7 of football's most incredible unbeaten runs

Pep Guardiola’s team are looking to continue their impressive start to the season against Arsenal tonight.

BAYERN MUNICH HAVE started the season in incredibly impressive fashion.

In both the Bundesliga and the Champions League, the reigning German champions have a 100% record.

Yet Pep Guardiola’s team still have a long way to go if they want to match these great teams of the past…

1. Arsenal’s Invincibles (2003-4)

ARSENAL V LEICESTER Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The only team ever to go an entire Premier League season unbeaten, Arsenal haven’t won it since, while their achievement is unlikely to be matched any time soon.

Starting XI: Jens Lehmann, Lauren, Sol Campbell, Kolo Toure, Ashley Cole; Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Freddie Ljunberg; Denis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry.

2. AC Milan (1991-93)

Soccer - European Cup - Final - AC Milan v Benfica - Praterstadion Source: EMPICS Sport

In the late 80s and early 90s, Milan appeared in five European Cup finals in the space of seven years, triumphing on three of those occasions. The high point of ‘the Immortals,’ however, was surely going 58 games unbeaten between 1991 and 1993.

Starting XI: Sebastiano Rossi, Mauro Tassotti, Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini; Gianluigi Lentini, Demetrio Albertini, Frank Rijkaard, Roberto Donadoni; Marco van Basten, Daniele Massaro.

3. Porto (2010-12)

Portugal Soccer Source: Paulo Duarte

Despite changing managers, with André Villas-Boas taking over from Jesualdo Ferreira, before the Vítor Pereira-managed team were finally beaten by Gil Vicente FC, the Portuguese side managed to maintain an incredible 55-game unbeaten run. Their 1994-1996 counterparts also went 53 matches unbeaten while Bobby Robson was in charge of the club.

Starting XI: Helton, Cristian Săpunaru, Rolando, Nicolás Otamendi, Álvaro Pereira; Fernando, Fredy Guarín, João Moutinho; Hulk, Silvestre Varela, Radamel Falcao.

4. Ajax (1994-96)


Despite having an average age of just 23, this Louis van Gaal-managed side went the whole of the 1994-95 season unbeaten, while they also reached two successive Champions League finals, beating Milan in 1995, before losing to Juventus on penalties a year later.

Starting XI: Edwin van der Sar; Michael Reiziger, Danny Blind, Frank Rijkaard, Frank de Boer; Clarence Seedorf, Finidi George, Edgar Davids, Marc Overmars; Ronald de Boer, Jari Litmanen.

5. Benfica (1976-78)

Source: alessiafromcetona/YouTube

Went an astonishing  56 games unbeaten between October 1976 and August 1978. They were eventually beaten 1-0 by Porto, who in 2012, came within one game of equalling their rivals’ record.

Starting XI: Bento, António Lopes, Jesus Coelho, Alberto Fonseca, Eurico Gomes; Pietra, Nené, António Oliveira, Manuel Pita; Han Shéu, Manuel Francisco Salvador.

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6. Steaua Bucharest (1986-89)

Spain Soccer European Cup Source: AP/Press Association Images

Steaua Bucharest still hold the record for domestic games unbeaten — 106 matches. They won five successive domestic titles and also impressed in Europe during the late 80s, reaching the European Cup final twice.

Starting XI: Silviu Lung;  Dan Petrescu, Nicolae Ungureanu, Adrian Bumbescu, Ştefan Iovan; Tudorel Stoica, Daniel Minea, Gheorghe Hagi, Iosif Rotariu. Marius Lăcătuş, Victor Piţurcă.

7. Juventus (2011-2012)

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group E - Chelsea v Juventus - Stamford Bridge Source: EMPICS Sport

Coincidentally, Juventus in 2011-12 went 49 Serie A games unbeaten — the exact same number that Arsenal’s Invincibles managed. They were eventually beaten in November 2012 by Inter — the match was the first time they ever lost at the Juventus Stadium, which had opened in September 2011.

Starting XI: Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini,  Stephan Lichtsteiner; Simone Pepe, Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal; Mirko Vučinić, Alessandro Matri.


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Paul Fennessy

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