Winning a football match is not an easy job to do and winning it week in, week out can only be done by few teams. Juventus ended their winning streak of 49 matches equaling the Arsenal Invincibles team when they lost out to Inter Milan last weekend. Arsenal and Juventus have to be applauded for by their stint of greatness in the modern era of football, however these two teams aren’t the first to embark such an incredible run. Looking back, there were incredible sides that went over a century of matches without being halted.
Steaua Bucharest (Romania) – 104 matches
The Romanian side had the run from 1986-89, for three years and three months (June 1986 – September 1989), Steaua went on to play 104 unbeaten matches in the league, establishing, at that moment, a world record and a European one which is still standing. Also inside the national league, they counted 112 matches between November 1989 and August 1996 of invincibility at Stadionul Ghencea in Liga I. Their run of 17 straight wins in 1988 is another record, equal to the one held by Dinamo as of one year later.
Steaua was not just successful at home, as they also won the 1986 European Champion Clubs’ Cup, reached the semi-final in 1988 and were runners-up in 1989.
FC Sheriff (Moldova) – 63 matches
Not many follow football from Moldova, but history is history and records can be made anywhere. FC Sheriff made such a record in the recent past 2006-08 by going on an unbeated run for 63 matches. The Tiraspol-based club have been completely dominating Moldovan football from the opening stages of this century; winning ten straight league championships between 2001 and 2010. Then under head coach Leonid Kuchuk in 2006/07, they became the first club to claim the national title undefeated. Their run came to an end in March 2008 at the hands of arch-rivals FC Zimbru Chisinau, but Sherriff went on to win the title anyway.
Celtic (Scotland) – 62 matches
Scottish giants Celtic were one short of Sheriff’s record and managed to end up with 62 games unbeaten, but it was way back in 1915-17. A two year streak which ended to a defeat in the last day of the season to Kilmarnock. Celtic currently hold the UK record for an unbeaten run in professional football. The club’s first manager, Willie Maley, was the architect for the triumph, while Alec McNair, Celtic’s record appearance maker with 604 outings, was the star.
FC Levadia Tallinn (Estonia) – 61 matches
Under boss Igor Prins, the Estonian club’s unbeaten record helped them to secure the 2008 and 2009 Meistriliiga titles, until they were defeated by JK Trans Narva on the penultimate day of the 2009 season. Surprisingly, Prins played down the achievement of his team: “The fans will remember our impressive undefeated run, although I won’t deny that we went such a long time unbeaten because of an absence of strong opposition.”
R. Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgium) – 60 matches
The Belgian side won three straight titles during the finest period in the club’s history, as they reached 60 games unbeaten only to suffer defeat to Daring Club de Bruxelles in February 1935, a run 1933 -35, which still stands as a standout record in the country’s footballing history. And the club is called as Union 60 in honour of their unbeaten run.
Other honorable mentions include FC Pyunik (2002-04) – 59 matches, AC Milan (1991-93) – 58 matches, Olympiakos FC (1972-74) – 58 matches, Skonto FC (1993-96) – 57 matches, SL Benfica (1976-78) – 56 matches.