5 of the Longest Winning Runs in World Football
Juventus can't stop winning.
On Sunday, the Bianconeri recorded their 14th straight Serie A victory, a 2-0 triumph at Frosinone. Having recovered fully from their miserable start to the season, Massimiliano Allegri's men currently trail leaders Napoli by two points and can take over first place next weekend when they host the Partenopei in a top-of-the-table clash.
Juve's 14-match streak got us thinking about some of the longest winning runs in world football. After doing some research, we came up with this list, which covers a few of the most prolonged stretches of victorious football in the history of the sport.
Juventus' run of 14 straight league wins is impressive, but the Bianconeri have a few more matches to go to set the record in Italy's top flight.
The current recordholders are Inter Milan, who claimed 17 straight victories during the 2006-07 campaign. The streak began with a 4-1 defeat of Livorno in October 2006 and continued until the Nerazzurri won 5-2 at Catania the following February.
Roberto Mancini's men lost just one league match all season and finished 22 points clear of Roma atop the table. Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the squad with 15 league goals, while Hernan Crespo notched 14 and Marco Materazzi added 10 from the back line.
The European Record
Juve's 14 and Inter's 17 are both highly impressive, but both pale in comparison to Benfica's European record of 29 straight domestic victories.
The Eagles' amazing run began at the end of the 1971-72 season and continued deep into the following campaign. By the end of 1972-73 Eusebio and Co. had won the title without losing a single match.
The World Record (All Competitions)
Maintaining a winning run in a domestic league is obviously challenging, but the degree of difficulty only rises further when a team is pushing for honors in various competitions. In such a scenario, the manager must keep his players fresh and rotate his squad while also concentrating on winning match after match after match.
Real Madrid amassed an impressive 22 straight wins in all competitions during the 2014-15 season, but that's not the world record. That honor belongs to Coritiba Foot Ball Club.
The Brazilian side won 24 straight matches in the Campeonato Paranaense and Copa do Brasil between February and May 2011. Coritiba won the Campeonato that year, finishing undefeated, but lost the Copa final to Vasco da Gama on goal difference.
How About England?
The manager of that legendary Benfica team was Englishman Jimmy Hagan. Which leads us to our next set of recordholders.
In England, the longest winning run in league play is 14 games, a mark held by four teams. Manchester United (1904-05), Bristol City (1905-06) and Preston North End (1950-51) all accomplished the feat in the old second division, but Arsenal (2001-02 and 2002-03) did it over two different Premier League seasons.
All but one of those victories came at the end of the Gunners' 2001-02 title-winning campaign. One more win followed on the opening day of the 2002-03 season before Arsenal drew 2-2 at West Ham United to end the streak.
Best Unbeaten Run
An unbeaten run isn't the same as a winning streak, but Steaua Bucharest's record from 1986 to 1989 is too amazing to ignore here. So we'll include it as an unbeatable corollary to the world's longest winning runs.
Per UEFA.com, the Romanian side went unbeaten in 106 straight matches, an all-time continental record. Under manager Emeric Jenei, and then Anghel Iordanescu, Steaua claimed five straight league titles and the 1985-86 European Cup.
How impressive was that stretch of success? The next-best record is 63, accomplished by Sheriff Tiraspol from 2006 to 2008.