Juventus join list of Invincibles

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Having secured their first legitimate Scudetto in nine years last weekend, Juventus had the opportunity to make yet even more history only a week later.

Antonio Conte's side entered into the final day of the season knowing that, if they managed to avoid defeat against Atalanta, they would be the become only the third team in the history of Serie A to register an undefeated campaign.

However, the previous two sides to have remained unbeaten, Perugia in 1978-79 and AC Milan in 1991-92, did so over the course of 30 and 34 games, respectively.

A 3-1 victory against Atalanta saw Juve break new ground in Italian football, finishing a 38-game season without suffering a single defeat; registering 23 wins and 15 draws.

Goals from Luca Marrone and Andrea Barzagli, as well as a strike by Alessandro Del Piero in his final league outing for the club, allowed Juventus to join a list of famed immortals across the footballing world.

It is a remarkable achievement indeed, particularly for a club having suffered so greatly in recent years, and one that will continue to be a point of reference for decades to come.

The great Preston North End side of the late 19th century were the first team to be labelled 'The Invincibles', having either won or drawn each of their 22 league games, while they also triumphed in the FA Cup that year.

It was not until the 21st century that they were matched in English top-flight football, with Arsenal's dream team of 2003-04 streaking to the Premier League title without a blemish to speak of.

Elsewhere in Europe, Benfica are unique in the fact they have twice remained unbeaten, although in 1977-78 still managed to lose the Portuguese title to Porto, who had suffered a solitary defeat.

Porto, meanwhile, surged to the Liga title last year under the stewardship of Andre Villas-Boas; winning 27 games and drawing only three in a 30 game season.

In 2010, Rosenborg became Norwegian champions undefeated, while Besiktas are the only Turkish team to have ever achieved the feat - doing so 20 years ago.

Only once has their been an undefeated champion in Brazil, with Internacional doing so in 1979, while Al-Hilal FC registered an invincible season of their own in the Saudi Arabian top-flight.

An achievement far more rare, however, is recording a 'perfect' season, by which a side has won every single league encounter over the course of the campaign.

Only five times has this ever occurred in officially recognised leagues, with Ferencvárosi of Hungary laying the path for others to follow; winning all 22 of their games in the 1931-32 season.

It was a feat bettered only ten years later when German side Dresdner SC triumphed in 23 matches while, outside of Europe, Nacional of Uruguay and Sunrise Flacq United of Mauritius won 20 and 22 games respectively.

Yet an accomplishment that will surely never be surpassed is Sparta Prague's quite sensational record of 51 consecutive victories, which was achieved between 1920 and 1923.

Although Juventus's achievements pale into relative insignificance when compared to the exploits of 'Iron Sparta', Conte could yet use this platform to create a new dynasty for the Bianconeri.

Juventus have joined The Invincibles club, but it is what they do next that could mark them out as a truly great side of the modern era.

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