The Double

The Double

The Double is a term in football, which refers to winning a country's top tier division and its primary cup competition in the same season. It can also mean beating a team both home and away in the same league season, a feat often noted as "doing the double" over a particular side.

The Double


In football, particularly in England, The Double is generally used to refer to the winning of the top tier domestic league title (currently the Premier League) and the primary domestic cup competition, the FA Cup.

"List of teams who won¹ The Double in England:"
* Preston North End in 1889
* Aston Villa in 1897
* Tottenham Hotspur in 1961
* Arsenal in 1971
* Liverpool in 1986
* Manchester United in 1994
* Manchester United in 1996
* Arsenal in 1998
* Manchester United in 1999 as part of The Treble
* Arsenal in 2002

League and League Cup Double

A rarer, and less coveted, double in English domestic football is that of winning the League championship and the League Cup. This feat was first achieved in 1978 by Nottingham Forest. Liverpool achieved this double three times in succession (1982, 1983 and 1984). The latest team to achieve it were Chelsea in 2005 when they won the English Premier League and League Cup.

FA Cup and League Cup Double

Again rarer and less coveted, this 'Cup Double' has been achieved three times. In 1993 Arsenal won both major English domestic cup finals (defeating Sheffield Wednesday in each. In 2001 Liverpool won both and also won the UEFA Cup to complete a 'treble' of sorts. Most recently, in 2007 Chelsea won the League Cup with Didier Drogba scoring two goals to see off Arsenal in the final. Drogba also found the back of the net in the FA Cup final as his clinical finish beat Edwin van der Sar to make Chelsea the first FA Cup winners at the new Wembley.

Double Double

The "Double Double" is a term describing he defence of The Double (winning back to back Doubles) in the subsequent season. It is yet to be achieved, but there have been a few near instances. Most notably in 2003 by Arsenal F.C., who successfully defended their FA Cup crown, but finished as runners-up in the Premier League.

Manchester United chose to enter the FIFA Club World Championship in the 1999-00 season rather than defend the FA Cup, hence could not complete the Double Double (or another Treble) - despite winning the Premier League in 2000.

Other countries

One notable double-winning team in 2006 was Bayern Munich in Germany, which became the first team in the country's history to successfully defend a double. Inter Milan in Italy earned the double in an unusual manner in the same season, being awarded the Serie A title to go along with their on-field win in the Coppa Italia after initial league champions Juventus were stripped of the title in the aftermath of the 2006 Serie A scandal.

CSKA Moscow in Russia won the Russian Cup and Premier League in 2005.

In Japan, Urawa Red Diamonds won the J. League and the Emperor's Cup in 2006, and Kashima Antlers won in 2007.

In the United States, the double consists of winning the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. D.C. United accomplished this in 1996, followed by the Chicago Fire in 1998.

The all-time leader for domestic doubles is Linfield, from Northern Ireland, United Kingdom — with 20 as of May 2008, after completing an unprecedented Treble Double.


Only four teams have won the Danish Double. Aarhus GF in 1955, 1957 and 1960, Vejle Boldklub in 1958 and 1972, FC Copenhagen in 2004 and latest Brondby IF in 1998 and 2005.


Domestic Cup Double

A Domestic Cup Double consists of winning both domestic cup competitions in a single season or calendar year. Examples include:
*Arsenal in 1993, when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in both games.
*Liverpool in 2001, winning three trophies along with the UEFA Cup.
*Chelsea F.C., in 2007

European Double

In the same spirit as The Treble, the European Double consists of winning the top tier European tournament (currently the UEFA Champions League) and domestic league title in a single season or calendar year. This has been achieved on 22 occasions by 15 clubs from 53 European competitions. Ajax Amsterdam have achieved this on the most number of occasions (3).

*Real Madrid 1957, 1958
*Benfica 1961
*Celtic F.C. 1967 (as part of The Quadruple)
*Inter Milan 1965
*Bayern Munich 1974, 2001
*Liverpool F.C. 1977, 1984
*Ajax Amsterdam in 1972 (as part of The Treble), 1973, 1995
*Hamburger SV 1983
*FC Steaua Bucureşti 1986
*PSV Eindhoven 1988 (as part of The Treble)
*Red Star Belgrade 1991
*FC Barcelona 1992, 2006
*AC Milan 1994
*Manchester United 1999 (as part of The Treble), 2008
*F.C. Porto 2004

Continental Double

A Continental Double is identical to the European Double, but for sides outside the UEFA confederation winning the primary continental cup competition and the domestic league title. For example, the Copa Libertadores and top tier domestic league title in the CONMEBOL confederation would form a Continental Double. The Continental Double may be won in a calendar year, rather than a single season.


A a combination of domestic league or cup and a lesser European trophy, usually the UEFA Cup or former UEFA Cup Winners' Cup may be won in the same season or calendar year. Examples include:

*Leeds United were the first English team to win a double involving European and domestic trophies. It was in 1968 when Leeds won the Football League Cup and Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.Chelsea also won the League Cup and the FA cup in 2007. [ "Football : Season Details: 1968"] (accessed 17 October 2006)]

*Liverpool won a League and UEFA Cup double in 1976, one year before winning the European Double in 1977.

*Chelsea also did a domestic and European double involving a European trophy in 1998, winning the Cup Winners' Cup and the League Cup,

*Everton F.C. have completed a European double in 1985, with the club winning the League title and UEFA Cup Winner's Cup, but losing the FA Cup final just three days later.

*Aberdeen won a European double in season 1982-83 when first off they captured the European Cup Winners Cup by beating Real Madrid 2-1 in Gothenburg, and 10 days later they captured the Scottish Cup with a last gasp 1-0 win over Rangers in the final. Aberdeen also went on to capture the European Super Cup at the end of 1983 to cap an unofficial treble winning year, but not in the same season.

* FC Zenit won the Russian Premier League in Dec 2007 and the Uefa Cup in May 2008 , thus completing a league and a European cup double in the same footballing season

* CSKA Moscow won the Uefa Cup in May 2005 and the won the Russian Premier League in Dec 2005 , this can be considered as a double even though it was not in the same season , it was in the same calendar year

International Double

A country from outside Africa cannot win a World Cup and continental championship in the same year because they are not annual events, but one which holds both titles simultaneously could be said to have "done the double". These include:
*West Germany won the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup
*Brazil won the 1994 World Cup and the 1997 Copa América
*France won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship
*Brazil won the 2002 World Cup and the 2004 Copa América

Near Domestic Doubles


Many sides have come close to winning the English league and FA Cup double but have either finished 2nd in the league, lost the FA Cup final or both (an occurrence sometimes referred to as "Double Horror") .

League Runners-up

*Manchester City in 1904
*Aston Villa in 1913
*Huddersfield Town in 1928
*Arsenal in 1932
*West Bromwich Albion in 1954
*Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1960
*Leeds United in 1972
*Liverpool F.C. in 1974
*Liverpool F.C. in 1989
*Arsenal F.C. in 2003
*Arsenal F.C. in 2005
*Chelsea F.C. in 2007

FA Cup losing finalists

*Newcastle United in 1905
*Sunderland in 1913
*Manchester United in 1957
*Liverpool F.C. in 1977
*Everton in 1985
*Liverpool in 1988
*Manchester United in 2007


*Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1939
*Burnley in 1962
*Leeds United in 1965
*Leeds United in 1970
*Everton F.C. in 1986
*Manchester United in 1995
*Arsenal F.C. in 2001

Total Number of Doubles

ee also

*The Treble
*The Quadruple


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