Cristiano Ronaldo and his then Real Madrid team-mate Pepe had a stunning summer of 2016 as they followed up their UEFA Champions League success with victory in the UEFA EURO 2016 final with Portugal. That gave the pair entry into an elite club of just nine players ever to have won a European Cup and European Championship in the same year; will anyone join them in 2021?
To qualify as ‘double winners’, players must have appeared in both winning finals. Incidentally, no one has won the EURO and the UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup in the same summer since 1996, when Bayern stars Markus Babbel, Thomas Helmer, Thomas Strunz, Christian Ziege, Mehmet Scholl and Jürgen Klinsmann went on to win the EURO with Germany. Villarreal pair Pau Torres and Gerard Moreno are both in Spain’s 2020 squad.
Who could do it in 2021?
Chelsea defeated Manchester City 1-0 in Porto to clinch their second UEFA Champions League title, and they did it with a squad brimming with international talent. No fewer than 11 of the Blues players who triumphed at the Estádio do Dragão began UEFA EURO 2020 hoping to double up this summer, and going into the quarter-finals there are six still standing:
Denmark: Andreas Christensen (Denmark)
England: Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Mason Mount
Spain: César Azpilicueta
Eliminated: Mateo Kovačić (Croatia), N’Golo Kanté, (France); Kai Havertz, Antonio Rüdiger, Timo Werner (Germany)
European Cup-EURO double winners
1964: Luis Suárez (Internazionale Milano & Spain)
1988: Hans van Breukelen, Ronald Koeman, Berry van Aerle, Gerald Vanenburg (PSV Eindhoven & Netherlands)
2012: Fernando Torres, Juan Mata (Chelsea & Spain)
2016: Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal)
Wim Kieft is not on the list; despite having lifted the 1988 European Cup with PSV, he did not make it off the bench with the Netherlands in the 1988 UEFA European Championship final.
Real Madrid’s Nicolas Anelka met the same fate with France in 2000, while team-mate Christian Karembeu fared slightly worse – he was an unused squad member in the finals of both the 2000 UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO 2000 (albeit he had been on the pitch to win both the UEFA Champions League and the 1998 FIFA World Cup two summers before).
European Cup-World Cup double winners
1974: Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Uli Hoeness (Bayern & West Germany)
1998: Christian Karembeu (Real Madrid & France)
2002: Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid & Brazil)
2018: Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid & France)
At the 2018 World Cup, Raphaël Varane had a doubly special feeling as he picked up his second major winners’ medal of the summer, having landed the most important trophy in European club football with Real Madrid a few weeks earlier.
Sami Khedira so nearly joined the same band in 2014, but an injury in the warm-up prevented him turning out for Germany in their World Cup final win against Argentina. He had won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid less than two months before.