Barcelona's victory in Eibar on Sunday (6 March) sees them move one step closer towards breaking five records that would confirm Luis Enrique's outfit as the greatest club side in both Spanish and European football history. Guided by Leo Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez, in the coming months the Catalans go in pursuit of world records held by Real Sociedad, Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid and Juventus. IBTimes UK explains how they can make a record-breaking end to an already remarkable season.
Having completed their second La Liga-Copa del Rey-Champions League treble, "Los Blaugranas" will defend the cup against Sevilla on 22 May, while they possess an eight-point lead at the top of the table over Atlético Madrid with 10 fixtures remaining. Barcelona are odds-on to retain both trophies and unless Arsenal can record a bit of history themselves, they should have a steady passage into the quarter-finals of theC hampions League.
Just seven teams have won an identical treble. Celtic, Ajax, PSV, Manchester United, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. However, the Catalans, under Enríque's tenure, were the first club to win it twice. But in the next three months, they have a chance to confirm that they are the most powerful side in football history by becoming the first side to win the 'double-triple'.
That they would achieve such a feat in an era in which La Liga is considered the best domestic competition would make it even more impressive. In addition, Barcelona would be the first team to win the European Cup in consecutive years since it was re-branded as the Champions League. Furthermore, only two sides have won the Spanish league and cup double in back-to-back campaigns – none in over half a century.
Consecutive league games without a defeat in Spanish La Liga
A miracle occurred in 1981. Guided on the pitch by Periko Alonso (father of Xabi Alonso), and Jesus Maria Zamora, Real Sociedad managed to win two titles in a row with a squad full of Basque players. Not only did they smash Real Madrid and Barcelona, but a record from that period still remains unbeaten.
The Alberto_Ormaetxea-coached side hold the record for the most games without defeat – 38. After Barcelona's triumph against Eibar, Messi's side reached 21 games undefeated. And at this astonishing level, it would be a surprise if they do not surpass Sociedad's mark from three decades ago. Pep Guardiola had the chance to beat that record in 2011, but after 31 games unbeaten, they visited Real Sociedad's Anoeta stadium and were defeated in front of Sociedad players from yesteryear.
Consecutive games without a loss in all competitions
Barcelona established a new record for the most games unbeaten, now standing at 36, by a Spanish club, eclipsing Real Madrid – who had held the record since 1989. Now, the Blaugranas will need an additional push if they want to destroy the longest unbeaten run in top-tier European football, set by Juventus between May 2011 and May 2012. They went 43 games without defeat, whereas Nottingham Forest hold the English football record with 40 games unbeaten between 1977 and 1978. Barcelona are seven just games adrift of Juve.
Points and goals in one single La Liga season
"Who is the manager of the best Real Madrid team in history? That is me. I am the one. We scored 121 goals and got 100 points, my teams are built to win, my teams are the ones with all the goal records. I am the champion of the League of Records. That is my place in history". This bold statement from Jose Mourinho may be consigned to history by the time this season ends. If Barcelona manage to win their 10 remaining games, they will win the league with 102 points. However, they would need at least 43 goals to remove Mourinho from the history books.
Of all the records on the horizon for Barca, this seems the most difficult, but it is not unreachable – especially with Neymar, Messi and Suarez in their armoury. The record would arguably be within reach if they had been more accurate from the spot this season. The Catalonians are the first side to miss seven penalties in a single La Liga season since 1999, having converted just half of their 14 spot kicks. Even in moments of failure, Barcelona are finding a way to dominate the record books.