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What an achievement for this fella.

Rodri & 11 other players who put together outrageous unbeaten streaks in football: Pirlo, Van Dijk…

5 February saw Manchester City’s Rodri officially go a year without losing a competitive game of football, seeing him join an exclusive club of players.

As Pep Guardiola’s side fought back against Brentford to keep their 2023-24 Premier League title charge going, Rodri’s outstanding achievement highlighted both his importance to the side, and their recent dominance.

This got us thinking about unbeaten runs in football, so we did a little bit of research. Please enjoy the following list of players who went invincible.

Virgil van Dijk & Andy Robertson

Liverpool went 44 Premier League games unbeaten across two seasons in 2019-2020. Only two players appeared in every single one of those games — Van Dijk and Roberston, who ended up invincible for about 13 months.

Virgil gets extra points for starting all of those games, but the Reds did lose some cup games during that run, making it a less satisfying and pure unbeaten run than Rodri’s, for our money.

Eidur Gudjohnsen

During José Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, after having signed Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben, and half of the Special One’s Champions League-winning Porto team, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 away at Man City by a Nicolas Anelka penalty. They then decided not to lose anymore games and didn’t lose another league fixture for over a year. Forty games, in total.

Chelsea did lose away games to José’s old mates Porto in the Champions League, as well as Bayern, Barca, and Liverpool. They also got knocked out of the FA Cup away to Newcastle. But the Premier League was their safe space.

And who was the most ever-present player during that run? Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen, who was unbeaten for one year and six days. Underrated.

Peter Shilton

It doesn’t sound like much, but Nottingham Forest went 42 games unbeaten in all competitions in 1978. An unimaginable stretch and still a record for an English top-flight team.

Unsurprisingly, Shilts played more games than anyone else during this stretch, going unbeaten for six months. At the time of writing, Nottingham Forest have gone one week unbeaten. The start of another famous run?

Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner & Peter Lorimer

Don Revie took charge at Leeds in 1968. He immediately changed the club colours to white, inspired by Real Madrid, and the season started well.

Then they got beat 5-1 away to Burnley and thought, “F*ck that. We’re not doing that again.” And didn’t lose another game for the rest of the season. In doing so, Charlton, Bremner and Lorimer all went unbeaten for an impressive 10 months.

Jens Lehmann

Only one player appeared in every single league game of Arsenal’s invincible season — and league games are all that matter since they got beat in the cups.

Thierry Henry missed one league game, therefore we’re highlighting Big Jens Lehmann. A whole league season unbeaten, plus the first two months of the next. You have to respect it.

READ: Revisiting the 12 league games which Arsenal’s Invincibles failed to win

Andrea Pirlo

The player every unfit Sunday league player thinks they are.

Andrea Pirlo (yeah, mate, I’ll just sit in midfield, spray passes around, Pirlo it), did exactly the same thing with Juventus as Lehmann did with Arsenal, almost exactly eight years later. Game recognises game.

Craig Gordon

Gordon barely missed a match during Celtic’s 57 (!) game unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership back in 2016-17. That amounted to around one year and seven months of being invincible. Absurd.

They did kick about a bit in the Champions League, but who cares about the Champions League, eh?

Franco Baresi

If Franco Baresi ever met Craig Gordon, he’d probably say, “You can take your fifty-seven games, and you can shove them up your arse.” In Italian.

*That* Milan team of 1991-92 went 58 league games undefeated, but, to be fair, if you’ve got Baresi, Maldini, Costacurta, van Basten, Gullit, Rijkaard et al, you could argue they should never have lost a game ever. Baresi was the captain and played the most games, so he makes it onto our list.

To be exact, the Italian went one year and ten months without being beaten. Almost two years. What an absolute behemoth.


READ NEXT: An ode to Robert Pires, the final hint of class that made Arsenal Invincible

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to appear for Arsenal in the Invincibles season?