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Treble Winners in Football History

Wednesday16 December 2020 | 12:30
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Top big clubs want to win every single Cup and League they can. With matches per week in three main competitions they participate in, it is a rare achievement to win all of them in a year. In this article, we will review the clubs that made this achievement.

Countless sports competitions are held around the world every year. Some of these competitions have millions of viewers and big prizes are awarded to the champion. The

ChampionsLeague

may be the flagship of all annual competitions. Competitions in which the champions and top teams of different countries compete for the championship in close competition. In addition, teams compete against opponents in domestic leagues and cup competitions. 

In every continent there are some

treble winner clubs in football history

. For example, in Asia Yomiuri and Al Hilal have done that. But all of the titles they won is not as hard as the UEFA Champions League. Due to the history and quality of European football, in this article, Treble means those team who won UEFA Champions League, domestic League and Cup. And not every domestic cup counts. For example, a British club has to win UCL, Premier League and FA Cup. Community Shield and League Cup are not considered major British cups.

In this article we'll review the football treble winners of all time:

 In order to respect the other treble-winning teams in soccer history, here we mention their names to know which teams are

treble winners in football history

.

Non European Treble Winners

In Asia as mentioned before, there are two treble winner clubs in football history. Yomiuri today known as Tokyo Verdy is the first Asian team of treble winners in football history which achieved this title in 1987. The last treble winner in Asian clubs is Al Hilal from Saudi Arabia. In 2019–20 season Al Hilal won both domestic trophy and AFC Champions League.

There are six African

treble winner football teams of all time

. Egyptian club Al Ahly as one of the most decorated football clubs in the world, has three Trebles. Other African Treble winners are Engelbert, Vita Club, MC Alger, Hearts of Oak, and Espérance de Tunis.

South America has no treble winner but three Concacaf Champions Cup winners won also domestic trophies to complete the treble. Cruz Azul, Mexican club, did it twice in 1969 and 1997. Defense Force from Trinidad and Tobago in 1985 won the treble. Monterrey is another Mexican team in this list of

football treble winners of all time

The fun fact is in 2019–2020 season four clubs have done the treble. Al Ahly in Africa, Monterrey in America, Al Hilal in Asia, and

FCBayernMunich

in Europe. So, let’s check the European treble winners in football history.

European Treble Winners

Considering the level of the competitions, the team should be absolutly flawless to win the Treble in Europe.

Celtic

In the first twenty years of 21st century

Celtic

has accomplished notable fifteen championships in the Scottish league. Celtic is one of the ten clubs with more than 100 titles. They are the first European club which completed a Treble. In 1966–67 Celtic competed in five different competitions and won all of them. The Celts won 1966–67 Scottish Division One trophy by three points over city rivals Rangers. In the league only Dundee United defeated Celtic.

The Scottish Cup is the second oldest competition in football history. During the 147 years of this cup, Celtic is the most successful club with 39 titles. The 1966–67 Scottish Cup was the 82nd season of Scotland's football knockout competition.In the final match William Wallace scored two goals against Aberdeen that eased Celtic to a two–0 win.

The Treble was about to happen but it required European Cup championship. It was the first time for Celtic in the European Cup. In they defeated champions of Switzerland, France, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia through the final.

In the final match Celtic faced

Inter

managing by Helenio Herrera. With Herrera's Catenaccio tactics Inter had beaten Real Madrid in the previous rounds and other European champions. Inter played in a defense and counter attack style called catenaccio but on the other hand Celtic's style was all pressure and attack.

Ironically Inter scored the first goal in the match. Sandro Mazzola opened Ronnie Simpson's goal from a penalty kick in the 7th minute. Inter's goal was impenetrable until Celtic equalized with Tommy Gemmell's 63rd minute goal. 20 minutes later Stevie Chalmers scored another goal for Celtic. This was the first time a British club had won the European championship. It was also the first one of treble winners in football history. The fans called that team the Lisbon Lions. 

Ajax 

Ajax is the second of treble winners in football history. Rinus Michels who played all his career in

Ajax

before the unfortunate injury made him hang his boots, decided to become a manager. In 1965 he returned to Ajax as head coach and with "Total Football" mode of tactics and with Johan Cruyff as the superstar.

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In six years, Ajax won four Eredivisie and three KNVB cup. Ajax lost the 1969 European Cup final 4–1 to the Italian team,

ACMilan

. In the 1971 European Cup Final, Ajax faced Panathinaikos at Wembley Stadium with more than 83 thousands attendees. Dick van Dijk and Arie Haan scored two goals and Ajax won the European title. Despite the KNVB Cup they won that season, they lost the league title to Feyenoord. Rinus Michels left Ajax and joined

Barcelona

. Stefan Kovács succeeded Rinus Michels as the head of Ajax in 1971, continuing and expanding on his "total football" philosophy.

Kovács led Ajax to the Eredivisie championship with eight points ahead of

Feyenoord

. Ajax also won the KNVB Cup final against FC Den Haag. Ajax and its superstar Johan Cruyff were representing Total Football were their rival in the final was Inter with defensive tactics. Inter played a hard and solid type of football against fluid flexible football from Ajax.

Johan Cruyff scored two goals and Ajax defended its European Cup title after Real Madrid. The final match was held at De Kuip stadium, the home ground of Feyenoord. Cruyff had a big role in these events and he won his first Ballon d'Or in 1971. He later Joined Barcelona and won two other Ballon d'Or awards there.

PSV Eindhoven

Netherlands has two teams in treble winners in football history. Alongside Ajax and Feyenoord,

PSVEindhoven

is one of the top three clubs in Dutch football. In 1983, Guus Hiddink was the assistant coach in PSV. After two years of finishing in second place, in 1985–86 finally PSV won the Eredivisie title. At the end of the season, Guus Hiddink promoted as head coach. 

In the first season under Guus Hiddink's management, PSV defended the league championship. But once again a big change happened at the end of the season. Captain Ruud Gullit, one of the world's best players and winner of the 1987 Ballon d'Or, left PSV and joined Milan with a big fee. Ronald Koeman signed with PSV to replace him. Wim Kieft left Torino and returned to his country and signed for PSV Eindhoven. 

The 1987 -88 season was the top performance of PSV in the history. Wim Kieft scored 29 goals in Eredivisie and named himself top scorer of the league in the first year of his returning. PSV won its third consecutive Dutch championship that year. Ronald Koeman was top scorer in the

KNVBCup

which led to domestic double for the PSV. 

The 1988 European Cup final played between PSV and Portugal champion

Benfica

. It was not a fan friendly match and both teams played very cautiously. The match ended without a goal and penalty shoot out decided the winner. PSV players scored all the penalties and won the European title. Netherlands is the only country with two teams among

treble winners in football history

. The next year, PSV doubled in domestic competitions but failed to win the European Cup. At the end of the season later Ronald Koeman transferred to Barcelona joining Barca's manager Johan Cruyff.

Manchester United

Manchester United was one of the

treble-winning teams in soccer history

. In 1992

PremierLeague

, the most watched sports league in the world was founded. Converting Football League First Division into a new format and contract was a big step in English football. This was somehow lucky for Sir Alex Ferguson who won 13 Premier League titles from then to 2013.The 90's was a glorious decade for

ManchesterUnited

The 1992–93 league title was Manchester United's first league title since 1967. In the following year, for the first time since 1957, Man United won a second consecutive title, alongside the FA Cup, to complete the first "Double" in the club's history. 

In 1995–96 season, Manchester became the first English club to do the Double twice. Once again in 1996–97 Man United won the Premier League title but the next season ended without any titles.Since Alex Ferguson became Manchester United manager up to 1998, they won three FA Cups and Four league titles but they failed to win UEFA Champions League. 1992 was also the birth date of UEFA Champions League. Before this date the competition was known as the European Cup.

In 1998, Manchester won the Premier League in a close rivalry with

Arsenal

. United became the English champion with one point more than Arsenal. It was the fifth Premier League title for Ferguson. Manchester United met Newcastle United in the FA final at Wembley Stadium, the next to last FA Cup final to be held there before it was closed for rebuilding. Sheringham and Scholes scored a goal in the final, that sealed the double for Man United.

In the Champions League's group stage, they were drawn in the competition's "group of death", along with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Despite Man United being unbeaten in group stage, they finished in the second place behind Bayern Munich. In the knockout phase Inter was the next challenge. 

Manchester United succeed to semifinals. In the semifinal Man United faced another Italian club

Juventus

. In the first leg Antonio Conte put Juventus in the lead but Ryan Giggs scored an equalizer and the match finished one on one. In the second leg Filippo Inzaghi scored two early goals to give Juve a 3–1 aggregate lead. But Manchester United performed a comeback and won the match 3-2.

This victory made their way to the Camp Nou for the final, against group opponents Bayern Munich. In the final Mario Basler opened the Man United's goal from a free kick in sixth minute of the game. Bayern had many chances to extend the lead but Peter Schmeichel made numerous saves.

Ferguson substituted in Solskjaer and Sheringham to reinforce Man United's attacks. In injury time from two corner kicks by Beckham, both substitutions, Solskjaer and Sheringham scored goals and Manchester United celebrated on of the most dramatic championships in football history. They became the first and only English treble winner football team of all time.

Inter Milan

In 2008,

Inter

president Massimo Moratti, after three consecutive Serie A championships replaced Roberto Mancini by Jose Mourinho. Roberto Mancini in addition to three scudetti, won two Coppa Italia titles. But domestic competition was not enough for Moratti anymore. Inter's last UCL title was in the 60's with Helenio Herrera.

In the first season Mourinho did major changes in the Inter squad. Inter won 2008–09 scudetto with 10 points above Juventus. In the

CoppaItalia

semi finals, Inter was facing Sampdoria and Juventus was against Lazio. Unexpectedly Sampdoria and Lazio eliminated Inter and Juve and at the end, Lazio was Coppa Italia champion. In the Champions League, Inter was defeated by Manchester United in the quarter finals. Inter's next summer transfer market was busy. Louis Figo was retired and Adriano went back to Brazil. Patrick Viera joined Roberto Mancini in

ManchesterCity

The biggest change was

ZlatanIbrahimović

swapped with Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o. Inter bought Diego Milito and Thiago Motta from Genoa as replacements for Zlatan and Viera. Lucio from Bayern was for defense and Wesley Sneijder from Real Madrid for the midfield.

Inter's new sign ins specially Milito and Sneijder showed their best performances during the 2009–10 season. Nerazzurri won their fifth Serie A title in a row. Inter completed the Double in Coppa Italia final. In both competitions Roma finished in second place by Diego Milito's ruthless goals. Roma was only two points behind Inter in

Serie

A

table. 

In UEFA Champions League group stage Inter finished second after Barcelona and faced Chelsea in the next round. 

Chelsea

was the English champion at the time and their manager was Carlo Ancelotti. Inter won both first and second leg matches against Chelsea. 

In the next round the Russian champion CSKA Moscow was Inter's opponent. Like Chelsea, inter beat

CSKA

in both matches and reached the semifinal. Semifinal match was between Inter and Barcelona. In the first leg in San Siro stadium, with an amazing performance from Inter the match finished 3–1. Inter lost 1–0 in the second leg in Spain and both in total was one goal leading. The final match was Inter against Bayern managing by Dutch manager Louis van Gaal. In the Champions League final, Milito scored two goals that named Inter the first and only Italian treble winners in football history.

Barcelona

Barcelona's new generation was built on Johan Cruyff's legacy. Pep Guardiola somehow combined Cruyff's Total Football with Luis Aragonés' tiki-taka. The combination of those two turned out awesome. Especially with Xavi and Iniesta passing abilities in midfield and Messi, Henry, Eto'o as forwards it was a piece of cake. With the departure of Ronaldinho to Milan, now

Messi

was the Number 10 in Barcelona. In his first uninterrupted season, he scored 38 goals in 51 games, contributing alongside Eto'o and winger Thierry Henry to a total of 100 goals in all competitions.

Just like Guus Hiddink, Pep Guardiola won the Treble in his first experience as manager. The 2009

CopadelRey

final match was won by Barcelona, who beat Athletic Bilbao 4–1. This was the first title of Barcelona that year. With a 6–2 victory against title defending rival

RealMadrid

, Barcelona guaranteed La Liga championship. They finished with nine points more than Real in La Liga table. In the UCL knockout phase they passed Lyon and Bayern respectively with 6–3 and 5–1 in total. In one of the most infamous UCL matches Barcelona defeated Chelsea by away goal rule and made it to the Final. 

The final match of 2008–09 was held between Barcelona and Man United. Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United had beaten Arsenal,

Porto

, and Inter in previous rounds. Eto'o scored his first goal in the 10th minute of the game. Later in the 70th minute Messi finished the job with a beautiful header. This victory made Barcelona the first Spanish club doing the Treble.

In 2014–15 season Luis Enrique had one of the most lethal attacking trios in football history in Barca squad. Lionel Messi,

Neymar

and

LuisSuarez

scored an unprecedented total of 122 goals in all competitions. They won La Liga and Copa del Rey championships leaving Real and Atletico behind.

Barcelona played the Champions League Final against Juventus with the opportunity for both teams to complete the Treble. But Barcelona won the match 3–1 and became the first European club to have won the treble twice.

Bayern Munich

As the undisputed power in

Bundesliga

, Bayern Munich holds the record for Doubles, with 13. In the first twenty years of the century, they've done notable 11 doubles. All they need is Champions League title to complete their Treble. Jupp Heynckes was the man for the job. He had experienced UCL championship in 1998 as Real Madrid manager.

2012–13 season was the 50th season of the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich managed to secure the championship of the after only 28 match days. They collect 25 points more than Jurgen Klopp's

BorussiaDortmund

.

DFB

 

Pokal

was in Bavarian hands after beating Stuttgart in the final. In the UCL they faced the local rival Dortmund once again and won 2–1. This was the first German treble winner in football history. Bayern managed to break more than 30 records during the season.

In 2019–20 Flick joined Bayern Munich as an assistant of Niko Kovač. When Kovač left Bayern by mutual consent on November 3, 2019, Flick was promoted to the interim manager position. Hansi Flick may be the most successful interim manager in football history. Bayern, under his management, has won 48 matches out of 56. They only lost three matches which is less than the trophies they won during this period.

Domestic double was gained easily by stunning performances by

Lewandowski

. The UCL was under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and in one of the most unexpected results in knockout phase Bayern crushed Barcelona with eight goals. Bayern won the final against PSG and became the second club in Europe to win the Treble, twice.

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