Argentina’s incredible 36 game run without a loss finally came to an end on Tuesday, as they suffered a shocking 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia in their World Cup opener. But where does the 2022 Argentina team rank amongst the longest unbeaten streaks in international football?
The South American’s managed 36 games without a loss and although it was an incredible achievement, other teams have gone further.
Longest Unbeaten Streaks In International Football
|Argentina||36||2019 – 2022|
1. Italy – 37 games
Argentina just miss out on top spot in the unbeaten list, with Italy edging the South American’s by one game. The Italians managed to put together a string of 37 games without recording a single loss over the space of three years, until they were eventually taken down by Spain in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in Milan.
The 2-1 loss to Spain was also Italy’s first competitive home defeat since 1999, in what was an unbelievable home run for the Azzurri. Italy were eventually rewarded for their long winning streak with a trophy, as they won Euro 2020 under Roberto Mancini.
2. Argentina – 36 games
Argentina also managed a trophy during their unbeaten spell, as the South Americans won the Copa America in 2021, beating Brazil in the final to give Lionel Messi a deserved international trophy after 16 years in the team.
All winning streaks must come to an end however and for Argentina it came in the form of a huge upset, as Saudi Arabia stunned the world with a 2-1 win in their opening World Cup fixture.
Saudia Arabia have ended Argentina's 36-game unbeaten streak in the first game of the World Cup ❌ pic.twitter.com/ovq9FBWjtt
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 22, 2022
Saudi Arabia are the lowest ranked side in the Qatar World Cup and with Argentina one of the pre-tournament favourites nobody was expecting such an upset, with the Argentinian’s falling just short of the all time record of Italy’s 37 games undefeated.
3. Brazil and Spain – 35 games
Spain and Brazil are tied for third spot on the list, with both countries managing to go 35 games without a loss which is five more than the country below them on the list (Italy again 1935-1939).
The first team to ever go 35 games unbeaten on the international stage was Brazil, who’s 1994 World Cup winning squad didn’t record a single loss between 1993 and 1995. The Selecao were eventually halted by Mexico, who beat the South Americans 2-0 to win the Gold Cup in 1996.
Spain on the other hand went 35 games unbeaten with their golden generation between 2007 and 2009, a record that was enough to earn La Roja’s successive European Championships and a World Cup.
The Spanish streak came to a bitter end in 2009 however, when the USMNT pulled off a shocking win in the Confederations Cup to take down Spain and stop them from reaching the all-time record.
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