Which football teams have ever won the treble?

In the world of football, the term “treble” holds a special place, signifying a remarkable achievement that only a select few teams can claim. But what exactly constitutes a treble in football, and which teams have had the honor of achieving this rare feat? We delve into the definition of a football treble and provide a comprehensive list of the teams that have conquered this pinnacle of success.

Defining the “Treble” in Football

At its core, a treble in football signifies a team’s triumph in three significant tournaments or competitions within a single season. However, to be recognized as a genuine treble, these victories must be in the “right” tournaments, and this is where debates over semantics often come into play.

1. Domestic Treble: The domestic treble typically consists of winning the top-tier domestic league, the primary national cup, and the secondary national cup. Notably, one-off competitions like the Community Shield in England do not usually count towards achieving the treble. For example, in England, the domestic treble comprises the Premier League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup (League Cup).

2. Continental Treble: The continental treble, as the name suggests, incorporates a continental title such as the UEFA Champions League. It is often composed of winning the team’s domestic league, the main national cup competition, and the top continental competition. While a second-tier continental tournament like the UEFA Europa League can be included, it typically comes with an asterisk for some fans.

Teams that Have Achieved the “Treble”

Securing a treble in football is an extraordinary feat due to the immense competition and the challenging nature of winning multiple major tournaments in a single season. Here is a list of the notable teams that have accomplished this remarkable feat:

European Teams with a Continental Treble:

Team Number of Trebles Treble Season(s)
Barcelona 2 La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League 2008-09
Bayern Munich 2 Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League 2012-13
Ajax 1 Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup 1971-72
Celtic 1 Scottish League, Scottish Cup, European Cup 1966-67
Inter 1 Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League 2009-10
Manchester United 1 Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League 1998-99
PSV 1 Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup 1987-88
Manchester City 1 Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League 2022-23

 

Remarkably, only eight European teams have clinched the continental treble, which includes the European Cup or Champions League. Barcelona and Bayern Munich stand out with two trebles each. Barcelona’s first treble was achieved under Pep Guardiola in 2008-09, and the second was secured in 2014-15 under Luis Enrique. Bayern Munich’s first treble came in 2012-13 with Jupp Heynckes at the helm, and their second arrived in 2019-20 under Hans-Dieter Flick’s guidance.

Celtic and Ajax claimed the treble in 1966-67 and 1971-72, respectively. Manchester United’s unforgettable treble triumph occurred in 1998-99, with Sir Alex Ferguson as their manager. Manchester City joined this elite group by accomplishing the treble in the 2022-23 season.

European Teams with a Domestic Treble:

– Rangers (9 times): Scottish League, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup.
– Celtic (8 times): Scottish League, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup.
– Linfield (5 times): Irish League, Irish Cup, Irish League Cup.
– Paris Saint-Germain (4 times): Ligue 1, Coupe de France, Coupe de la Ligue.
Shamrock Rovers (3 times): League of Ireland, FAI Cup, League of Ireland Shield.
Valletta (2 times): Maltese Premier League, Maltese Cup, Lowenbrau Cup.
The New Saints (2 times): Welsh Premier League, Welsh Cup, Welsh League Cup.
Athletic Club (1 time): La Liga, Copa del Rey, Biscay Championship.
– Bayern Munich (1 time): Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Ligapokal.
Benfica (1 time): Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal, Taca da Liga.
– Bohemians (1 time): League of Ireland, FAI Cup, League of Ireland Shield.
– CSKA Sofia (1 time): Bulgarian League, Bulgarian Cup, Cup of the Soviet Army.
– Derry City (1 time): League of Ireland, FAI Cup, League of Ireland Cup.
Levski Sofia (1 time): Bulgarian League, Bulgarian Cup, Cup of the Soviet Army.
Manchester City (1 time): Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup.
– Rhyl (1 time): Welsh Premier League, Welsh Cup, Welsh League Cup.

In this category, Rangers and Celtic, the fierce rivals from Scotland, have dominated with the most domestic trebles in history, followed by Linfield from Northern Ireland. Paris Saint-Germain’s recent dominance in French football has seen them secure four domestic trebles. Remarkably, Manchester City achieved England’s first-ever true domestic treble in men’s football in 2018-19 under the management of Pep Guardiola.

It’s worth noting that Athletic Club’s domestic treble includes the Biscay Championship, a regional cup, leading to an asterisk next to their name. Other clubs like Benfica and Bayern Munich have also claimed domestic trebles in their respective leagues.

The football treble represents a crowning achievement for any team, signifying their dominance in multiple major competitions in a single season. While only a select few have managed to accomplish this remarkable feat, their names will forever be etched in the annals of football history, serving as an inspiration for future generations of players and fans alike.

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