Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are on for the treble... but they can't all do it

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Eight teams remaining in the Champions League, including Manchester United, can still win all the major trophies

The treble is the ultimate prize in club football, an achievement that sees a team win the league, the premier domestic knock-out competition and the European Cup.

The feat is near impossible, and rarely achieved.

Celtic did it in 1967, Manchester United in 1999 and remarkably it's been accomplished twice in recent years after Pep Guardiola guided Barcelona to the treble in 2009 and Jose Mourinho won three trophies in his final year at Inter Milan in 2010.

Eight teams in this year's Champions League are still in a position to complete the treble - but only one can possibly do it.

Here, we take a look at those still in the hunt and assess their chances...

 

Manchester United

In the quarter-finals of the FA Cup - play Chelsea or Middlebrough

12 points clear in the Premier League

Drawing 1-1 with Real Madrid after first leg of last-16 tie

One thing in Sir Alex Ferguson's favour is he knows how to go about it. Manchester United's experience from 1999 will tell him that it won't be easy, and their hopes will hinge on pivotal moments such as Ryan Giggs' wonder goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup and unbelievable comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Currently 12 points clear, it seems impossible they can throw away the Premier League. The cups may not be so straight forward. A potential FA Cup meeting with Chelsea awaits and then there's the small task of navigating their way past Real Madrid in the Champions League. As Jose Mourinho said in the aftermath of the first leg - it's 50-50.

Chances of the treble: Just as in 1999, dreams can come true

 

Celtic

In the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup - play St Mirren

19 points clear in Scottish Premier League

Trailing 3-0 against Juventus after first leg of last-16 tie

On the domestic front, Celtic are looking good. The absence of Rangers has seen them dominate the Scottish Premier League like never before. But any hopes of repeating their treble exploits of 1967 were almost certainly dashed when Juventus punished them at Celtic Park with three away goals.

Chances of the treble: Does Neil Lennon believe in miracles?

 

Real Madrid

In the semi-final of the Copa del Rey - tied 1-1 with Barcelona after first leg

16 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona

Drawing 1-1 with Manchester United after first leg of last-16 tie

Jose Mourinho completed the treble with Inter Milan three years ago in what was his final season at the Italian club. His chances of repeating the feat in what appears to be his final year at Real Madrid look slim. His side's chances of beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League are no better than 50-50, and the same could be said about progress in the Copa del Rey against Barcelona. But it is in the league where things fall down. Currently third and trailing Barcelona by 16 points is surely too big a margin to make up.

Chances of the treble: A Barcelona meltdown needed

 

Barcelona

In the semi-final of the Copa del Rey - tied 1-1 with Real Madrid after first leg

12 points clear in La Liga

Trailing 2-0 against AC Milan after first leg of last-16 tie

Before they even made it to this stage, Barcelona would have been the favourites to be fighting on all three fronts come the business end of the season. And up until last night few would have doubted their chances of repeating their achievements of 2009. Well clear in the league and one game away from the Copa del Rey final, things are looking good on the domestic front. But a shock 2-0 defeat to AC Milan leaves their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread. While a team comprising Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi can never be discounted - one goal for AC Milan at the Nou Camp will leave Barca needing four. Even for them that's a tall order.

Chances of the treble: Messi is not called The Magician for nothing

 

Shakhtar Donetsk

In the quarter finals of the Ukrainian Cup - play Karpaty

13 points clear in the Ukraine Premier League

Drawing 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund after first leg of last-16 tie

Shakhtar Donetsk dominate all before them on the domestic front and have won the league for the past three seasons. Currently 13 points clear, making it four should be a formality. They've won the domestic cup for the past two seasons as well and remain in the hunt for a third in a row. It is in the Champions League that the Brazilian infused side will have their greatest task. After drawing 2-2 with Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie a quarter final place is a real possibility, but those away goals for the German side could count against them.

Chances of the treble: Domestic bliss, but European botheration

 

Borussia Dortmund

In the quarter-finals of the DFB Pokal - play Bayern Munich

13 points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich

Drawing 2-2 with Shakhtar Donetsk after first leg of last-16 tie

After back-to-back Bundesliga titles, Borussia Dortmund are at real risk of losing their domestic crown. And it is Bayern Munich who hold their fate in their hands. Dortmund will have to reign in a gap of 13 points in the league with just 12 games remaining. Jurgen Klopp's side must also muscle their way past Bayern in the DFB Pokal. Perhaps it is the Champions League in which they have their best chance of success. With the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze and Marcos Reus among their ranks, they'll be a match for anyone, as long as they can complete the task against Donetsk and reach the last-eight.

Chances of the treble: Supporting role to FC Hollywood

 

Bayern Munich

In the quarter-finals of the DFB Pokal - play Borussia Dortmund

13 points clear in the Bundesliga

Leading 3-1 against Arsenal after first leg of last-16 tie

The performance against Arsenal in midweek spelled out (if anyone wasn't already aware) that Bayern Munich are among the best teams in Europe. Their fluid, incisive play tore the Gunners apart and a place in the quarter-finals is all but guaranteed. Having made the final in two of the last three seasons, few should doubt their Champions League credentials. And this season, they're performing at home as well. A huge lead in the Bundesliga should see them regain the title from Borussia Dortmund before Pep Guardiola arrives in the summer. Last year they blew it in the finals of the DFB Pokal and Champions League, can they make amends?

Chances of the treble: After the pain of last season, no other club deserves it more

 

Paris Saint-Germain

In the last-16 of the Coupe de France - play Marseille

3 points clear in Ligue 1

Leading 2-1 against Valencia after first leg of last-16 tie

Perhaps the dark horses for the treble are PSG. The recently mega-rich side have adapted to European football much quicker than their fellow nouveau riche clubs and a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League look likely after they beat Valencia in Spain. The red card for Zlatan Ibrahimovic has put a spanner in the works, but they should be turning out among the last-eight. Carlo Ancelloti has taken them to the top of the league in France but it remains incredibly tight, with both Lyon and Marseille still in the reckoning. The latter also present a very tough last-16 tie in the Coupe de France.

Chances of the treble: Beckham wins the treble? Not a bad way to end his career

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup