Jorge Jesus hails Al Hilal's 'incredible achievement' of world record 28 straight wins

Saudi giants achieved the feat with a 2-0 win over rivals Al Ittihad to advance to the Asian Champions League quarter-finals and a meeting with UAE's Al Ain

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Jorge Jesus said Al Hilal’s latest history-making achievement was down to the entire club and their fans, after the Saudi Arabian side are understood to have set a world record for most consecutive wins by a top-flight team.

The Riyadh club, who currently lead the Saudi Pro League by 12 points, defeated compatriots Al Ittihad 2-0 in their Asian Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday night.

The victory, sealed by goals from Yasser Al Shahrani and Malcom, meant Hilal progress to the semi-finals 4-0 on aggregate. The record four-time Asian champions will meet the UAE’s Al Ain in the last four next month.

The win is also thought to have lifted Hilal into the history books. With a 28th consecutive victory secure, Jesus’s side overtook Welsh club The New Saints’ record of 27 successive wins, achieved in the 2016/17 season. The previous mark, secured by Ajax between 1971 and 1972, had stood for 44 years.

“Everyone at Al Hilal is delighted to achieve world football history by winning 28 consecutive matches,” Jesus, a three-time Portuguese Primeira League winner with Benfica, said. “This is truly an incredible achievement and I want to thank everyone at the club for their part in this momentous winning record: the president, the board of directors, the players, my staff and the fans.

“As I have said throughout this period, however, records do not matter as much as trophies. It is up to everyone at Al Hilal to ensure that we close out the season as Saudi [Pro] League champions and meet our targets in the cup competitions. Only then can we truly celebrate.”

Seeking a record-extending 19th Saudi top-flight title, Hilal return to domestic matters on Saturday, when they host Damac in the capital. There are 11 rounds of the 2023/24 season remaining.

Hilal’s remarkable winning streak stretches back to September 25, when they defeated city rivals Al Shabab 2-0. The run includes notable victories against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr – 3-0 in the Riyadh derby in December – and a trio of successes against Ittihad in the past two weeks. Hilal saw off the reigning Saudi champions 3-1 in the league on March 1 before registering twin 2-0 Champions League results.

Ironically, the last time Hilal failed to win a match was the corresponding Pro League fixture with Damac, on September 21.

Yet, having racked up the majority of their 28 victories without record signing Neymar – the Brazilian suffered a season-ending injury on international duty in October – it makes the feat even more impressive.

“Losing Neymar to injury was a significant blow but our team has come together magnificently," Jesus said. "Everyone throughout the squad has contributed this season so far – both our other major international players and talented Saudi Arabian players. It has very much been a squad effort.

“I reiterate, however, that what is important now is that the squad continues to work hard in our aim of securing trophies this season. That’s what matters most for Al Hilal.”

Updated: March 13, 2024, 7:20 AM