Real Madrid's opening goal in Wednesday's 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League was a special one -- it was the 1,000th goal they've scored in Europe's top competition, more than any other club.
The club's first goal in the European Cup was scored by legendary midfielder and later manager Miguel Munoz in 1955 before Alfredo Di Stefano, one of the all-time greats, hit No. 100 four years later. It wasn't until the year 2000, by which time the competition had become the Champions League, that Guti scored the club's 500th goal at the elite European level. The most recent major landmarks, goals No. 800 and No. 900, both went to Cristiano Ronaldo before Karim Benzema made it 1,000 on Wednesday.
- Real Madrid ratings: Benzema, Vinicius 9/10 in historic night
- Johnson: What each team needs to progress in Champions League
- ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (U.S.)
- Don't have ESPN? Get instant access
Unsurprisingly, having won the competition a record 13 times, Madrid are the first club to reach a four-figure total for goals. And the gap between them and the rest of the top 10 is not even close:
To mark the milestone, here is a selection of Madrid's 10 best European Cup and Champions League goals, listed in chronological order.
1. Alfredo Di Stefano vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)
There are plenty of goals to choose from in Real Madrid's famous 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park, still the highest scoring European Cup final ever, but only two serious contenders. The first of Ferenc Puskas' four -- a rocket fired in from an impossible-looking angle to make it 3-1 -- deserves a mention. The goal of the game, though, came when Alfredo Di Stefano completed his hat trick, picking up the ball inside the opposition half and beating three Eintracht players with a single touch before driving forward and finishing low into the bottom corner. It was the fifth final of the competition, which began in 1955, and Madrid had won all five of them.
2. Fernando Serena vs. Partizan Belgrade (1966)
You could make a case for either of Madrid's goals in their next European Cup final win six years later, a 2-1 victory over Partizan Belgrade in Brussels. Amancio Amaro's equaliser was thrilling, running on to a through ball and tricking his way past the same defender twice before coolly slotting past the goalkeeper, but the winner from winger Fernando Serena was even better, controlling the ball on his chest 30 yards from goal, allowing it to bounce twice and then smashing it into the net. It would be Madrid's last European Cup final goal for 32 years.
3. Predrag Mijatovic vs. Juventus, 1998
That long, long wait is a big part of why Predrag Mijatovic's strike in Madrid's 1-0 win over Juventus in Amsterdam -- which finally gave the club a then-record seventh European Cup -- is so fondly remembered. Generations of Real Madrid fans had grown up without seeing their team lift the trophy, including a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Liverpool in the 1980 final. Mijatovic's goal itself is notable, independent of the context. The Montenegrin forward displayed predatory instincts to latch on to Roberto Carlos' deflected shot, round Juve goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi and chip the ball past defender Paolo Montero on the line. Just don't tell Mijatovic he was offside. Multiple camera angles have never conclusively proved whether an off-camera Juventus defender was playing him on or not.
4. Raul vs. Manchester United, 2000
Raul's finish for his second goal in this Champions League quarterfinal second leg -- a tap-in into an empty net in an entertaining 3-2 win -- was nothing special, but what preceded it absolutely was. Just ask Henning Berg. Fernando Redondo's backheel nutmeg of the Norwegian defender must be one of the most-viewed, viral moments of skill in Champions League history. After that, the Argentina midfielder had the composure to take Jaap Stam and Mikael Silvestre out of the game with his assist. Let's give Raul some credit, too -- watch the replay back and you'll see just how much ground he had to make up to get into a scoring position.
5. Zinedine Zidane vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 2002
Let's be honest, this is probably the first goal you thought of when you heard the words "Real Madrid's best European Cup goals." That's because Zinedine Zidane's strike in the 2002 Champions League final in Glasgow is probably the greatest goal ever scored in a European final. Period. It's aesthetically perfect. Roberto Carlos' high, looping cross falls to Zidane, who waits what feels like an eternity before taking it first time on the volley, the ball arcing into the top corner. It gave Madrid their ninth European Cup, but that's almost beside the point. This was art.
6. Ronaldo vs. Manchester United, 2003
Ronaldo received a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd for his performance in this Champions League quarterfinal second leg in April 2003. The result didn't go Real's way on the night -- they lost an epic contest 4-3, with David Beckham scoring twice off the bench for United -- but it's Ronaldo's hat trick that has lived longest in the memory. All three goals are brilliant in their own way. A rapid counterattack saw Zidane, Guti and Ronaldo combine for the first; a one-two between Zidane and Roberto Carlos gave the Brazilian his simplest finish for the second; the third goal is the one, a dipping, swerving shot from distance that had goalkeeper Fabien Barthez clawing at thin air.
7. Sergio Ramos vs. Atletico Madrid, 2014
Another goal picked for its significance and context as much as the goal itself. It doesn't get more dramatic than a 93rd-minute equaliser to deny your local rivals their first-ever Champions League trophy. Sergio Ramos' header in the 2014 Lisbon final avoided what would have been the most disastrous night in Real Madrid's history, and paved the way for Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo to finish the job with their goals in extra-time. What we shouldn't forget is that Ramos' header is a superb goal in its own right, rising above marker Tiago to guide the ball low into the corner, beyond the reach of a despairing Thibaut Courtois.
8. Isco vs. Atletico Madrid, 2017
Much like Raul's goal against Manchester United, this one isn't chosen for the finish -- sorry, Isco. Instead, it's all about Karim Benzema's mesmerising piece of individual skill to create the opportunity. It was needed, too, with Madrid under pressure at the Vicente Calderon having seen a seemingly unassailable 3-0 semifinal first-leg lead pegged back by two early Atletico goals. Benzema picked up the ball near the corner flag, surrounded by Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic -- all excellent defenders -- but somehow conjured up a way to beat all three on the touchline. His pull-back found Toni Kroos, whose shot was miraculously saved by Jan Oblak, only for Isco to tuck away the rebound, and Madrid were headed for their second final in a row.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Juventus, 2018
Ronaldo was so touched by the applause he received from the home fans after scoring this, his second goal in a 3-0 quarterfinal first-leg win, that he cited it as one of his reasons for joining Juventus later that same year when he unexpectedly left the Bernabeu. The technique is pristine, and Ronaldo's quick-thinking movement to get into position before launching himself into mid-air stands out, too. It's one of the best bicycle kicks you've ever seen. Although it's perhaps not even the best on this list ...
10. Gareth Bale vs. Liverpool, 2018
Gareth Bale was furious about being left out of the Real Madrid starting XI by coach Zinedine Zidane for the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool. He vented all of that frustration in a half-hour cameo that saw him score twice to give Madrid a 3-1 win -- and channelled it into this overhead kick, arguably the second-best goal ever scored in a European Cup final after Zidane's masterpiece in Glasgow. The technique isn't quite as clean and clinical as Ronaldo's, it feels more instinctive and improvised, with even less time to react when he sees Marcelo's cross is headed behind him. Even Bale can't quite believe the finish, half laughing, half screaming as he races off in celebration.