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Barca aims to break Primera Liga record

Barca aims to break Primera Liga record

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If Barca avoids defeat against Girona today it will be their 32nd league game without a loss, their best ever run without a loss.

Ernesto Valverde’s side extended their unbeaten league streak to 31 games with Saturday’s 2-0 win at Eibar, equalling the run of Pep Guardiola’s side in the 2010-11 season.

    Then, perhaps the greatest ever Barca team was undefeated from game three of the league fixtures to game 33, winning 27 and drawing four. That side took the league with ease and they won the UEFA Champions League too.

    That unbeaten league run came in a single season, but this is the work of two managers. Luis Enrique, whose side won their final seven league games of last season but who still finished second to Real Madrid, started it.

Enrique is currently enjoying life away from football in his home by the beach south of Barcelona. He is a keen sportsman who is especially into cycling.

He is not actively seeking to coach at any clubs – but he will listen to offers and has been strongly linked with Chelsea for next season. He is also continuing to have English lessons and can now speak it.   Enrique’s replacement Ernesto Valverde walked into a divided club who were unable to stop Neymar leaving. Barca’s transfer policy was criticised, the club president was under fire while all the time Real Madrid were winning everything – including the Spanish Super Cup when they defeated Barça home and away. But Valverde got things right in the league from the very start. He was helped by the fixture list that kept his team free from Spain’s best sides and a top eight club until the eighth game.

    But Barca beat what they had in front of them, while Madrid did not. The Catalans opened up a lead, which became improbable for Real Madrid to close after Barca defeated them in December’s Bernabeu clasico.

Atletico Madrid, whom Barca play next week after a spell of three league games in seven days before they play Chelsea again in their Champions League last-16 game have provided a sterner challenge.

Barca have never made it to 24 games unbeaten at the start of a league season and Girona, who stand in the way of Barca breaking their 31-game unbeaten record, are a highly creditable eighth in their first ever season in the top flight.

Barca still have some way to catch the all-time unbeaten Primera Liga record set by Real Sociedad 40 years ago when the Basques won consecutive league titles.

They are capable of breaking it, but they face some tough fixtures over the next nine games against Atletico, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and a trip to Sevilla.

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