Whether it is tennis, basketball or American football, a winning or undefeated streak is no mean feat. This of course related to the amount of games without defeat. Now going through an entire season without defeat is perfection. Just ask Arsenal who went 49 games unbeaten in the Premier League. Known as the Invincibles, the Gunners stretched their run from May 2003 to the autumn of 2004. This was an incredible record which superseded many before it including the mighty Nottingham Forest. They held a record of 42 games unbeaten which was recorded during the 1970’s between the end of 1977 and November 1978.
Arsenal was on the verge of making it a glorious 50 matches unbeaten when they visited Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Unfortunately, they came unstuck thanks to a 2-0 victory for the Red Devils which was shrouded in controversy. Taking place in October 2004, it also featured the award of a debatable penalty kick.
Aside from Preston North End who managed to achieve going the entire season unbeaten during the 19th Century, Arsenal Football Club is the only side to record such a feat. However, which soccer teams have gone down in the record books as having the longest undefeated streaks?
10. 53, FC Bayern München, Germany, From 2012 – 2014
Under former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich are true footballing giants. As the current 2013-14 season comes to a climax, they have only started to veer off track. With a record stretching back to October 2012, the German side notched up 53 undefeated matches, whilst dominating Europe and the Bundesliga. They won the title in March of this year breaking a number of different records and are poised to be the first team ever to win the UEFA Champions League in consecutive years. At their home ground, the Allianz, the Bavarian giants are feared by everyone and have scored more than 120 goals on the way.
9. 55, FC Porto, Portugal, 2010–12
Under the leadership of Coach Jesualdo Ferreira, Portuguese giants Porto started this streak back in March 2010. Former Tottenham boss André Villas-Boas continued the run which saw the team win a host of trophies including the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League. They had broken the previous club record of 53 matches which was attainted when Sir Bobby Robson was in charge during the 1990’s.
8. 56, SL Benfica, Portugal, From 1976–78
Porto’s arch nemesis in the league had an impressive run during the 1970’s. They displayed wonderful football and had a wide variety of illustrious players from Humberto Coelho to Toni, Nené, Manuel Bento and João Alves.
7. 58, Olympiacos FC, Greece, From 1972–74
Greek champions more than an incredible thirty five times; Greek legends Olympiacos went fifty eight matches unbeaten. With a great deal of help from shipping impresario Nikos Goulandris, they went on an unbeaten streak between October 1972 and April 1974. Their coach at the time was Lakis Petropoulos and he went on to win three Greek titles on the trot during the middle of the 1970’s. They scored more than one hundred goals in the process with Yves Triantafyllos scoring 58 goals in less than 81 matches.
6. 58, AC Milan, Italy, From 1991–93
Renowned Italian side AC Milan were unstoppable under the helm of Arrigo Sacchi. This was especially the case during the 1990’s when they notched up 58 games undefeated. The Milanese won the European Cup back to back in 1989 as well as 1990 and were nicknamed ‘the Immortals’. In addition to this, they won three consecutive Italian Scudetto league titles with instruction from former England manager Fabio Capello. The Rossoneri went on to win the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League as well with a 4-0 victory over Spanish giants Barcelona in Athens.
5. 60, R. Union Saint-Gilloise, Belgium, From 1933–35
Belgian team Union 60 were given the name due to their invincible run that ended in February 1935. Still they managed 60 games without defeat. Located in the suburbs of Brussels, they attained three league titles on the trot at the time of their streak and were feared by many. This was especially the case when it came to until striker Vital Van Landeghem who scored 29 goals in the 1934/35 season.
4. 61, FC Levadia Tallinn, Estonia, From 2008–09
Estonian team FC Levadia Tallinn had a real steely determination about them. Going 61 games unbeaten their main sponsor was in fact a local metal company. On the other hand, manager Igor Prins certainly gave them a dressing down before they went on to the hallowed turf. Their run came to an abrupt end just at the end of 2009 but they had managed to achieve extraordinary things on the pitch. This was in spite of the fact that it was the penultimate day of the campaign.
3. 62, Celtic FC, Scotland, From 1915–17
Nicknamed the Lisbon lions for their infamous European Cup victory over Inter Milan in 1967, Scottish stalwarts Celtic FC were able to go more than sixty games unbeaten just at the start of the First World War. Under the helm of Willie Maley, the Hoops went on to establish a British record for undefeated matches in a row. This took place between the end of November 1915 and ended in the spring of 1917. They even had to play twice on the same day, which makes it even more improbable. One of the main protagonists featured Alec ‘The Icicle’ McNair, who is one of the all-time greats in soccer north of the border.
2. 63, FC Sheriff, Tiraspol, From 2006–08
Located in Tiraspol, FC Sheriff has had a stranglehold on Moldovan football for some time. They have actually won ten consecutive league titles from 2001 until 2010. During the 2006/07 season they became the first side to go the whole season without defeat. It was not until March 2008 when their 63 game unbeaten streak came to an end at the hands of FC Zimbru Chisinau.
1. 106, FC Steaua Bucureşti, Romania, From 1986–89
Based in Romania, FC Steaua Bucureşti are most infamous for their 1986 European Cup Final victory over the Catalan giants Barcelona. This is all the more amazing when you consider that it went to penalties with Steaua goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam saving every spot kick from the opposing side. The Romanian team achieved great success in their golden period which was in the mid-1980’s. A list of trophies during this time includes the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and an imperious five league titles in a row.