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Appreciating the nine players to win the English title, European Cup and the World Cup

N’Golo Kante has continued his impressive collection of major honours after starring during Chelsea’s success in this season’s Champions League, the midfielder having been a magnet for silverware in recent campaigns.

Kante’s coronation as a European champion saw the France international complete a unique set, adding a Champions League winners’ medal to his previous World Cup and Premier League triumphs.

 

The 30-year-old has become just the ninth player in English football history to have won a top-flight league title, European Cup and World Cup, joining a list including some iconic names.

Here are the nine players to have won each trophy.

Sir Bobby Charlton

Arguably the greatest footballer England has produced, Sir Bobby Charlton immortalised himself as a legendary figure for both club and country during a career of huge success.

Charlton signed for Manchester United as a teenager and soon broke in the Red Devils’ side, scoring twice on his debut and becoming one of the brightest prospects amongst the ‘Busby Babes’.

He formed part of the side that were crowned First Division champions during the 1956/57 season, before becoming a survivor of the tragic Munich Air Disaster the following year that saw the lives lost of eight Manchester United teammates.

Charlton was a key figure in the club’s post-tragedy rebuild and became a leading name in a talented England side, scoring three times as the Three Lions won the World Cup on home soil in 1966 – including netting a semi-final double against Portugal.

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Charlton was named as the tournament’s best player and won the Ballon d’Or later that year, before forming part of the Red Devils’ side that became England’s first-ever champions of Europe in 1968.

The midfielder starred alongside George Best and Denis Law as part of the club’s fabled holy trinity, scoring twice in the 4-1 extra-time final victory over Benfica.

Nobby Stiles

Nobby Stiles was a teammate of Charlton’s for successes both with club and country, making 395 appearances across all competitions for Manchester United.

Stiles broke into the side during the early sixties, proving an integral figure as the Red Devils won two league titles in three seasons between 1965 and 1967.

The defensive midfielder earned his first cap for England during the first of those title-winning seasons, later playing every fixture as Sir Alf Ramsey’s side won the World Cup in 1966 – Stiles’ toothless celebratory dancing etched into English footballing folklore.

Stiles started United’s 1968 European Cup final win over Benfica, joining Charlton in completing a unique treble of major honours.

Ian Callaghan

Ian Callaghan became the third Englishman to win the World Cup, European Cup and top-flight title, during a Liverpool career that yielded a record-breaking 857 appearances and 12 major honours.

Callaghan came through the ranks and broke into the side as the Bill Shankly era was beginning to take shape, helping the Reds from the second tier to the summit of the English game.

The winger won five league titles during his career on Merseyside, in addition to forming part of the side that won the club’s first two European Cups after successive triumphs in 1977 and 1978.

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Callaghan had earlier formed part of England’s victorious World Cup-winning squad in 1966, though featured just once – in a group stage fixture against France.

Callaghan earned just four caps for England, with the 11 year and 49 day gap between his third and fourth appearances a record for the national side.

Fabien Barthez

It took more than two decades before another player achieved this treble feat, as Fabien Barthez became the first foreign player to win all three accolades.

Barthez formed part of the Marseille side that became France’s first – and so far only – champions of Europe, winning the Champions League after beating AC Milan in the 1993 final in Munich.

The goalkeeper later starred as France won a maiden World Cup on home soil five years later, Barthez a key part of a Les Bleus‘ side that won back-to-back major tournaments at the turn of the millennium.

He moved to the Premier League with Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson sought a successor to Peter Schmeichel in 2000, twice winning the league title during three seasons at Old Trafford.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry is often regarded as the best player of the Premier League era, having shone as the division’s finest footballer during eight seasons at Arsenal.

Henry twice won the Premier League title with the Gunners and formed part of the club’s fabled ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003/04, that success coming six years after the forward had helped France to World Cup success.

Henry won four Premier League Golden Boot accolades and scored a record-breaking 228 goals in total for Arsenal, but moved on to Barcelona in search of the prize that had eluded him – the Champions League.

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The former France international starred alongside Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o as the Catalans won a historic treble in 2008/09, adding club football’s biggest prize to his extensive collection of honours.

Juliano Belletti

Juliano Belletti was part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning vintage, though the right-back made just one appearance – as a substitute in the semi-final win over Turkey – given the presence of captain Cafu ahead of him in the pecking order.

The defender moved to Spanish football with Villarreal following that triumph, before moving on to Barcelona two years later, where he came off the bench to score the winner as the Catalans beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.

Belletti later had a three-year spell with Chelsea and formed part of the side that won a domestic double under Carlo Ancelotti during the 2009/10 campaign.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique struggled for regular opportunities at Manchester United following his arrival as a teenager, though his final season proved his most productive as he ended with Premier League and Champions League winners’ medals in 2007/08.

The centre-back returned to Spain with Barcelona that summer and quickly became a key figure in an emerging side, winning a historic treble during his debut campaign to become one of just four players to have won back-to-back Champions League trophies with different clubs.

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Pique has since established himself as one of the best defenders of his generation and was a major part of the Spain team that dominated international football, winning the 2010 World Cup before adding European Championship success two years later.

Pedro

There are few players with a more impressive collection of silverware than Pedro, a footballer who has made picking up the biggest prizes almost routine over the course of his career.

The Spain international has won six league titles (five La Liga and one Premier League) and the Champions League on three occasions, during a glittering career spent with Barcelona and Chelsea.

Pedro broke into the national side ahead of the 2010 World Cup and formed part of the side that emerged victorious in South Africa, starting the final victory over the Netherlands.

He also featured as Spain won the European Championship two years later and can count Copa del Rey, FA Cup and Europa League winners’ medals amongst his other major honours.

N’Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante has become the ninth player to win this treble of trophies after inspiring Chelsea to success in the Champions League, the all-action midfielder outstanding in the final victory over Manchester City.

The France international had been equally crucial during Chelsea’s progress through the latter stages and has been an irreplaceable figure since first arriving into English football, Kante part of the Leicester side that caused a seismic shock to win the Premier League in 2015/16.

He followed that success with a move to Chelsea and was named as PFA Player of the Year as a second league title was secured during his debut season, whilst he starred as the French were crowned world champions for a second time at the 2018 World Cup.

Kante has proven a magnet for major trophies in his career to date and few would bet against more following in the coming seasons.

Read – Five rising stars who could light up this summer’s Euros

Read Also – Five Euros squads absolutely stacked with attacking talent

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