In it for the long run: Al Hilal victory streak stretches to 34 matches

Saudi giants extend win record to 34 games with victory over Al Ittihad in Saudi Super Cup in Abu Dhabi

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Al Hilal clinched the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday with a 4-1 win over rivals Al Ittihad in Abu Dhabi, extending their sequence of matches won to an incredible 34 games.

Brazilian forward Malcom scored twice with Salem Al Dawsari and namesake Nasser Al Dawsari also on target as Hilal clinched the first of what could be four trophies this season.

The Riyadh giants are the runaway leaders in the Saudi Pro League and are on track for a record-extending fifth Asian Champions League title with a semi-final double-header – the first leg is next Tuesday – against UAE club Al Ain to come. They meet Ittihad again for a place in the Saudi King Cup at the end of the month.

“It was a difficult game and I am very happy to score two goals,” Malcom told Saudi television following Thursday's Saudi Super Cup success. “We are also happy to collect our first title of the season but we are chasing more trophies.”

Here are the 10 longest winning streaks in football history.

1. Al Hilal 2023/24 (34 matches)

One of four Saudi clubs boosted by the financial backing of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), Hilal have certainly made the most of their improved squad. The Riyadh side are running away with the Saudi Pro League, winning 25 and drawing two of their games so far, while also making smooth progress in the Asian Champions League where they will battle Al Ain over two legs for a place in the final.

Former Fulham striker Aleksandr Mitrovic – one of nine signings last summer – has been banging in the goals, and the likes of Brazilian winger Malcom, Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves and Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have all adapted quickly to the team. Reigning Asian Player of the Year Salem Al Dawsari also continues to be a key player.

And to think Hilal have achieved this record mainly without star man Neymar, who has been out injured since November.

2. The New Saints FC 2016/17 (27 matches)

The previous owner of the record was not a traditional giant by any means but the dominant team of the Cymru Premier League. Welsh side The New Saints put together their run of 27 straight wins during a 2016/17 season when they won the domestic treble of league, Welsh Cup, and Welsh League Cup.

The New Saints have again wrapped up the league title this season - a record-extending 16th - and another League Cup, while they are in the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup. Something suggests they might go on and do the treble again.

3. Ajax 1971/72 (26 matches)

The holder of the record for 44 years, Ajax's historic run set up the Dutch giants to win the Dutch league, Dutch Cup and European Cup treble.

Led by talismanic forward Johann Cruyff, who scored 33 goals in all competitions that season, and including the likes of midfielder Johan Neeskens, winger Piet Keizer and forward Dick van Dijk, Ajax blew away all rivals both domestically and on the continent, winning the Eredivisie by nine points and beating Inter Milan in the European Cup final.

4. Ajax 1994-95 (25 matches)

Regarded as one of the greatest teams of all time, an Ajax side comprising the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Frank de Boer, Edgar Davids, Frank Rijkaard, Clarence Seedorf, Jari Litmanen and Patrick Kluivert came close to breaking their predecessors' record in 1994/95.

The Amsterdam giants secured the Eredivisie title and won their fourth, and most recent, European Cup with a 1-0 final victory over AC Milan. Litmanen top-scored for Louis van Gaal's side with 27 goals in all competitions.

5. Coritiba 2011 (24 matches)

The holder of the South American record, Coritiba's 24-match winning run in 2011 saw the Brazilian side win the Campeonato Paranaense which included a perfect 11 victories in the second stage to win the title. The streak also saw Coritiba clinch the Copa do Brasil.

6. Bayern Munich 2019/20 (23 matches)

One of the most dominant seasons of recent times, Bayern were unstoppable in 2019/20, especially from February onwards. They won their last 13 Bundesliga games to win the title by 13 points and won all 11 games in the Champions League on their way to the treble.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski was the star of the season, scoring 55 goals in all competitions – 34 in the Bundesliga and 15 in the Champions League.

7. Real Madrid 2014/15 (22 matches)

Real Madrid achieved the seventh-longest win streak in football history yet only had the Fifa Club World Cup trophy to show for their efforts. Carlo Ancelotti's side hit their stride between September and mid-December of the 2014/15 season with 12 successive La Liga wins, six straight in the Champions League and two to win the Club World Cup.

But Madrid would finish runners-up to Barcelona in La Liga, lose to Juventus in the Champions League semi-finals and be eliminated from the Copa del Rey last 16 by city rivals Atletico Madrid.

8. Manchester City 2020/21 (21 matches)

One of many exemplary seasons during the Pep Guardiola era, City's 21-match winning run took place between mid-December and the start of March, taking in 15 Premier League wins and a string of victories in the League Cup, Champions League and FA Cup.

City would win the Premier League - the first in their current run of three straight titles - and the League Cup, but were defeated by Chelsea in both the FA Cup semi-finals and Champions League final.

9= Manchester City 2017/18 (18 matches)

Guardiola's first Premier League title as City manager came in 2017/18, which was built on an 18-match winning run early in the season on the way to a 100-point league campaign. Guardiola's first City trophy was also secured this season with the League Cup.

9= Liverpool 2019/20 (18 matches)

Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a league title in 2019/20 following a remarkable start to the season, with an 18-match winning run from October 27 to February 24. A draw away to Manchester United on October 20 was the only league match the Reds didn't win in the first 27 games.

9= Barcelona 2005/06 (18 matches)

A great Barcelona team including a young Lionel Messi, Frank Rijkard's side won 14 straight La Liga matches between the end of October and end of December to set themselves up to win the title. Barca also starred in the Champions League, winning the trophy by beating Arsenal in the final.

Updated: April 12, 2024, 4:48 AM