What is the best winning start to a season in Real Madrid history?
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are looking to surpass the 11 victories at the start of a season that Miguel Muñoz’s Madrid achieved twice in the 1960s.
Madrid has become accustomed to writing so many pages in the history books that some of its achievements tend to go unnoticed. Now Carlo Ancelotti’s team (another man accustomed to breaking records quietly, who entered the top five of coaches with the most games managed in the club’s history against RB Leipzig) is seeking another record: beating the best start to the season in Madrid’s 120-year history. The current Liga and Champions League holders picked up an eighth consecutive victory at the start of the 2022-23 campaign against Leipzig. That already represents the third-best start in the club’s history and puts Ancelotti three more wins shy of matching the two best starts in Madrid history, when Miguel Muñoz’s Madrid posted 11 wins at the start of the 1961-62 and 1968-69 seasons.
More than half a century later, the best streak Madrid had achieved at the opening of a campaign was the seven victories achieved by Manuel Pellegrini in 2009-10. Sevilla, on matchday six of the League, brought that run to an end at the Sánchez Pizjuán. Madrid also achieved seven wins in a row in the 1916-17, 1931-32 and 1934-35 seasons, although many fixtures in that era corresponded to regional championships.
Atlético first up as Madrid seek record
The first stumbling block for Madrid in pursuit of the record is Atlético in the derby on Sunday. Madrid have won three of their last five matches against Diego Simeone’s side but have only been victorious in four of the last 13 Madrid derbies. After the international break Osasuna visit the Bernabéu and then Shakhtar will travel to Madrid for a Champions League fixture. If Ancelotti’s side win all of those, Madrid can break the record against Getafe at the Coliseum on October 8.
So far this season, Madrid have beaten Eintracht Frankfurt in the European Super Cup, Almería, Celta, Espanyol, Betis and Mallorca in LaLiga and Celtic and Leipzig in the Champions League.
Madrid’s winning runs in the 1960s
Madrid were prolific in terms of titles in the 1960s, winning the league eight times in nine seasons under the guidance of legendary Madrid coach Miguel Muñoz. In 1961-62, Madrid won their first eight league games and three in the European Cup. That streak was broken by Real Oviedo on matchday nine in the league with a 1-0 win at the Tartiere. That loss prevented a run that could have been almost impossible to beat as Madrid recorded another six wins in a row after the Oviedo game. Madrid finished the first half of that season (with 16 teams in LaLiga) with 13 victories and only two defeats, the Oviedo loss and another at the hands of Valencia.Seven years later, at the beginning of the 1968-69 season, they repeated the feat: Madrid won their first nine league games, capping off with a Clásico victory over Barcelona) and two round of 32 matches in the European Cup against AEL Limasol (in a tie that was played entirely at the Bernabéu). It was in the next round of that competition that Rapid Vienna ended the streak.
Ancelotti holds record for longest winning run
Real Madrid’s longest consecutive winning streak dates, however, to much more recent times. And it belongs to Ancelotti. In his second season at the Bernabéu, the Italian’s team won 22 consecutive games between September and December 2014. That run began on the first day of the Champions League group stage, against Basel (5-1 at the Bernabéu) and ended with the last game of the calendar year: the Club World Cup final against San Lorenzo (2-0). Valencia, in the very first match of 2015, (2-1 at Mestalla), brought the streak to an end.