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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future