Manchester City are only a few games away from adding their to the list of teams to win a treble, only nine teams before them have done in football history.
The treble, by standard in its definition, is winning the league, a major domestic cup – traditionally the FA Cup in English football’s case – as well as the Champions League, previously called the European Cup.
Some fans might claim their club have won the treble but winning the League Cup and the Europa League isn’t considered the real deal.
It’s harder for smaller clubs to achieve this feat nowadays – clubs backed with huge funds tend to have the squad depth to be able to pull it off as they can rotate throughout the season, ensuring that they have the legs to win in those crucial final games.
Teams to win a treble:
Only nine teams have won the treble since the European Cup was created in the 1950s – but this season could see that turn to ten if Man City win the Premier League, the FA Cup final against Manchester United, and then overcome semi-final opponents Real Madrid and Inter Milan or Milan in the Champions League final.
|Barcelona||La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League||2008-09, 2014-15|
|Bayern Munich||Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League||2012-13, 2019-20|
|Celtic||Scottish League, Scottish Cup, European Cup||1966-67|
|Ajax||Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup||1971-72|
|PSV||Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup||1987-88|
|Manchester United||Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League||1998-99|
|Inter Milan||Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League||2009-10|
Celtic competed for five trophies in the 1966–67 season, winning all of them. The Bhoys triumphed in the Scottish League, the Scottish Cup, the Scottish League Cup, the Glasgow Cup, and the European Cup, marking the only-ever European Quintuple.
Jock Stein managed the side in what was arguably the club’s finest-ever campaign. Some 196 goals were scored along with way, with Stevie Chalmers netting 21 and Joe McBride scoring 35. It was their first-ever showing in the European Cup. In Lisbon, Celtic overcame Inter Milan 2-1 – with Chalmers scoring the winner in the 84th minute.
Ajax won the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup and the European Cup in 1971–72. Managed by Stefan Kovacs, the Amsterdam club lost just one of their 34 league matches, drawing a further three. One Johan Cruyff was their top-scorer in the league, hitting 25 goals. But the club legend scored 33 in all competitions that season, including a brace against Inter in the European Cup final.
Ajax battered teams in their spellbinding campaign – domestically, they beat NAC Breda 5-0, FC Den Bosch 5-0, Groningen 7-0, Maastricht 8-0, Feyenoord 5-1, before finishing their league campaign with a 12-1 victory over Vitesse.
PSV Eindhoven: 1987/88
Total football was in its latter stages, but the Dutch sides still dominated Europe. PSV Eindhoven copied Ajax before them by winning the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup and the European Cup. They were coached by Guus Hiddink at the time and had the likes of Ronald Koeman and Wim Kieft among their ranks, the latter of which was the top-scorer of the season with 29 goals in all competitions.
It was Benfica who PSV played in the European Cup final. After a stalemate, the game went to penalties and the Dutch club won 6-5. It marked their second-ever European trophy, the side having previously won the UEFA Cup in 1977–78.
Manchester United: 1998-99
Sir Alex Ferguson led Manchester United to the first-ever treble to be won by an English side. The club had already been dominating the Premier League since its inception in 1992/93, winning four of the first six campaigns.
But it was this campaign that truly cemented Ferguson’s legacy at Man Utd. They faced Bayern Munich in the final of the Champions League. The Germans led 1-0 for most of the game, before two goals in injury time secured the title for the Red Devils in the most dramatic fashion.
Pep Guardiola could not have started any better in his first year as Barca manager, winning the Copa del Rey, La Liga, and the Champions League. What’s more impressive was that the Spaniard did so after losing legends such as Lilian Thuram, Deco and Ronaldinho in the summer before.
Luckily Barcelona still were rich with talent in the squad. The likes of Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi were on hand- as the club started its new era under the Spaniard.
After a bruising two-way clash with Chelsea in the semi-finals, the Catalans faced Man Utd at the final in Rome. The side brushed off Ferguson’s men to secure the silverware, in what was an indication of the utter dominance that would proceed in the subsequent seasons.
Inter Milan: 2009/10
Jose Mourinho became a legend of Inter with his incredible feat for the side. It was Mourinho’s second season in charge of the club, having come after his time with Chelsea.
Inter had its greatest-ever season under the Special One. They scooped the Serie A for the fifth consecutive season, the country’s Coppa Italia, as well as the Champions League. They beat Barcelona in the semi-finals of the competition before taking the trophy with a victory over Bayern Munich. Diego Milito was the club’s top-scorer for the campaign, finding the net 30 times in all competitions and twice in the Champions League final.
Bayern Munich: 2012/13 season
Bayern Munich became the first German team to ever win the treble in the 2012/13 season. In what was Jupp Heynckes’ final campaign with the club before Guardiola took over, he won all that there was to be won. During the course of the season, Bayern either broke or equalled 30 Bundesliga records – including the most points during a season (91), the fastest time to clinch title (just 28 matches), and the most wins in a season (29.) As if that wasn’t enough, they won the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, beating their German rivals 2-1 at Wembley.
Also Read: https://sportzpoint.com/football/football-facts-football-managers-who-won-the-treble/
Barcelona: 2014/15 season
Luis Enrique led Barcelona to their second treble in the space of six years. They had a front trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Messi, while the midfield three consisted of Sergio Busquets, Xavi, and Andres Iniesta. It was a stunning campaign, with Barca then still very much considered the greatest performing side of the past 30 years or more. They beat Real Madrid to the title by two points – and their Champions League title was won against Juventus, with the Spanish outfit beating the Old Lady 3-1 in Berlin.
Bayern Munich: 2019/20 season
Contending with the losses of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben wasn’t so bad for Bayern in the 2019/20 season. The Germans won another treble with Hansi Flick taking charge in November. Robert Lewandowski scored 55 in all competitions, while the club beat Paris Saint-Germain in the final 1-0. Their 7-1 aggregate win over Chelsea in the round of 16 was a particular highlight though.