Madrid go first: Spain’s longest unbeaten runs

Real Madrid’s 3-3 draw with Sevilla on Thursday moved them ahead of Barcelona and set a Spanish record of 40 games unbeaten in all competitions. As discovers, the two giants dominate the landscape in undefeated runs involving Spanish sides.

1. Real Madrid, 40 (2016 – present)
A 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg in last season’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg was the last time Real Madrid tasted defeat. Since then they have been unstoppable, notching up 30 victories and ten draws as they relentlessly swept all before them while collecting the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

2. Barcelona, 39 (2015–16)
Luis Enrique led the Catalan outfit to 32 wins and seven draws between October 2015 and April 2016. In that time they found the back of the net a remarkable 122 times, shipping just 22 goals before they were beaten 2-1 by Zinédine Zidane’s Madrid. Barcelona had done enough, though, winning the Liga title ahead of their great rivals by a point.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Lionel Messi and Neymar cashed in during Barcelona’s 2015/16 goal glut©Getty Images

3. Real Madrid, 34 (1988–89)
Leo Beenhakker’s team set the benchmark en route to a league and cup double. The last match of their run was a 1-1 draw with AC Milan in the European Cup semi-finals. They eventually lost next time out, 2-0 to Celta Vigo. The defeat seemed to derail the Merengues, who went down 5-0 in the second leg against Milan four days later.

Hugo Sánchez (Real Madrid)
Hugo Sánchez, Madrid’s top scorer in 1988/89©Getty Images

4. Real Madrid, 31 (2013–14)
Carlo Ancelotti’s men went from Clásico to Clásico, going 31 matches (26 wins and five draws) without defeat between their meetings with Barcelona in October and March respectively. The Calatan outfit’s 4-3 win at the Bernabéu brought the curtain down on Madrid’s run.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
Cristiano Ronaldo takes flight in 2013/14©AFP/Getty Images

5. Barcelona, 28 (2010–11)
Josep Guardiola took Barcelona to 23 wins and five draws without loss, scoring 85 times and conceding just 15. A 5-1 victory over Panathinaikos in the UEFA Champions League kicked things off, before Real Betis’s 3-1 Copa del Rey victory halted their momentum. Barcelona went on to complete a Liga and European double that season.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Barcelona capture the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League©Getty Images

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