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The Last 8 Football Teams Who Went Unbeaten In Europe (Ranked)

Written by on May 14, 2024

Highlights

  • Bayer Leverkusen are on course for an unbeaten Bundesliga season with Xabi Alonso receiving high praise for his team’s success.
  • Leverkusen is close to completing a historic season with interest from top European clubs in Alonso’s performance.
  • The article highlights other teams like Preston North End, AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus, Celtic, and Rangers that have gone unbeaten in their respective league seasons.



Bayer Leverkusen confirmed their Bundesliga title victory last week after a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen earlier this month, which led to a pitch invasion after Florian Wirtz netted a superb hattrick for the German side. Xabi Alonso has received a huge amount of praise for his performances for the German side, who were labelled as ‘Neverkusen’ as it looked like they were never going to win the famous title, but the Spanish midfielder did the impossible.

Playing football not seen before for the German side has led to multiple top European clubs taking an interest in the former Real Madrid and Liverpool midfielder. Those two clubs have been credited with an interest in Alonso, but the Spaniard declared last week that he wanted to remain in Germany. In the league, Leverkusen is on course to complete a superb unbeaten season and could yet win the UEFA Europa League after they knocked out David Moyes’ West Ham United side in dramatic fashion. Despite the league title already being wrapped up, Die Werkself are hoping to complete what would be a historic season.


After 30 games in the Bundesliga, Leverkusen have, incredibly, won 25 of those matches so far with five draws, including a dramatic last-minute equaliser against Borussia Dortmund to maintain their unbeaten run. We will detail all the sides who have gone unbeaten in their respective league seasons in chronological order.

Season

Team

Games won

League games unbeaten

2023/24

Bayer Leverkusen

26

32

2020/21

Rangers

32

38

2016/17

Celtic

34

38

2011/12

Juventus

23

38

2003/04

Arsenal

26

38

1991/92

AC Milan

22

34

1978/79

Perugia

11

30

1888/89

Preston North End

18

22



1 Preston North End (1888/1889) – 22 games unbeaten

First up on our list is the Preston North End side from the end of the 19th century. Preston are not the only side to have been unbeaten in England’s top division, they will always be the first football side to be unbeaten in a campaign. Back then, the league played just 22 games but they won 18 of those games and drew the other four.

As well as this, Preston won the FA Cup in the same campaign and did not concede a single goal during that cup run which culminated in a comfortable 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in what was a final to cement themselves as the kings of English football. Arsenal’s unbeaten league run back in 2004 was incredibly impressive, but Preston will always be the first English side to complete this feat in what was the inaugural season of England’s Division One.


Preston 1888/1889 Stats

Games played

22

Games won

18

Goals scored

74

Did they win the league?

Yes

2 Perugia (1978/1979) – 30 games unbeaten

Next on our list is Serie A side Perugia, who went the entire league season unbeaten. However, unlike every other team on this list, the Italian side did not end up winning the league title despite not losing throughout the entire league campaign.


Perugia became the first side in Serie A history to go unbeaten, but the catch was that they drew 19 of those games and won just 11 that season, which meant they finished with 41 points, missing out on the title by three points. Back then, a win was awarded two points rather than the three that are now awarded for a victory. Perugia finished behind AC Milan, who lost three times en route to the Scudetto.

Perugia 1978/1979 Stats

Games played

30

Games won

11

Goals scored

34

Did they win the league?

No


3 AC Milan (1991/92) – 34 games unbeaten

Another Italian side is next on our list with the impressive AC Milan team from the 1991/1992 season. Under Fabio Capello, the Italian side won the Scudetto title after being dominant throughout the Italian league season. After the tactical genius, Arrigo Sacchi left AC Milan, there may well have been fears that the Italian side could have gone into the abyss and allowed other sides in the league to oust them.

When Fabio Capello was given the job, there may well have been even more concern due to his tactical rigidity. Sacchi left to take over the international team and in came Capello. However, what transpired was that Milan were playing the same way and winning games in the same style. The Italian giants were top of the table at the start of the season and stayed there for the remainder of the campaign.


They scored 74 goals and completed an amazing unbeaten season with Dutch forward Marco Van Basten scoring 25 of those goals in an impressive season. There were some impressive victories for the Italian giants, including a 5-0 drubbing of Napoli, a 5-1 thrashing of reigning champions Sampdoria and an 8-0 win over Foggia on the final day to secure the title. Capello’s side ended up going 58 games unbeaten.

AC Milan 1991/92 Stats

Games played

34

Games won

22

Goals scored

74

Did they win the league?

Yes


4 Arsenal (2003/2004) – 38 games unbeaten

Patrick Vieira and Arsene Wenger with the Premier League trophy

As mentioned previously, Arsène Wenger’s Invincible side from the 2003/2004 season is, of course, on this list. Arsenal under the Frenchman were a force to be reckoned with in the late 90s and early 2000s. They consistently went head-to-head with Sir Alex Ferguson’sManchester United and won two league and cup doubles before the pinnacle was achieved in the 2003/04 season.

Arsenal completed an entire 38-game league campaign unbeaten and were presented with a golden Premier League trophy which has still yet to be matched by any other Premier League or England top-division side in history, barring Preston. The closest any Premier League side came to matching this feat was in the 2019/2020 season, when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were unbeaten until the end of February before a 3-0 defeat to Watford ended their hopes. The Gunners won 26 of the 38 games with 12 draws in that time. Wenger’s side accrued 90 points in this campaign and this title for Arsenal represents the last time they have won the Premier League.


Arsenal 2003/04 Stats

Games played

38

Games won

26

Goals scored

73

Did they win the league?

Yes

5 Juventus (2011/2012) – 38 games unbeaten

Andrea Pirlo

Next on our list in chronological order is the incredibly impressive run by Juventus as they became the third Italian side to complete an entire league campaign unbeaten. The Italian side’s dominance of Serie A was during the 2010s when they won an incredible nine league titles in a row, which was very similar to Bayern Munich’s era of dominance over the past 11 years when they had won 11 titles before Leverkusen won it this campaign.


Back in the 2011/2012 season, Italian manager Antonio Conte was in charge of the Turin side and masterminded an outstanding season for Juve as they finished the entire season unbeaten with 23 victories and 15 draws during the season. After the Calciopoli scandal which saw Juve relegated out of Italy’s top division, this was their first title since this and they were superb. A team containing Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Claudio Marchisio and Gianluigi Buffon were worthy winners and conceded just 20 goals in a remarkable campaign.

Juventus 2011/12 Stats

Games played

38

Games won

23

Goals scored

68

Did they win the league?

Yes


6 Celtic (2016/2017) – 38 games unbeaten

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side come next on our list in what was another impressive achievement for the Hoops as they won the title at a canter under the Northern Irishman, with the Scottish giants drawing just four league games all campaign. The Scottish side won 34 league games, scoring 106 goals in the process, with Celtic conceding just 25 goals in 38 games in what was a remarkable campaign. Rodgers would eventually depart the Scottish side for Leicester City and this campaign went some way to cementing his legacy in Scotland. The Hoops won two domestic cups in this campaign, too, and there’s little surprise to see Rodgers back in Scotland.


Celtic 2016/17 Stats

Games played

38

Games won

34

Goals scored

106

Did they win the league?

Yes

7 Rangers (2020/2021) – 38 games unbeaten

Steven Gerrard

Last on our list is another Scottish side, as Steven Gerrard masterminded an incredible unbeaten run for Rangers as they won the Scottish Premiership title at a canter, too. Gerrard has struggled outside of Scotland since this season, with the Englishman sacked by Aston Villa after a poor season for the Midlands club.


After that, the former midfielder went to Al-Ettifaq, but that career decision has not worked out for Gerrard. Despite this, his time in Scotland will always be remembered fondly for what was an incredible unbeaten campaign for the Scottish side. This title for Rangers was the first won by the Glasgow side in over a decade after years of financial trouble saw them relegated down to the fourth tier of Scottish football.

During the campaign, Rangers won 32 league games and drew just six of these. Incredibly, the Scottish side conceded just 13 goals throughout the campaign and will be remembered fondly for how well they played. Bayer Leverkusen could well be the next side to achieve this amazing feat and, in doing so, would go down as an incredible campaign for the German side.


Rangers 2020/21 Stats

Games played

38

Games won

32

Goals scored

92

Did they win the league?

Yes

8 Bayer Leverkusen (2023/2024) – 33 games unbeaten

The most recent example of an incredible unbeaten run is in the Bundesliga, with Xabi Alonso’s side closing in on an incredible unbeaten domestic campaign. With just two games left for Bayer Leverkusen, who were nicknamed Neverkusen as a result of their struggles to win the German title, they are just 180 minutes of football from completing an incredible achievement. The credit will ultimately go to manager Alonso, but some incredible players have emerged as a result of this fine season.


Related

Bayer Leverkusen Crowned Bundesliga Champions for First Time in Their History

Second half goals from Florian Wirtz and Granit Xhaka sealed off an emphatic 5-0 win against Werder Bremen.

In recent weeks, despite the Bundesliga title being wrapped up for Leverkusen, they have managed to conjure up more magic that led them to win the German title in the first place. They picked up last-gasp draws against Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart to preserve their unbeaten run. Leverkusen have just two games left of the season and if they avoid defeat, it would complete a remarkable season. The German side could win a historic treble as they are in the DFB Pokal final and the latter stages of the Europa League. This has to be one of the best seasons in football history.

Bayer Leverkusen 2023/24 Stats

Games played

33

Games won

27

Goals scored

87

Did they win the league?

Yes

Correct as of 14/5/24


All statistics courtesy of Transfermarkt.co.uk.

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