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 primary continental cup competition; although this depends to some extent on the structure of the football pyramid in a country. Trophy competitions which consist of a single match or a two-leg match (e.g. the FA Community Shield, Supercopa de España, the Recopa Sudamericana, UEFA Super Cup) or FIFA Club World 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.
Since then, seven European teams, six African clubs, two Oceanian clubs, one Asian club and two North American 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.
- a Santos also won the Intercontinental Cup that season.
- b Celtic F.C. also won the Scottish League Cup and Glasgow Cup that season.
- c Barcelona also won the UEFA Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and Club World Cup that year.
- Liverpool won a treble in 1984 by winning the League, League Cup (the secondary English cup competition) and European Cup.
This type of treble consists of a club winning their country's top-tier league as well as the two most highly regarded secondary competitions, all during one season. Many countries do not have a third domestic (league cup) competition, so achieving a domestic treble is impossible. Brazil has an unofficial "Triple Crown", a name given to a team that wins the national league, the national cup, and their state league. In England the domestic Treble has never been achieved.
- b1 b2 - The League of Ireland Shield was the forerunner to the League of Ireland Cup.
- c - 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 was 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.
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