Top 10 longest winning runs in Club football history

REAL MADRID

The legendary mark of 26 consecutive wins for Johan Cruyff’s Ajax side lasted more than half a century before it was broken in Scotland for a fifth straight thanks to goals from a laboratory technician. Or so everyone thought.

Alerted to the impending milestone, Ajax celebrated East Kilbride’s 3-1 win over BSC Glasgow in November 2016 by sending a club van onto the pitch. 27 cases of beer were packed in the back, along with a laptop containing a video message from club legend and technical director Edwin van der Sar. Kilby manager Martin Laughlan gushed: “To break legend Johan Cruyff’s record with Ajax is unbelievable.”

There was no fanfare for Guinness World Records as they did not take Kilbride’s run into account as they operated outside of the “top level” competition.

However, in the same year, Ajax was overtaken by another British club. Here’s a look at all the teams that made it into the official standings.

10. Barcelona – 18 wins (2005-06)

When Barcelona came calling in 2003, Frank Rijkaard was focused on his underwear company and thinking about an offer from the Netherlands Antilles. Two years later, the legendary Dutch player entered the pantheon of great managers by winning 18 matches to lead the club to success. glory in La Liga and the Champions League. Ronaldinho has been in the best form of his career during this blistering sequence, contributing directly to 21 goals in 18 games. Ronaldinho’s two most famous strikes during that run came at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he was so good that Real Madrid fans even stood up to applaud him. It’s safe to say that if Rijkaard accepted Antilles’ offer, he would be working with a slightly different caliber of player.

9. Palmeiras – 21 wins (1996)

Vanderlei Luxemburgo has a divisive reputation. The Brazilian manager led his national team to the Copa America title in 1999 but became embroiled in a nasty corruption trial when his ex-girlfriend and colleague Renata Alves launched a smear campaign against him. Luis Figo worked with Luxemburg at Real Madrid in 2005 and described him as the “worst” coach of his career. Still, for Rivaldo, Luxemburgo was “the best”. Everything coaches do in Europe today,” Rivaldo wrote on social media in 2020, “you were already doing 25 years ago.” Rivaldo’s belief in manager Marmite no doubt stems from their two years together at Palmeiras, when Luxemburgo led the Brazilian giants to a national record 21-game winning streak.

8. Man City – 21 wins (2020-21)

Under Pep Guardiola, Manchester City are no strangers to an impressive run of wins in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, even the Catalan coach was surprised by the club’s 21 wins during the 2020/21 season. At the time, the next longest winning streak in British club football history was just 14 games, first set by Preston North End in 1892, before penalty areas were introduced into the rules.

7. TNS – 21 wins (2023-24)

The New Saints, known almost exclusively as TNS after being sponsored by Total Network Solutions for years, were adamant about breaking Ajax’s record 26-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory over Newtown in February 2024. However, this sequence included a penalty. a shootout triumph that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, counts as a draw rather than a victory. TNS were not impressed. “As far as we’re concerned, a win is a win,” read a stark statement from the club. However, the Welsh top-flight side – one of only two professional clubs in their division – still come up against some of the world’s best.

6. Real Madrid – 22 wins (2014)

“I have a big trophy case full of titles I’ve won,” Carlo Ancelotti once mused, “but if I counted the ones I’ve lost, I’d have a full house.” Real Madrid embarked on their 22-match winning streak at the start of the 2014 campaign /15, which ended in defeat in the Copa del Rey, La Liga and the Champions League. Ancelotti was expelled from the club that same summer.

5. Bayern Munich – 23 wins (2020)

“You can’t buy success,” Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick once said. “It’s rented. And rent is due every day.” Bayern delivered the goods emphatically throughout 2020 under Flick, winning four trophies before their winning streak ended seven months after it began. The only downside to Bayern’s triumphant campaign has been the lack of fans for the vast majority of their winning run, with 17 of their 23 matches played in empty stadiums (or ghost games as they are called in Germany).

4. Coritiba – 24 wins (2011)

Prior to Coritiba’s 24-game winning streak in 2011, the club had never won more than ten consecutive games. Most of Coritiba’s triumphs came in the Parana regional championship, but they also reached the final of the Copa do Brazil national cup. However, by June 2011, Coritiba’s wins had dried up and Vasco da Gama emerged victorious.

3. Ajax – 25 wins (1995)

Jorge Valdano led Real Madrid during Ajax’s assault on European football, but he has long been football’s poet. Finding the right words again, Valdano praised Louis van Gaal’s technically and physically gifted side as “the beauty and the beast”. Van Gaal was at the helm of a young Ajax side in his imperious managerial flamboyance. Seven academy graduates started the 1995 UEFA Champions League final, which was won by a teenage Patrick Kluivert. The European champions were just one game short of equaling Cruyff’s side’s record but, as in his playing career, Van Gaal was forced to live in the legendary Dutchman’s shadow with a goalless draw against Swiss side Grasshoppers.

2. Ajax – 26 wins (1971-72)

Few clubs in the history of European football have ever enjoyed a campaign as successful as Ajax’s 1971/72. Freed from the shackles of late disciplinarian Rinus Michels, Piet Keizer began dancing on a nearby table when he learned the manager had joined Barcelona – Ajax gutting everything that came their way. Cruyff, Keizer and Johnny Rep flourish with the purist form of ‘Total Football’.

1. TNS – 27 wins (2016)

They had done it. A 2-0 victory over Cefn Druids cemented TNS’s footballing immortality with 27 consecutive wins in 2016. Yet, for the Welsh side, “it was a bit of an anti-climax in the end” according to left-back Chris Marriott.TNS’s decisive win came at the end of December, halfway through another dominant season in the Cymru Premier.”It had been built up and then we’d done it and you haven’t actually won anything really, it just goes down as a bit of ink in a book. It’s not a trophy, it’s nothing like that,” TNS’ kill-joy captain Marriott reflected. “It was just a pat on the back and ‘See you tomorrow for training’ sort of thing.”

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