European treble winners in men's football history

Till now 8 European clubs (Under UEFA) have managed to win a treble, which includes the premier national league competition, main national cup competition, and UEFA Champions League/UEFA Europa League.

Koushik Biswas
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In football, a team wins a treble when they win three major trophies in a single season. Winning the continental treble means winning the premier national league competition, main national cup competition, and main continental trophy, for UEFA which is the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League. Though winning the Europa League is also considered a treble, it is not accepted wholeheartedly by the pundits and fans as winning the UEFA Champions League. Till now, 8 European clubs have been able to win the continental treble. Before we discuss all the European treble winners in men's football history, we must know about the types of Trebles we have in football. 

Continental treble

This is considered the actual treble in football where a team go on to win the national league, national cup competition and the main continental trophy. Celtic Football Club in 1966-67 became the first team in football history to win a Continental treble. Till now 22 men's teams have won the Continental Treble, with 30 being the total number of times. In Europe, only 8 football teams have been able to accomplish the feat.

Domestic treble

Generally for most of the footballing nations, winning a domestic treble is not possible since they do not allow first-division teams to win any secondary cup or league. A domestic treble includes winning three national competitions, including the national league title, the national cup competition, and one secondary competition. Countries which were under British or French possessions once allow domestic trebles to happen. Celtic with 8 domestic trebles and Rangers with 7, are the most successful teams when it comes to winning domestic trebles.

European treble winners in men's football history

1. Celtic | 1966-67

Celtic were the first team to win the treble in football history |
Celtic team with their 1966-67 European Cup trophy. Image | Celtic Star

In the 1966-67 season, Celtic became the first team ever to win the continental treble when they won the Scottish Football League, Scottish Cup and European Cup (UEFA Champions League now).

Celtic with 58 points in the Scottish Football League went past Rangers to clinch the national league. In the Scottish Cup, they defeated Aberdeen Football Club by 2-0 in the final to win the trophy. William Wallace was the goalscorer for them in the final. 

In the European Cup, Celtic defeated Inter Milan by 2-1 in Lisbon to become the first-ever Treble winner in football history. Thomas Gemmell and Thomas Chalmers were the scorers for Cletic that day.

2. 1971-72 | Ajax

Ajax 1971-72 team that won the European Treble |
Ajax 1971-72 team that won the European Treble | Image: X

Ajax, the football club from the Netherlands became the second European team to win the treble in the 1971-72 season. They won the Eredivisie, their national league and then won the KNVB Cup and later on won the European Cup to complete their treble. That season, Ajax were nearly the invincible team losing just one game in the whole season. 

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In the Eredivisie, Johan Cruyff became their top goal scorer with 25 goals. Ajax with 63 points, 8 points cleared Feijenoord in the second position. In the KNVB Cup, they defeated FC Den Haag in the final by 3-2 to win the cup. Cruyff had scored the opener in that game also and scored three goals in the tournament. 

In the European Cup, they defeated Inter Milan by 2-0 with Johan Cruyff scoring a brace for them. In all together Cruyff had scored 33 goals for them that season in the three tournaments.

3. 1987-1988 | PSV

European treble winners in men's football history: PSV - 1987-88 |
PSV players with the 1987-88 European Cup. Image | BackPageFootball 

In the 1987-88 season, PSV became the second team from the Netherlands to win the historical treble. That season they won the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup and the European Cup. They won their 10th Eredivisie title with 59 points, 9 points clear of Ajax in the league table. Wim Kieft scored 29 goals in that season for PSV in the league. 

In the KNVB Cup final they defeated Roda JC by 3-2 in the extra time. Then, they went on to win the European Cup by defeating Benfica in the final by a 6-5 penalty shootout. Ronald Koeman came out as one of the standout performers for PSV that season. 

Know about defenders with most UEFA Champions League goals.

4. 1998-99 | Manchester United

Manchester United after their European treble |
Manchester United players with their 1999 UEFA Champions League trophy. Image | FC Barcelona

It took 11 more years for any team to win the European Treble and Manchester United became the first team from England to achieve that feat. United under  Sir Alex Ferguson won the Premier League, FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League after not winning any trophies in the previous season. The treble is regarded as the achievement in his career and he was awarded the knighthood in November 1999 after that success. 

They won the Premier League with 79 points, 1 point more than Arsenal. Dwight Yorke with 18 goals was their and League's joint-highest goal scorer in that season. In the FA Cup, despite facing difficult opponents throughout the tournament, Ferguson's men kept on fighting back and after two semi-final replays against Arsenal and a final against Newcastle United, they won the FA Cup. Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham scored for them in a 2-0 win in the final.

Read about teams with the most Premier League titles. 

In the Champions League, they were drawn into the group of death alongside FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Brondby. They qualified for the knockouts as the runner-up from the group and defeated Inter Milan and Juventus in the quarter and semi-finals respectively before beating FC Bayern Munich in a historic comeback in the final. In front of 91000 people in Barcelona, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored in the added minutes to hand Manchester United a terrific 2-1 win over Bayern.

Do you know which team won the FA Cup most number of times?

5. 2008-2009 | Barcelona

FC Barcelona are the first and only team to win an European Treble | Sportz Point
Barcelona players with their 2009 UEFA Champions League trophy. Image | FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona in the 2008-09 season became the first Spanish team to win the European Treble. Under their former captain, and Barcelona B coach Pep Guardiola, the Spanish giants reached their peak in that season winning the La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League. They are still the only Spanish team to win the European Treble. 

After selling players like Deco and Ronaldinho, Barcelona started to reorganise their shape as a club and Lionel Messi alongside Samuel Eto'o became their hero at the front. They won La Liga with 87 points, 9 points clear of Real Madrid. Samuel Eto'o with 30 goals in the league was their top scorer. 

In the Copa del Rey final, they defeated Athletic Bilbao by 4-1 as Yaya Toure, Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Bojan scored for them after conceding an early goal. 

In the 2008-09 Champions League, Barcelona had to clear the qualifying round first to enter the group stage. They defeated Wisła Kraków in a two-legged qualifying round before entering the group stage alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting CP and Basel. 

Football Memories on X: "Messi's header v Man United | Champions League  Final 2009" / X
That header from Lionel Messi that saw FC Barcelona win the 2009 Champions League.

They topped the group stage and then went on to beat Lyon, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea in the knockouts before beating Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the final in Rome. Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi scored one goal each as Barcelona scripted history. Messi finished with 38 goals in all competitions that season. That season saw Lionel Messi win his first Ballon d'Or award with a record margin of 240 points than second-position Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona in 2009 became the first team to win a "sextuple" in European football history.

6. 2009-10 | Inter Milan

Inter Milan players after their historical 2009-10 European Treble |
Inter Milan players after their historical 2009-10 European Treble

Right after Barcelona's historical 2008-09 season, Inter Milan created their history as they became the first and still the only Italian team to win the European treble. They were the sixth European Treble winners in the men's football history. It was the "special one", Jose Mourinho's second and last season with the club that helped the Italian giants create history. 

After a historical season with FC Barcelona, Samuel Eto'o was swapped with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was sold to Inter Milan. Eto'o that season went on to become the only player to win back-to-back European Treble. That season Inter Milan won their fifth consecutive Serie A title, Coppa Italia, and the UEFA Champions League. 

They first won the Coppa Italia by beating Roma in the final. Diego Militao scored the lone goal for them in the final. Then, they won the Serie A on the final match day with 82 points, 2 points more than Roma. Diego Militao scored 22 goals in the league season for them.  

In the UEFA Champions League, they were clubbed with Barcelona, Dynamo Kyiv and Rubin Kazan and progressed to the knockout stage as the runner-up of the group. In the knockouts, they defeated Chelsea, CSKA Moscow and Barcelona before winning 2-0 against Bayern Munich in the final. Militao scored a brace for them and won the player of the match award as well. 

Read about managers with the most wins in UEFA Champions League history.

7. 2012-13 | FC Bayern Munich

FC Bayern Munich with the UEFA Champions League 2012-13 trophy |
FC Bayern Munich with the UEFA Champions League 2012-13 trophy

In the 2012-13 season, FC Bayern Munich became the first and only German team to win the European Treble. Under head coach Jupp Heynckes, they won their 22nd Bundesliga title, and 5th UEFA Champions League title alongside the DFB-Pokal title. 

Before the season they brought in players like Xherdan Shaqiri, Dante, Claudio Pizarro, Mitchell Weiser, Tom Starke and Mario Mandzukic alongside Javi Martinez for a then-record signing fee. 

In the league, they acquired a record-breaking 91 points as Mario Mandzukic finished with 15 goals against his name. In the DFB-Pokal, they defeated VfB Stuttgart in the final by 3-2 as Mario Gomez scored a brace for them.

In the Champions League, they were grouped with Valencia, BATE Borisov and Lille. They moved to the next stage as the group champions and then faced Arsenal, Juventus and Barcelona in the knockouts. In an all-German final, they defeated Borrusia Dortmund by 2-1 to complete their treble. Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben scored for them in the final.

8. 2014-15 | FC Barcelona

A synopsis of the Treble-winning 2014/15 season of FC Barcelona | sportz point
FC Barcelona players after winning the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League. Image | FC Barcelona

Under head coach Luis Enrique, FC Barcelona in the 2014-15 season became the first team in European football history to win the treble more than once. In the summer, Barcelona signed Uruguayan striker  Luis Suarez which helped them create one of the most successful trios in football history in M-S-N with Messi, Suarez and Neymar. They had also signed Marc-André ter Stegen and Ivan Rakitic same season.

They won the La Liga narrowly with 94 points, 2 points clear of Real Madrid. Lionel Messi (43) was outscored by Cristiano Ronaldo (48) in the league that season. Neymar also scored 22 goals for Barcelona in the league that season.

In the Copa del Rey final, they defeated Athletic by 3-1 as Messi scored a brace and Neymar netted once. 

In the Champions League, they faced PSG, Ajax and APOEL in the group stage and advanced to the knockout stage as the champions of the group. They then went on to beat Manchester City, PSG and Bayern Munich before beating Juventus by 3-1 in the final. Neymar, Rakitic and Suarez scored in that final. Messi with 58 goals in all competitions was their top scorer. After that performance, Messi went on to beat Ronaldo and Neymar to win his 5th Ballon d'Or.

9. 2019-20 | FC Bayern Munich

FC Bayern Munich won their second European Treble in 2019-20 season |
FC Bayern Munich won their second European Treble in the 2019-20 season

Post Barca's remarkable success in the 2014-15 season, German club FC Bayern Munich went on to equal their records as the second team in European Football history to win the treble more than once. Under coach Hansi Flick they went on to become the second team in European football to win the "sextuple"

Niko Kovac was the manager for FC Bayern Munich when they started the season and then Hansi Flick was named as the interim manager. In a season hit by Covid-19, Bayern were forced to play closed doors. 

However, that did not restrict them from being their brutal best. Robert Lewandowski broke the record for the most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season (34) as Bayern lifted the league for the 29th time. 

In the DFB-Pokal final they defeated Bayer Leverkusen by 4-2 as Robert Lewandowski scored a brace for them.

In the UEFA Champions League round of 16, they defeated Chelsea. Then, they humiliated Barcelona by an 8-2 win (the biggest margin in a UEFA Champions League knockout game) and thrashed Lyon by 3-0 before beating PSG by 1-0 in the final. Kingsley Coman scored the all-important goal for them in the final.

10. 2022-23 | Manchester City

Manchester City won their first-ever UEFA Champions League in 2022-23 season | Sportz Point
Manchester City with their first-ever Champions League trophy in 2022-23 season

In the 2022-23 season, Manchester City became the second English team and 8th overall team to become a European Treble winner. Pep Guardiola created one of his records as he became the first coach in European history to win the treble more than once.

Manchester City were coming to the season as the Premier League defending champions and signed players like Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez to strengthen their squad. Erling Haaland went on to break the record for the most Premier League goals scored in a single season as he scored 35 goals in the whole season. City went on to win their 7th Premier League title with 89 points.

In the FA Cup final, City's captain Iikay Gundogan scored the faster goal in the FA Cup final's history as they defeated Manchester United by 2-0 in the final. 

The Haaland riot continued in the UEFA Champions League as well as he scored four goals against RB Leipzig in the round of 16. They then went on to beat Bayern in the quarters and Real Madrid in the semis before beating Inter Milan in the final by 1-0. Rodri scored the lone goal for them in the final and was named player of the final as well. 

Erling Haaland scored 52 goals in his 53 games for Manchester City that season. However, despite that performance, he could not beat Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d'Or trophy. 


Uefa Champions League Fc Barcelona Manchester United Inter Milan Uefa Europa League Manchester City Pep Guardiola Ajax Lionel Messi Fc Bayern Munich Jose Mourinho Alex Ferguson