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10 Longest Unbeaten Runs in Europe’s Top 10 Leagues (Ranked)

Written by on May 1, 2024

Highlights

  • Bayer Leverkusen’s remarkable unbeaten streak reached 45 games, challenging for European titles.
  • Several teams like Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Juventus have impressive unbeaten records in history.
  • Benfica holds the top spot with a 48-game unbeaten run, showcasing dominance in Europe.



Bayer Leverkusen’s incredible unbeaten streak this season has taken the world by storm. They cruised to the Bundesliga title – their first major trophy – and look on course to challenge for the Europa League and DFB Pokal. Last-minute equalisers, stunning winners and constant determination epitomise a German side guided by Xabi Alonso perfectly.

However, they’re not the only side that’s managed to go on an expensive unbeaten streak over the years. Since the start of the 1960s, several clubs have been able to go unbeaten for a season, defying logic and history. It takes immense resilience and determination, as their competitors do anything in their power to upset the apple cart.

Due to Bayer Leverkusen’s incredible streak, here is a look at the 10 greatest unbeaten records in Europe’s top ten leagues. This is in all competitions, so the likes of the famous Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ team are not included.


Ranking Factors

  • Must be in all competitions – We’ve only included teams that have stayed unbeaten throughout all competitions.
  • When it was completed – teams that were level on games unbeaten have been decided by who did it first.
  • Goals scored and conceded – how many they scored during their unbeaten run.

Best Unbeaten Runs in Europe

Rank

Team

Years

Unbeaten Run

1.

Benfica

1963-1965

48

2.

Bayer Leverkusen

2023-2024

45

3.

Rangers

1992-1993

44

4.

Juventus

2011-2012

43

5.

AC Milan

1991-1992

42

6.

Ajax

1995-1996

42

7.

Fiorentina

1955

40

8.

Nottingham Forest

1978

40

9.

Inter Milan

2004-2005

40

10.

Real Madrid

2016-2017

40



10 Real Madrid

Games unbeaten: 40

Firstly, in the 2016/2017 season, Real Madrid were one of the greatest teams in the world. They won La Liga by three points ahead of bitter rivals Barcelona, won the Club World Cup and Super Cup, but – most importantly – conquered Europe once again in the Champions League. With Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in attack, they looked unstoppable. That was partially the truth, as, on 12 January 2017, a last-minute goal from Karim Benzema secured a 3–3 draw against Sevilla, getting the unbeaten run to 40 games, a new record in Spanish football. Incredible in every sense.


2016/2017 La Liga Stats

Goals scored

106

Goals conceded

41

Top scorer

Ronaldo (25)

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9 Inter Milan

Games unbeaten: 40

Inter Milan midfielder Javier Zanetti celebrates after scoring against Udinese

From May 2004 to February 2005, Inter Milan didn’t lose, setting an impressive feat that no one could quite believe. However, despite their ability to not lose matches, they didn’t win the Serie A in 2005. Losing just two matches might seem impressive, but they remarkably drew 18. It meant they finished on 72 points, 14 behind the champions – Juventus. Despite this, they did win the Coppa Italia against Roma 3-0 on aggregate, but that failed to truly highlight how tough they were to play against. It was a season that could have been remarkable, yet their inability to win matches cost them.


2004/2005 Stats (All competitions)

Goals scored

105

Goals conceded

53

Top scorer

Adriano (28)

8 Nottingham Forest

Games unbeaten: 40

Nottingham Forest’s team at the end of the 1970s is still world-famous now. They epitomised the ‘never say die’ attitude of the club that has been installed into them since the beginning. At the end of 1978, they highlighted that. On the 28th November, a 1-0 win at Bolton set an undefeated record of 42 consecutive league games — and 40 matches in all competitions. The record stood for 26 years. Alongside this, Garry Birtles broke into the first team and ended up being the club’s top scorer, which saw them end as league runners-up, retain the League Cup and win the European Cup.


1978/1979 First Division Stats

Goals scored

61

Goals conceded

26

Top scorer

Garry Birtles (14)

7 Fiorentina

Games unbeaten: 40

Going back to 1955 might be frightening to some, but Fiorentina’s remarkable feat has stood the test of time. On the 17th April 1955, Fiorentina travelled to Bergamo and got destroyed by Atalanta 5-1. It was a pretty distressing result, especially against a team that only escaped relegation on the final day of the season, but it was also the last time that Fiorentina lost until the 3rd June 1956. That symbolised their world-class quality as they won the Serie A in 1956 with 53 points, only losing one match on the final day of the season. Giuseppe Virgili helped fire them to glory as one of Italy’s biggest teams conquered the country.


1955/1956 Stats (All Competitions)

Goals scored

59

Goals conceded

20

Top scorer

Giuseppe Virgili (21)

6 Ajax

Games unbeaten: 42

Jari Litmanen

Ajax have always been the biggest team in the Netherlands. They carry a charisma and prestige that no other club has in the country. Pressure comes with that, but they’ve conquered the country time and time again, including in 1996. Their unbeaten run ended at the start of that year after losing 1-0 away to Willem II. However, that didn’t stop them from winning the league by six points. As part of their unbeaten run, they won the Champions League a year earlier, beating AC Milan in the final. It was in the same campaign they went unbeaten in the Eredivisie. Talk about being difficult to beat.


1995/1996 Eredivisie Stats

Goals scored

97

Goals conceded

24

Top scorer

Patrick Kluivert (15)

3:19

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5 AC Milan

Games unbeaten: 42

Marco van Basten

However, it wasn’t just Ajax that showcased their unbeaten talent during the 1990s season. AC Milan managed to go 42 matches unbeaten in all competitions. What was more impressive was their ability to go 58 matches unbeaten from 1991 to 1993 in the Serie A, but the odd defeat in other competitions dampened spirits. For their achievements, the 1991/1992 Milan side received the nickname “Gli invincibili” (the invincibles in English) in the media. As they cruised to the Serie A title unbeaten, they had truly conquered the country, with Marco van Basten proving to be their key player, scoring 25 goals in the competition.


1991/1992 Serie A Stats

Goals scored

74

Goals conceded

21

Top scorer

Marco van Basten (25)

4 Juventus

Games unbeaten: 43

Juventus conquered the Serie A once again in 2012, yet it was the first time the club had won a legitimate league title since 2003; they had initially won two Serie A titles in the meantime (2004/2005 and 2005/2006) but were stripped of both as a result of the Calciopoli scandal. The Italian giants ended the league season without any losses, breaking a record for the 20-team league format in Italy. Antonio Conte’s squad also played in the Coppa Italia final, losing to Napoli 2-0, which was their first and only seasonal loss. They epitomised the idea of formidable.


2011/2012 Serie AStats

Goals scored

68

Goals conceded

20

Top scorer

Alessandro Matri (10)

3 Rangers

Games unbeaten: 44

Rangers celebrate winning the title

Celtic’s record in the 2016/2017 season, which saw them go unbeaten, is widely seen as one of the greatest feats in Scottish football, but Rangers – despite losing in the league – performed better in the 1992/1993 campaign. They went 44 matches unbeaten, including 10 in the Champions League, showcasing how Scottish football could perform on the biggest stage. The Scottish giants completed the club’s fifth domestic treble, finishing first in the Scottish Premier Division and collecting the fifth of their nine league titles in a row. As Celtic and Rangers go head-to-head in one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, the latter’s record is never forgotten.


1992/1993 Scottish Premier Division Stats

Goals scored

97

Goals conceded

35

Top scorer

Ally McCoist (34)

2 Bayer Leverkusen

Games unbeaten: 45

Bayer Leverkusen’s performances during the 2023/2024 campaign have been remarkable. When they appointed Xabi Alonso last season, no one thought they would even challenge Bayern Munich for the title, let alone win. However, the team of superstars defied all expectations, with the likes of Florian Wirtz, Granit Xhaka and Jeremie Frimpong shining under the spotlight. They’ve scored countless last-minute equalisers, including one away to Dortmund midway through April, keeping their unbeaten record intact. The German side faces Roma in the Europa League semi-finals — and they are already in the DFB Pokal final — as ‘Neverkusen’ dreams of more glory.


2023/2024 Stats (All Competitions)

Goals scored

125

Goals conceded

33

Top scorer

Victor Boniface (18)

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1 Benfica

Games unbeaten: 48


Bayer Leverkusen are three behind the greatest unbeaten record in Europe’s greatest leagues, with Benfica still coming out on top with their unbeaten run from 1963 to 1965. The Portuguese giants, who had Eusebio at the time, conquered Europe and dominated their domestic league. In the 1963/1964 season, they lost just one league match early on, whilst they lost just twice in the season after. In 1965, they also lost the European Cup final to Real Madrid, but – despite falling short – they still showcased remarkable talent that helped them go unbeaten for so long. Their record might be beaten by Bayer Leverkusen soon, though.

1963/1964 Primeira Divisao Stats

Goals scored

103

Goals conceded

26

Top scorer

Eusebio (28)

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