With its invincibility record, FC Porto in the big leagues
Thanks to their home victory at the expense of Santa Clara on Monday evening (3-0), FC Porto regained a six-point lead over Sporting Portugal at the top of the Primeira Liga. But the club trained by Sergio Conceiçao mainly took advantage of its success to equal the record for the longest unbeaten run in the Portuguese league, with 56 games (45 wins and 11 draws). The performance had previously been performed by Benfica, between 1976 and 1978.
This series is also among the most impressive on a European scale. Although there is still a long way to go for the Dragons to set the all-time record.
Dutchman Marco Van Basten, Milan scorer between 1987 and 1995, with 124 league goals. (P. Boutroux/The Team)
In the five major European championships, the unbeaten record belongs to AC Milan of Fabio Capello, who took over from Arrigo Sacchi in 1991. Between May 26, 1991 and March 21, 1993 (0-1 defeat against Parma), the Rossoneri go 58 matches without defeat in Serie A. The key, two titles of Italian champions, in 1992 and 1993, and they will be followed by a third the following year.
Carried by a Robben-Ribéry duo at the top of their game, the Munich residents also won the Champions League in 2013 against Borussia Dortmund. (A. Mounic/The Team)
Between November 2012 and April 2014, Bayern played 53 games in a row without losing in the Bundesliga. A series stopped by a setback on the field of Augsburg (0-1). In 2012-13, the men coached by Jupp Heynckes were irresistible: they achieved a historic triple Championship-Cup-Champions League, notably winning the Bundesliga with a 25-point lead over Dortmund. The following year, Pep Guardiola replaced Heynckes on the bench and the Bavarian club again won the Bundesliga. « Only » 19 points ahead of Dortmund.
The « Invincibles » of Arsenal in 2003-2004, with the French Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pirès. (B. Fablet/The Team)
The series of invincibility achieved by the Gunners of Arsène Wenger between 2003 and 2004 is undoubtedly the most famous of this classification. And for good reason, it allows those who will earn the nickname « Invincibles » to complete the 2003-04 season without losing a single match. A performance still unequaled in the Premier League since. In total, the Londoners remained undefeated for 49 games between May 2003 and October 2004, finally losing on the lawn of Manchester United (0-2).
The 2017-18 season saw Barça bid farewell to its legend Andrés Iniesta, who then joined Vissel Kobe, where he still plays. (A. Garcia/Sports Press)
Between April 2017 and May 2018, Barça manages to chain 43 matches without defeat in La Liga. The title lost to Real in the spring of 2017, then the departure of Neymar for PSG did not, however, encourage optimism. But the Catalans are carrying out a historic 2017-18 exercise. Ernesto Valverde’s men narrowly missed finishing the season unbeaten, losing on the penultimate day in an epic encounter against Levante (5-4 defeat). They won the Championship with a 14-point lead over Atlético Madrid.
At the end of the 2015-2016 season, the Parisians won the Coupe de France by beating Olympique de Marseille (4-2). (Alnoche/Sports Press)
In France, it is unsurprisingly PSG who hold the record for the longest unbeaten streak, with 36 matches without defeat in Ligue 1 between March 2015 and February 2016. It began in the wake of a stormy defeat on the field of Bordeaux (3-2, March 15, 2015), after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic will declare: « This country does not deserve PSG ». Then followed a prosperous series during which the Parisians notably won the title of champion in 2015, before seeing their momentum stopped on the ground of Lyon (2-1 defeat on February 27).
Steaua still far ahead
If FC Porto has only two matches left to match AC Milan, its only rival in the major championships, it is still very far from the continental record. The latter is owned by Romanian club Steaua Bucharest, which stretched its unbeaten run over 104 games between 1986 and 1989. Conceiçao and his men still have work to do.