Treble (association football)
Treble is used in association football to refer to a team winning three trophies in a single season. Honours usually considered to contribute to a treble are the top-tier domestic league competition, primary domestic cup competition and most prestigious continental cup competition, although this depends to some extent on the football competitions of a particular country.
Trophy competitions which consist of a single match or a two-leg match (e.g. the FA Community Shield, Irish FA Charity Shield, Supercopa de España, Trophée des Champions, the Recopa Sudamericana, the UEFA Super Cup or the Intercontinental Cup) are generally not counted as part of a treble.
Two phrases sometimes used are a 'continental treble', which involves winning at least one continental trophy, and a 'domestic treble' - usually the domestic league and two secondary tournaments.
There are few cases of a club winning their country's top tier league and a major secondary competition (The Double), in addition to the continental championship, all within a single season. This was first achieved in 1962 by Santos, winning the Campeonato Paulista (state league), Taça Brasil (national league) and Copa Libertadores (continental tournament). Santos remain the only South American club to have achieved this treble, repeating that feat in 1963 winning the Torneio Rio-São Paulo (regional league) in place of the Campeonato Paulista.
Since then, twelve European teams, six African clubs, two Oceanian clubs, two North American and four Asian clubs have equalled the feat. Raja Casablanca's 1999 season has also been called a "continental treble", as they won the CAF Champions League, the CAF Super Cup and the Afro-Asian Club Championship. Among European sides, AFC Ajax have come the closest to defending all three titles, retaining the Dutch Eredivisie and European Cup in 1973, but failing to win the KNVB Cup.
After winning the 2010 Champions League final, Internazionale became the sixth club in Europe, and first Italian club, to win a European treble, having already won the Serie A title and Coppa Italia in the same season. This achievement gave José Mourinho the unique distinction of being the first manager to win two European trebles (one being with the UEFA Cup). It was the second consecutive season that a European treble was achieved. Samuel Eto'o played in the third Champions League final of his career, and with Internazionale's triumph over Bayern Munich became the first player to win two European trebles in consecutive seasons.
- a1 a2 Santos also won the Intercontinental Cup that season.
- b Celtic also won the Scottish League Cup and Glasgow Cup that season.
- c Porto also won the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira that season.
- d Until the formation of the Thai Premier League, the Kor Royal Cup was the top competition of Thailand's professional football league system.
- e Göteborg also won the Allsvenskan play-offs that season.
- f Galatasaray also won the TSYD Cup that season.
- g Al-Ahly also won the Egyptian Super Cup that season.
- h Al-Ahly also won the Egyptian Super Cup and CAF Super Cup that season.
- i Bayern Munich also won the DFL-Supercup that season.
- j Al-Muharraq also won the Bahraini Crown Prince Cup that season.
- k Qadsia also won the Kuwait Super Cup that season.
This type of treble consists of a club winning three or four of their country's titles (top-tier league, cup, league cup), all during one season. Many countries do not have a third domestic (e.g. League Cup) competition, besides competitions consisting of a single match or a two-leg match (e.g. Supercups), so achieving a domestic treble is impossible (e.g. Germany and Italy as nowadays).
Brazil has an unofficial "Triple Crown", a name given to a team that wins the national league, the national cup, and their state league.
Note that trophy competitions which consist of a single match or a two-leg match (e.g. Supercups in general) are generally not counted as part of a treble.
- a1 a2 - South China's 1988 and 1991 trebles were part of domestic quadruples. Those seasons they also won the Viceroy Cup.
- b1 b2 - The League of Ireland Shield was the forerunner to the League of Ireland Cup.
- c1 - Linfield's 1922 treble was part of a domestic septuple. That season they also won the City Cup, the Gold Cup, the Belfast Charity Cup and the Alhambra Cup.
- c2 - Linfield's 1962 treble was part of a domestic septuple. That season they also won the City Cup, the Gold Cup, the Ulster Cup and the North-South Cup.
- c3 - Linfield's 2006 treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the County Antrim Shield.
- d - The matches played in the Danish League Cup were not counted as official games as the matches were only played with one regular half (45 minutes).
- e - Sun Hei's treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the Hong Kong League Cup.
- f - Debreceni's treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the Szuperkupa.
- g - Buriram's 2013 treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the Kor Royal Cup.
- h - Valletta's 1997 treble was part of a domestic quintuple. That season they also won the MFA Super Cup and the Super 5 Lottery Tournament.
- i - Valletta's 2001 treble was part of a domestic sextuple. That season they also won the MFA Super Cup, the Super 5 Lottery Tournament and the Malta Centenary Cup.
- j - Suwon Samsung Bluewings's treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the Korean Super Cup.
- k - Kaizer Chiefs's 1984 treble was part of a domestic quadruple. That season they also won the Sales House Cup.
- l - Orlando Pirate's 2011 treble was part of a domestic quintuple. That season they also won the Telkom Knockout and the Carling Black Label Cup.
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