Keeping it very simple, a treble occurs in football when the team wins three trophies in a season. However, a team has to win the right trophies to make it count at the continental level. As one of the football facts, there can be a domestic treble and a continental treble. The domestic treble consists of winning the league, the main national cup and the secondary national cup. For example, the domestic treble in England is Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup (League Cup). However, there is no such scope of a domestic treble in Spain or Germany.
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On the other hand, the Continental treble includes the league, the main national cup and a continental title such as the Champions League. However, one can argue the same with the second-tier continental cup such as the Europa League. To conclude, winning the treble with the champions league is considered more prestigious and a genuine continental treble. This article will look at a special set of football managers who won the continental treble.
Football Facts | List of Six Treble winning football managers:
1. Sir Alex Ferguson | Manchester Uniter (1998/99)
The race for the Premier League title in 1998/99 went all the way to the last game of the season. Manchester United and Arsenal were fighting neck to neck for the title. A defeat in the final game would have ended the red devil’s treble hopes. Although Manchester United had other ideas, the reds came back strong against Tottenham from a goal down to win the tie 2-1 and Ferguson lifted the Premier League title for the fifth time in seven years. Manchester United was set to play Newcastle United in the FA cup final. They won the game 2-0 with Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes popping off on the score sheet with a goal each and secured a domestic double before playing the UCL final.
United was now facing their biggest challenge Bayern Munich in the UCL final at the Camp Nou. Their treble hopes were on the edge of an iceberg after they conceded early against the Bavarians. However, the red devils refused to give up as they made an incredible comeback from a goal down in the last two minutes of injury time to defeat Bayern Munich 2–1 in the final. Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored United’s goals after Bayern had hit the post and the bar.
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2. Pep Guardiola | FC Barcelona (2008/09)
The man who brought a revolution in both world football and FC Barcelona dugout was a managerial rookie back then. The Spaniard instantly announced his arrival with some pretty hefty and controversial changes declaring that the likes of Ronaldinho, Deco and even Samuel Eto’o are not part of his plans. Although he started the Laliga campaign with a defeat, he eventually went on to win 27 out of their 38 league games and got his hands to the title. As the team gathered momentum and the team chemistry went up, Barcelona defeated Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in the Copa Del Rey final. Guardiola hit back every criticism against him with a domestic double in the very first season in charge.
However, the biggest test was yet to come as they were facing the defending champions Manchester United in the UCL final. Guardiola and his men left their mark in Rome as they defeated the English giants 2-0 and earned a historic treble. Lionel Messi who was on the back of an excellent season scored 20 minutes from the end after Eto’o broke the lock in the 10th minute.
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3. Jose Mourinho | Inter Milan (2009/10)
Usually known as the Special-One and for the right reasons, Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world. After arriving from Chelsea in 2008 with a reputation of a winner, he won the domestic double with Inter Milan in his first season in charge followed by a Champions League triumph to record a historic treble win. The 2009/10 season was pretty tough for the blues as many veterans left the club. However, Mourinho brought in the right replacements and clinched the league staying two points clear of second-placed Roma. After successfully defending the domestic title, Inter went on to win the Copa-Italia to register a domestic double.
Although the story wasn’t the same when it came to the champions league. They were widely considered as the underdogs coming into the tournament. Meanwhile, they turned the tables on their heads when Mourinho beat his former side Chelsea in the RO16 and a very strong FC Barcelona side in the semi-finals. Inter faced Bayern Munich in the finals where they beat them 2-0 with the help of a brace from Milito.
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4. Jupp Heynckes | Bayern Munich (2012/13)
Jupp Heynckes returned to Bayern Munich for a third stint in 2011 and finished second to Borussia Dortmund in the league tally. The subsequent season, however, saw the Bavarians rising from the ashes as the team lost a solitary game in the 2012/13 Bundesliga to be crowned the new champions. Heynckes’ side finished with 91 points, 25 points clear of the second-placed Dortmund. The two teams again locked horns in the DFB-Pokal final and goals from Mandzukic and Muller saw them over the line to notch up a domestic double.
These sides were at it once again, this time in an all-German Champions League final in May 2013 at Wembley. Mandzukic once again scored the opener however Gundogan equalised for the men in yellow. Bayern scored a late winner when Arjen Robben produced a moment of magic in the dying minutes. The Bavarians won the Champions League and recorded their first-ever treble.
5. Luis Enrique | FC Barcelona (2014-15)
Luis Enrique joined Barcelona in 2014. Unlike Pep Guardiola, Enrique provided a strong start to the Blaugranas starting the domestic season with an eight-game winning streak. Enrique managed to win the league title in his first season in charge by finishing at the top, staying two points clear of second-placed Real Madrid. Only a few days prior to the UCL final, Enrique’s men defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Copa del Rey final to complete a league double.
Barcelona were all set to face Juventus in a highly-anticipated Champions League final in Berlin. Luis Enrique and his men produced the finest of football and beat the old lady 3-1 in the final. As a result, it made Barcelona the first team to win a Champions League treble in multiple seasons.
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6. Hansi Flick | Bayern Munich (2019-20)
Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick became only the sixth manager to win the Champions League treble. His story is quite similar to that of rags to riches. Flick came in as a caretaker manager after Bayern sacked Niko Kovac in 2019 and saved the bavarian ship from sinking. A mere 10 months into the job and Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick guided his side to a historic UEFA Champions League treble. He also became the third person to win the Bundesliga title both as a player and a manager. He found a perfect balance in the team combining the young and the veteran and brought out the best from everybody. Flick showcased a very dominating performance in the league staying 13 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Flick’s men went on to win the DFB-Pokal beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 and successfully completed a league double.
It was the champions league performances that caught the eyes of the whole world. Bayern produced a dominating performance day in and day out which include the famous scoreline of 8-2 against Barcelona. They went on to win the covid-affected revised fixture of UCL which included single-leg games and ultimately beat PSG 1-0 in the final and became the second club after FC Barcelona to win a Champions League treble in multiple seasons.
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