Not that they’ll thank us for mentioning it, but newly-promoted Serie A side Benevento Calcio are standing on the very cusp of breaking an antiquated footballing record that has stood for almost 90 years.
The record in question stretches all the way back to the 1930/31 season, when Manchester United lost all 12 of their opening matches in the English First Division.
Since then, no team in any of Europe’s top five leagues has made a more risible start to a league campaign. None. Never. None.
However, 87 years on down the line, Benevento are now within perilous proximity of going one defeat ‘better’ than United’s 1930 vintage after slumping to defeat in all of their opening dozen fixtures.
Although they did ultimately go on to get relegated, United finally broke their hoodoo at the 13th attempt with a resolute 2-0 win over Birmingham City at Old Trafford and Benevento will be desperately looking to follow suit when they welcome Sassuolo to the Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Sunday 19th November.
With just five goals to their name so far (and 31 against), the omens aren’t looking particularly promising for Serie A’s bottom side, who are playing in the Italian top flight for the first time in their entire history.
Still, the team’s ongoing run of miserable results isn’t entirely their fault, with Benevento president Oreste Vigorito taking the unusual tack of blaming local witches for the streak.
Speaking after the recent defeat to Juventus, Vigortio told Gazzetta dello Sport:
The blame lies with the malignant influences which have always been associated with this city… witches.
Yes, it’s true. I’m superstitious.
Seeing Juventus closing down the game and defending is like a moral victory, I hope we can get a real one against Sassuolo.
One thing is certain though, we’ll stay in Serie A because we won’t give up.
That’s the spirit!