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Which football teams have won the treble?

12:28 GMT 18/12/2020
Lionel Messi Barcelona treble 2014-15
Goal takes a look at the definition of the term in the sport along with the teams who have done it

If you are new to football, you could be forgiven for seeking out a glossary of terms (like ours here) in order to help you understand what the hell people are talking about half the time.

For example, a team can sometimes be described as being "still on for the treble" or as having "won the treble" and if you aren't familiar, you might justifiably scratch your head wondering what it means.

In other cases, rows over semantics can break out among those who are aware of the meaning about what exactly a treble is - this is particularly prevalent among rival fan groups contesting the legitimacy of claims.

So what constitutes a treble in football and which teams have won the treble? Goal brings you all you need to know.

On this page

  1. What is a treble in football?
  2. Which teams have won the treble?
    1. Continental treble
    2. Domestic treble

What is a treble in football?

At its most basic, a treble in football occurs when a team wins three trophies. However, in order to be considered a genuine treble, they must be the 'right' trophies.

A domestic treble is usually made up of the league, main national cup and the secondary national cup.

A one-off tie such as a super cup style competition, such as the Community Shield, does not usually count when considering the treble.

So in England, for example, the domestic treble is the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup (League Cup).

There is no such treble in Spain or Germany, but the Supercopa de Espana and DFL Supercup could arguably replace the League Cup in the equation, even though they are the equivalent to the Community Shield.

The continental treble is very similar, but as the name suggests, it naturally includes a continental title, such as the Champions League. A second-tier continental tournament like the Europa League is permissable when applying the tag, but it comes with an asterisk for many fans.

Generally speaking, a team is said to have won a continental treble if they win their league, their main national cup competition and the main continental competition.

Which teams have won the treble?

Teams who have won the treble form an exclusive group, which is not surprising given how difficult it is to secure three trophies in one season.

We've focused on European teams in the tables below, but there are of course more examples of treble-winning teams across the world.

European teams with a continental treble

Team No. Treble Season(s)
Barcelona 2 La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League 2008-09 | 2014-15
Bayern Munich 2 Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League 2012-13 | 2019-20
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

Only seven teams have won the continental treble (incorporating only the European Cup or Champions League) in Europe.

They are: Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Celtic, Inter, Manchester United and PSV.

Barcelona and Bayern Munich have achieved the feat twice. Barca's first treble came under Pep Guardiola in 2008-09 and their second was achieved in 2014-15, when Luis Enrique was manager.

Jupp Heynckes helped deliver Bayern's first treble in 2012-13 and their second came under Hans-Dieter Flick in 2019-20 after he took over from Niko Kovac mid-way through the season.

Celtic won the treble in 1966-67 when they won the European Cup, while Ajax won it a few years later in 1971-72.

Manchester United memorably won the treble - the first and only English team to do so - in 1998-99 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

European teams with a domestic treble

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

Scotland's Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic are the European teams with the most trebles in history and they are followed by Northern Ireland's Linfield.

Paris Saint-Germain's recent dominance of French football has seen them collect four domestic trebles - all of them coming in the latter half of the 2010s.

Remarkably, England's first-ever true domestic treble in men's football was only achieved in 2018-19 by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

The only Spanish club to have claimed a domestic treble is Athletic Club, though there is an asterisk next to their name given that one of the trophies was the Biscay Championship - a regional cup.

Other clubs who have won a domestic treble include Benfica and Bayern Munich