Barcelona aim to be first European team with two trebles

Berlin, June 5 (IANS) Barcelona will become the first European team in history to twice win the treble (domestic league, Cup title, and the European Champions League) if it is able to snatch its fifth Champions League title from Juventus on Saturday in the final here.

On the other hand, if Juventus win the final on Saturday, their name will be added to the list of European treble-winning teams, a list including only seven clubs, reports Efe.

None of those seven teams were able to pull off a repeat-performance, while Barcelona were the only team to win six championships in one year (in 2009), after taking the Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in addition to the treble.

Scotland’s Celtic club was the first European team to achieve the treble in 1967 by winning the Scottish Premier League, under command of the late coach Jock Stein against the fierce Rangers FC, followed by winning the Scottish Cup against Aberdeen and finally taking the European Cup against Inter Milan in the final, which ended 2-1.

Five years later, in 1972, Dutch team Ajax Amsterdam, led by Romanian coach Stefan Kovacs, won the Eredivisie title, the Dutch Cup and the European Cup final against Inter Milan.

Another Dutch team, PSV Eindhoven added their name to the treble list in 1988, after winning the league with a clear nine-point gap ahead of Ajax, followed by winning the Cup title against Roda JC and then the European Cup against Benfica in a penalty shootout.

Under Alex Ferguson, Manchester United had their share in the treble list when they won the English Premier League title in 1999, the FA Cup against Newcastle and the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, which was played at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.

Ten years later, Barcelona finally achieved their first treble under command of young coach Pep Guardiola, who led the team to win La Liga in a season marked by a thrashing 6-2 Clasico victory at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium against historical rivals Real Madrid. After this, the Blaugrana went on to a 4-1 win in the Cop Del Rey against Athletic Bilbao, and wrapped up the dream with a 2-0 win in the Champions League final against Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Inter Milan is the sixth club on the list of treble-winning teams, led in 2010 by Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho to win the Serie A title, the Coppa Italiana after a heated contest with Roma, and then the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, led by Louis van Gaal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The last team to win the treble was Bayern Munich in 2013, which was then coached by Jupp Heynckes; The Bavarian giants won the Bundesliga title with seven rounds to go in the competition, followed by winning the DFB-Pokal against VfB Stuttgart, and then won the Champions League final 2-1 against rival Borussia Dortmund in the first all-German European final in history.

On the other hand, Real Madrid are the most successful Champions League team with a record of 10 titles, followed by AC Milan with seven titles, and then Bayern and Liverpool with five titles a piece, then Barcelona and Ajax with four titles each.

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