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Manchester City win the double: what is ‘the treble’ and which European men’s teams have won it?

Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League and FA Cup in the 2022/23 season, meaning only the Champions League remains...

Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League and FA Cup in the 2022/23 season, meaning only the Champions League remains...

Manchester City’s relentless chasing down of Arsenal would pay off and Pep Guardiola’s side would be crowned Premier League champions for the fifth time in six seasons. The same thing happened in the FA Cup against Manchester United. And then we waited.

City’s ‘treble’ pursuit

City are officially ‘double winners’, something only few teams have ever been able to achieve in the history of European soccer. As you may imagine, this ‘treble’ consists of getting your hands on three trophies, but which ones are they and how does it vary from one country to the next?

FA Cup winners

Pep Guardiola’s men beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday to lift the seventh FA Cup trophy in the club’s history.

The victory over cross-city rivals United saw them lift their second trophy of the season, and in other words, they did ‘the double’.

City’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid sent them into this year’s Champions League final.

What trophies are part of the continental ‘treble’?

The broad definition of the continental ‘treble’ is winning the ‘main’ domestic cup competition and the ‘main’ continental competition, in addition to the top domestic league.

English soccer is something of an anomaly (although not completely unique) in that there are two domestic cups (the League Cup as well as the FA Cup).

Only the Champions League, or the European Cup before it, is considered part of the continental ‘treble’, ruling out the Europa League and recently-formed Europa Conference League. In 2000-01, Liverpool won a treble which consisted of the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup rather than the ‘treble’.

More than ‘treble’

Any type of domestic or continental ‘Super Cup’ isn’t normally counted either, although they are often included when talking about a club’s achievements beyond winning the ‘treble’. For instance, Barcelona (2008-09) and Bayern Munich (2019-20) were both said to have won a ‘sextuple’, which included the ‘treble’, along with their domestic Super Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Domestic ‘trebles’

In England (along with other nations such as Scotland, Portugal and, until recently, France), it is also possible to win a domestic ‘treble’ due to the fact that there are (in France’s case ‘were’) two cup competitions. Because most countries only have one, there is no doubt about which one counts towards the continental ‘treble’.

Continental ‘trebles’ on the increase

Scottish club Celtic were the first ever to win the continental ‘treble’ in 1966-67, back in an era when European club soccer was not dominated by clubs from just a few countries. Barcelona and Bayern are the only clubs to have won it twice, with Barça and Inter winning ‘trebles’ in consecutive seasons. Five such ‘trebles’ have been achieved in the last 15 years, which is perhaps indicative of the growing feeling that fewer and fewer teams now win more and more trophies.

ClubSeasonTrophies won
Celtic1966-67Scottish Football League Division One, Scottish Cup, European Cup
Ajax1971-72Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup
PSV1987-88Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, European Cup
Manchester United1998-99FA Premiership, FA Cup, Champions League
Barcelona2008-09LaLiga, Copa del Rey, Champions League
Inter2009-10Serie A, Coppa Italia, Champions League
Bayern Munich2012-13Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League
Barcelona2014-15LaLiga, Copa del Rey, Champions League
Bayern Munich2019-20Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Champions League

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