American football coach Vince Lombardi once said “winning is habit” and there are a handful of exceptional teams and individuals who know that better than anyone else. Here is a look at some of the longest winning streaks in sporting history.
Eusebio-Led Benfica Excelled in the Early 1970s
Jimmy Hagan was a club legend for Sheffield United during his playing days but it is because of his work as a manager that he is in the record books.
The Englishman oversaw the longest winning streak by a top-flight European side during his tenure with Benfica in the 1970s, leading them to 29 consecutive wins between the end of their 1971-72 and 1972-73 title-winning campaigns. Of course, having the legendary Eusebio in their ranks helped.
Welsh side The New Saints also deserve a mention for having strung together 27 victories back in 2016, while Dutch side Ajax won 26 games on the spin in 1972.
Brazilian side Coritiba’s run of 24 consecutive wins came to an end in 2011 while Bayern Munich are also on the list for their run of 23 successes in the 2019-20 season in which they secured the treble.
England and All Blacks the Recent Dominant Forces in Rugby Union
In international rugby union, it is New Zealand and England who are level on the most consecutive team wins with 18. The All Blacks were the first to set the record, starting with victory over Australia in August 2015 and finishing the run with victory over the same opponents in the following October before losing to Ireland.
As for England, they started their exceptional streak by beating Uruguay in October 2015 and concluded the run by beating Scotland in March 2017.
Australia Well-Represented in Cricket Record Books
As if setting a record for a winning streak in your sport is not impressive enough, the Australia men’s Test cricket team achieved their run of wins on two separate occasions.
Under Steve Waugh, the Aussies won a record 16 consecutive Test matches between October 1999 and February 2001 and equalled that run under the captaincy of batsman Ricky Ponting between December 2005 and January 2008. Ponting captained his team on the field for all 16 of those matches whereas Waugh was unable to do so due to injury.
And in April 2021, the Australia women’s team set the record for most one-day-international wins in a row in the history of either the men or women’s game with 22 successive victories, having started the streak by beating India in 2018.
Squash Star Khan Can Boast Winning Streak Record
Regarded as the greatest squash player of all time, Pakistan’s Jahangir Khan holds the record for the longest consecutive winning streak of any athlete in any sport, having won 555 matches in a row between 1981 and 1986.
During his career, he also won the World Open six times and the British Open 10 times in a row between 1982 and 1991.
Track and field athlete Ed Moses, meanwhile, won an outstanding 122 consecutive races in the 400m hurdles between 1977 and 1987, winning two Olympic gold medals in his career, while in the 1971-72 season, the Los Angeles Lakers set the record for the longest winning streak in NBA history with 33 straight victories.