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Italy's world record 37-game unbeaten run ends

Roberto Mancini's side's run, which surpassed the mark previously held by Brazil and Spain, was ended in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals.

Italy applaud the home fans in Milan following their defeat against Spain
Italy applaud the home fans in Milan following their defeat against Spain Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Italy's world record for the longest international unbeaten run is over following Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Spain in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals in Milan – the Azzurri's first competitive home defeat since 1999!

As it happened, reaction: Italy 1-2 Spain

Roberto Mancini's men had eclipsed the previous record of 35 unbeaten matches, shared by Brazil and Spain, when they drew 0-0 with Switzerland last month, and quickly extended their undefeated streak to 37 games with a 5-0 triumph over Lithuania. The run consisted of 30 wins and seven draws, with 93 goals scored and just 12 conceded.

Mancini disappointment as Italy's record run ends
Mancini disappointment as Italy's record run ends

The Azzurri's unbreakable sequence had begun on 10 October 2018, only five months into Mancini's reign, and encompassed qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 with a 100% record, lifting the Henri Delaunay Cup at Wembley this summer and booking a place in the current UEFA Nations League finals.

Their efforts were enough to surpass the record of 35 games unbeaten established by Brazil either side of their 1994 FIFA World Cup triumph, which Spain later equalled during their rise to pre-eminence before and after UEFA EURO 2008.

Prior to Wednesday evening at San Siro, Italy's last defeat had come more than three years ago, on 10 September 2018, when André Silva struck the only goal for Portugal in a UEFA Nations League fixture.

Longest unbeaten runs

37 Italy (2018–21)
35 Spain (2007–09)
35 Brazil (1993–96)
31 Argentina (1991–93)
30 France (1994–96)
30 Italy (1935–39)

Italy's EURO 2020 road to glory
Italy's EURO 2020 road to glory

Italy's unbeaten run

10/10/18 D 1-1 Ukraine (h)
14/10/18 W 1-0 Poland (a)
17/11/18 D 0-0 Portugal (h)
20/11/18 W 1-0 USA (h)
23/03/19 W 2-0 Finland (h)
26/03/19 W 6-0 Liechtenstein (h)
08/06/19 W 3-0 Greece (a)
11/06/19 W 2-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (h)
05/09/19 W 3-1 Armenia (a)
08/09/19 W 2-1 Finland (a)
12/10/19 W 2-0 Greece (h)
15/10/19 W 5-0 Liechtenstein (a)
15/11/19 W 3-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina (a)
18/11/19 W 9-1 Armenia (h)
04/09/20 D 1-1 Bosnia and Herzegovina (h)
07/09/20 W 1-0 Netherlands (a)
07/10/20 W 6-0 Moldova (h)
11/10/20 D 0-0 Poland (a)
14/10/20 D 1-1 Netherlands (h)
11/11/20 W 4-0 Estonia (h)
15/11/20 W 2-0 Poland (h)
18/11/20 W 2-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina (a)
25/03/21 W 2-0 Northern Ireland (h)
28/03/21 W 2-0 Bulgaria (a)
31/03/21 W 2-0 Lithuania (a)
28/05/21 W 7-0 San Marino (h)
04/06/21 W 4-0 Czech Republic (h)
11/06/21 W 3-0 Turkey (EURO 2020)
16/06/21 W 3-0 Switzerland (EURO 2020)
20/06/21 W 1-0 Wales (EURO 2020)
26/06/21 W 2-1 Austria, aet (EURO 2020)
02/07/21 W 2-1 Belgium (EURO 2020)
06/07/21 W 1-1, 4-2p Spain (EURO 2020)
11/07/21 W 1-1, 3-2p England (EURO 2020)
02/09/21 D 1-1 Bulgaria (h)
05/09/21 D 0-0 Switzerland (a)
08/09/21 W 5-0 Lithuania (h)

*Wins include penalty shoot-out victories