the current captain will go down as a Gers legend.

CB – Rene Aufhauser

Goals: 79

Aufhauser scored 50 times for Red Bull Salzburg and notched 12 more in just 58 appearances for Austria, a mighty fine record for a primarily pragmatic player.

CB – Sergio Ramos

Goals: 129

The only defender to score over 100 goals in the 21st century. Ramos netted 101 at Real Madrid, 23 more on international duty with Spain and has two to his name this season at Paris Saint-Germain. Not bad, Sergio.

Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos celebrates a goal
MADRID, SPAIN – JULY 02: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid celebrates his team’s first goal during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Getafe CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on July 02, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

LB – John Arne Riise

Goals: 64

The Liverpool icon rippled the back of the net 31 times at the club overall, with a number of them absolute stunners. Riise also scored 16 goals on the international stage with Norway.

CM – Frank Lampard

Goals: 261

The greatest goalscoring midfielder in history? Lampard is certainly up there. The Chelsea icon netted 10 or more goals in a Premier League season on 10 occasions and he is also the division’s sixth-highest scorer.

CM – Steven Gerrard

Goals: 206

Gerrard wasn’t quite as prolific as Lampard, but he wasn’t far behind either. The man who many believe to be Liverpool’s greatest ever player is the 19th-highest scorer in Premier League history and also found the back of net 21 times in the Champions League.

Steven Gerrard in action for Liverpool
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on December 2, 2014 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

CAM – Thomas Muller

Goals: 269

Muller has become more famous for his assists in recent years, however, his goal record is just as good. The German hero is Bayern Munich‘s third-highest scorer and he also has an impressive 43 international goals on his CV.

RW – Lionel Messi

Goals: 762

Messi holds the records for most goals in a calendar year (91), most goals for a single club (672), most goals in a La Liga season (50) and most consecutive league games scored in (21). The Barcelona legend has achieved all that and much, much more while also operating as an elite-level playmaker. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the man to be honest.

ST – Robert Lewandowski

Goals: 583 goals

Back in 2021, Zlatan Ibrahimovic occupied the striker position in the XI, but not anymore. Lewandowski is now leading the line after a ridiculous period of goalscoring in recent years. The Pole finished with an astonishing 41 Bundesliga goals last season and has 34 in 32 games this campaign. The man was born to beat goalkeepers, it’s as simple as that.

Robert Lewandowski celebrates a goal for Bayern
BERLIN, GERMANY – JULY 04: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates scoring the 4th team goal during the DFB Cup final match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on July 04, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

LW – Cristiano Ronaldo

Goals: 813

The greatest goalscorer the world has ever seen. No player in history has more Champions League goals (140) or more international goals (115) than Manchester United‘s main man. At 37-years-old, Ronaldo is showing no signs of slowing down either, so don’t bet against him reaching a total of 900 before calling time on his marvellous career.

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