Saturday 10 December 2016

Question nobody asked

Published 27/02/2012 | 05:00

Which teams have won Europe's big three ?

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Alex Ferguson has said he would like to win the Europa League so that Manchester United can be among a rare group of clubs to have won the traditional three European trophies, which doesn't include the Inter City Fairs Cup because that wasn't under UEFA sanction.

The Champions League/European Cup, Europa League/UEFA Cup and Cup Winners Cup treble has only been won by three teams and with the latter now defunct, United are one of the few sides still with a realistic opportunity of completing the set.

The first team to achieve it was Juventus when they won their first European Cup in 1985, which added to their first wins in the Cup Winners Cup (1984) and UEFA Cup (1977). In 1992, they were joined by Ajax, who won the UEFA Cup to add to the Cup Winners Cup (1987) and the European Cups which they won from 1971-73.

Bayern Munich are the third club of the tremendous trio -- they completed the treble by winning the UEFA Cup in 1996 to add to their four European Cups of 1974, '75, '76 and 2001 and the Cup Winners Cup of 1967.

The abolition of the Cup Winners Cup in 1999 means some of Europe's great teams will never have the chance to win all three, including Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter Milan, who never won this competition.

Apart from United, Barcelona, AC Milan, Dortmund and Hamburg would complete the set if they won the Europa League. Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid, Anderlecht and Valencia would also add their names to the elite list if they were to win the Champions League.

Irish Independent

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