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Appreciating the sides to win the Champions League as part of a treble

Manchester City are celebrating the greatest season in the club’s history after Pep Guardiola’s side beat Inter Milan to complete the Treble.

Rodri’s goal confirmed Manchester City’s coronation as Champions League winners for the first time and added to the Premier League and FA Cup trophies already won this season.

The Spaniard’s goal has immortalised this City side as one of the great modern teams, with the Citizens having become just the seventh team to win the competition as part of a treble in the Champions League era.

Every side to win the Champions League as part of a treble.

Manchester United – 1998/99

Manchester United became the first side in history to win the Champions League as part of a treble, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side immortalised themselves into English football history following an unforgettable campaign.

United had dominated the early years of the Premier League era but were yet to transfer that form into continental competition, only for everything to click into place during a season of unprecedented success.

The summer signings of Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke added huge quality at either end of the pitch. The latter finished as the club’s leading scorer and formed a telepathic understanding with Andy Cole in attack, with the duo dovetailing perfectly on some memorable European nights.

Old adversaries Arsenal were pipped to the Premier League title by just a single point on the final day of the season, as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Tottenham and secure the first of their treble of trophies.

The Gunners were also defeated in the semi-final of the FA Cup in thrilling circumstances. United overcame a Roy Keane red card to emerge victorious in extra-time, courtesy of a sensational solo goal from Ryan Giggs, before Newcastle were beaten in the Wembley final.

The highlight of the club’s season was undoubtedly their run to European success. United progressed from a Group of Death featuring both Bayern Munich and Barcelona, before knockout stage victories over Inter Milan and Juventus. The latter tie saw United come from two goals down in the second leg in Turin, before a final rematch against Bayern.

Their Champions League venture looked like ending in final heartbreak as Ferguson’s side trailed heading into stoppage-time, only for late, late goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to seal a dramatic victory and a historic treble.

Iconic Performances: Roy Keane’s superhuman display v Juventus

Barcelona – 2008/09

It was a decade before another side matched Manchester United’s feat and secured a treble-winning season, with Barcelona conquering both Spain and Europe under the guidance of a fresh-faced Pep Guardiola during the 2008/09 season.

Guardiola’s side swept all before them during the Spaniard’s debut season in charge at the Camp Nou, finishing a comfortable nine points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid in the La Liga title race to win a first championship in three seasons.

The Copa del Rey was secured with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao, before the Catalan side were crowned as champions of Europe for a third time in Rome.

Barcelona had beaten both Lyon and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages before a dramatic and contentious semi-final victory over Chelsea. Andres Iniesta scored a stoppage-time equaliser for the Spaniards to send Guardiola’s side through on away goals at Stamford Bridge.

Premier League opposition awaited once more in the final as Barcelona took on holders Manchester United in the Italian capital, though it was the former who prevailed courtesy of a 2-0 victory, goals from Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi confirming Barcelona’s coronation as treble-winners.

Five times Lionel Messi lit up the Champions League

Inter Milan – 2009/10

The following season saw Inter Milan succeed Barcelona as European champions. Jose Mourinho guided the Nerazzurri to Italian football’s first ever treble, in a stunning season that saw the ‘Special One’ lift the Champions League for a second time.

Inter had dominated domestically and despite strong competition from Roma secured a fourth successive Scudetto. Inter finished two points clear of the capital club in the title race before beating the same side in the final of the Coppa Italia, with the irrepressible Diego Milito scoring the game’s only goal.

After years of domestic dominance it was the Champions League that Inter’s fans most craved, having failed to win Europe’s biggest prize since the second of consecutive titles in the mid-sixties.

Mourinho’s side eliminated former club Chelsea in the last-16 before a routine two-legged win over CSKA Moscow. Their greatest challenge came in the form of reigning holders Barcelona and Pep Guardiola in the last four.

Inter produced a memorable display to take a 3-1 advantage into the second leg in Spain, before a Mourinho masterclass in the Camp Nou saw the Italian champions – who played more than an hour of the contest with 10 men after Thiago Motta’s red card – progress to the final.

They met Bayern Munich – in pursuit of their own treble – in the final in Madrid, where Milito’s virtuoso display crowned Inter as treble-winners and European champions for the first time in 45 years.

Noughties Nines: Diego Milito – Il Principe

Bayern Munich – 2012/13

Bayern were thwarted at the final hurdle in their pursuit of a treble in both 1999 and 2010, but became Germany’s first ever continental treble winners in 2012/13.

Jupp Heynckes’ return for a second spell as permanent manager saw Bayern emerge as the finest side in European football, a brilliantly well-oiled machine which relied on the match-winning talents of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the flanks.

Bayern took the lead in the Bundesliga on matchday one and never relinquished first position, winning the title with a club-record 91 points and finishing an incredible 25 points clear of nearest challengers Borussia Dortmund.

Their European venture included wins over Arsenal and Juventus in the knockout stages, before their defining hour against Barcelona in the semi-finals, thrashing the Spanish giants 7-0 on aggregate to progress to the first ever all-German Champions League final against Dortmund.

Arjen Robben’s late goal sealed a 2-1 victory and crowned Bayern champions of Europe, a sweet moment for the Bavarians who had lost two of the previous three finals, Robben the villain of the previous season’s loss on home soil after missing a penalty in defeat to Chelsea.

Bayern’s treble was completed after beating Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal final. Mario Gomez scored twice against his former side to cap the best season in the history of Germany’s most successful club.

Iconic Duos: Robben and Ribery – The wing wizards who defined a decade

Barcelona – 2014/15

Barcelona became the first side in history to win the treble twice in 2015, enjoying one of the best seasons in the history of the Catalan club to seal Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey success.

Luis Enrique’s side were fired by a formidable forward line containing Lionel Messi, summer signing Luis Suarez and Neymar, as the South American trio scored a record 122 goals between them in all competitions during a scintillating season of attacking play.

The treble winners were pushed hard by a Real Madrid side who entered the season as reigning European champions, finishing just two points clear of Los Blancos after a gripping La Liga title race between Spain’s top two.

Athletic Bilbao were beaten in the final of the Copa del Rey with Messi scoring a sublime solo opener, with the Argentine ghosting past four Bilbao challenges to score one of the most iconic goals in the competition’s history.

The Blaugrana were in similarly dominant form in continental competition as they breezed past both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to reach the last four, where another virtuoso Messi display saw Barcelona exact revenge on Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Juventus were beaten 3-1 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion in the final with Neymar and Suarez both on the score sheet, Barcelona sealing a second treble in just six seasons.

Iconic Performances: Prime Messi twists Bayern Munich inside and out

Bayern Munich – 2019/20

It can be argued that Bayern’s triumph ranks as the most impressive of the treble-winners on this feature.

In truth, the Bavarians looked simply unstoppable with the appointment of Hansi Flick having brought a sense of freedom to a side boasting some of world football’s finest talents.

Robert Lewandowski’s career-best season saw the forward score 55 goals in all competitions to cement his status as the planet’s best number nine, with the Poland international finishing as the leading scorer in the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.

Bayern finished 13 points clear of runners-up Borussia Dortmund to claim their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title, before winning a second successive DFB-Pokal title by beaten Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 in an entertaining showpiece in Berlin.

The club’s run to Champions League success will forever immortalise the Bayern players however, as the German giants became the first side in history to lift Europe’s biggest prize having won every single one of their fixtures, scoring an incredible 43 goals in just 11 games.

The stand-out moment of the club’s campaign was an 8-2 thrashing of Barcelona in the last eight, a stunning result which will live long in the memory. Kingsley Coman scored the decisive goal in the final to confirm the treble, as Bayern beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0.

Manchester City – 2022/23

Manchester City have become the seventh team to be crowned European champions as part of a treble in the Champions League era.

Pep Guardiola’s side have conquered all before them in a stunning season of success, one which has seen the Citizens continue their domestic dominance and claim a first Champions League title.

The arrival of Erling Haaland has made an already great team even better, with the Norwegian having scored a record-breaking 52 goals in all competitions.

City’s superb form across the run-in saw Guardiola’s team overhaul surprise challengers Arsenal and claim the Premier League title, a fifth crown in just six seasons.

City also won the FA Cup after beating Manchester United in a historic final at Wembley. Ilkay Gundogan scored twice to secure a 2-1 win over the club’s fierce rivals, including the fastest ever FA Cup final goal after volleying home an opener inside 12 seconds.

Then came the club’s date with destiny against Inter Milan in the Champions League final. City exorcised their demons from defeat in the 2021 final to secure a 1-0 win in Istanbul, as Rodri fired home the crucial goal that crowned the club treble winners.

Guardiola’s side have broken records and set standards in recent seasons, but 2022/23 will forever be remembered as arguably their greatest triumph.

Read –ย Midfield Magicians: David Silva – El Mago

Read Also –ย Remembering the brilliant Barca outfit that won the 2015 Champions League

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