Bellingham next? An XI of double European champions features boss Ronaldo

James Wiles
Ronaldo, Jorginho and Juan Mata did the European double.
Ronaldo, Jorginho and Juan Mata did the European double.

Can Jude Bellingham cap a fine season by completing a Champions League/Euros double? Maybe Toni Kroos will end his magnificent career by doing the same on home soil?

Camavinga, Mendy and Tchouameni could do it for France or Carvajal, Nacho and Joselu for Spain.

Real Madrid’s cosmopolitan squad certainly makes it likely someone will join this XI of players who’ve won both competitions in the same year…

 

Goalkeeper: Hans van Breukelen
Nottingham Forest’s No. 1 for a brief period in the early eighties, Dutch ‘keeper Hans van Breukelen returned home after his stint with Brian Clough’s men, joining PSV Eindhoven. There he proved pivotal in the club’s greatest success: winning the 1988 European Cup.

A nervy final saw the game with Benfica go to penalties, with the first 11 spot-kicks all being converted until van Breukelen guessed the right way to put his club’s name on the trophy for the first time. Exactly a month later, he helped the Netherlands to their maiden tournament win and saved a penalty yet again as his country saw off the Soviet Union in the Euro ’88 final.

 

Right-back: Christian Karembeu
1998 saw Christian Karembeu start the Champions League final and World Cup final but his only action for France at Euro ’00 was standing in for regular right-back Lilian Thuram in the group stage match against the Netherlands. He went on to add to his impressive trophy cabinet as his country overcame Italy in the final after a golden goal from David Trezeguet.

It was familiar territory for Karembeu, after watching from the bench in May of the same year as his Real Madrid team-mates saw off fellow Spanish side Valencia in the Champions League.

 

Centre-back: Pepe
Still going for Portugal at the age of 41, Pepe will be hoping to win the Euros for a second time after the shock victory over France back in 2016. Even more shocking was the tenacious defender being the only member of Portugal’s backline not booked in the final. He did of course pick up a yellow in Real Madrid’s penalty-shootout triumph over local rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final of the same year.

 

Centre-back: Ronald Koeman
Current Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman will have dreams of becoming only the second man, after Berti Vogts, to win the Euros as both a player and a manager. Set-piece specialist Koeman scored a vital penalty in the semi-finals of Euro ’88 to set his country on their way to glory and he was also the first player to convert a spot-kick in PSV’s shoot-out victory over Benfica in the European Cup final a month earlier.

 

Left-back: Emerson
One man who avoided the drama of penalties on the big stage is West Ham full-back Emerson, who started the final of Euro ’21 but left the field minutes before Italy’s win over England. A Chelsea player at the time, Emerson also watched the drama from the bench in the Champions League final that year, as his team-mates secured the club’s second victory in the competition after seeing off the challenge of Manchester City.

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Defensive midfield: Jorginho
Arsenal midfielder Jorginho was also part of both Italy’s and Chelsea’s triumphant squads that year, but unlike Emerson he was in the thick of the penalty drama. After scoring the winning spot-kick against Spain in the semis, Jorginho blew his chance to be Italy’s hero in the final after Jordan Pickford’s superb save in the shoot-out. Luckily for him, but not for England, Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Bukayo Saka’s effort moments later.

 

Central midfield: Luis Suarez
Though not quite as controversial as his modern-day namesake, the Spanish Luis Suarez was also part of a famous Barcelona side, helping the Catalan club to their first ever European Cup final appearance back in 1961. He ended up losing that match, with Benfica crowned as champions, but Suarez had his revenge on the Portuguese side four years later as a key member of Inter Milan’s triumphant side of ’65. Inter retained the trophy after beating Real Madrid a year earlier, with Suarez also winning the Euros as a member of Spain’s victorious squad that summer.

 

Central midfield: Juan Mata
From Spain’s first European Championship victory to their third, Juan Mata scored the final goal of the 2012 final as his country demolished Italy 4-0 in Ukraine. It capped a fine year for Mata, who was voted as Chelsea’s Player of the Season, whilst also helping the Blues to an incredible Champions League victory. A late equaliser from Didier Drogba sent the match to extra time against Bayern Munich and a subsequent goal-less half an hour led to penalties. Mata saw his spot-kick saved by Manuel Neuer but with the help of Petr Cech and the post, Drogba ended up with the chance to win the cup from 12 yards and he didn’t disappoint.

 

Forward: Nicolas Anelka
One man who won’t have such fond memories of playing for Chelsea in a Champions League final is Nicolas Anelka, who saw his penalty saved by Edwin van der Sar in the final of 2008, resulting in merriment for Manchester United in Moscow.

Anelka did at least already have a victory in the competition to console himself with, having won the tournament eight years before as part of Real Madrid’s victorious team at the turn of the century. 2000 also saw France add the European Championship to their recent World Cup win.

 

Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was one of the Manchester United players celebrating Anelka’s penalty miss in 2008, especially after the Portuguese superstar saw his own spot-kick saved in the shootout. He was more successful from 12 yards eight years later, scoring the winner in Real Madrid’s shootout victory against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final of 2016.

Despite coming off injured in the final, Ronaldo added a European Championship to his long list of accomplishments a couple of months later after his Portugal team-mates secured an extra-time win against France. An incredibly successful year for CR7 ended with a fourth Ballon d’Or.

 

Forward: Fernando Torres
Another Chelsea Champions League winner completes this XI, with Fernando Torres scoring late in the semis of the 2012 Champions League to seal the Blues’ progress to the final. John Terry’s first-half dismissal versus Barcelona in the second leg at the Nou Camp resulted in a Catalan onslaught against Petr Cech’s goal as Pep Guardiola’s men searched for a winner, but Torres was left alone to go through on goal to send the visiting fans, and Gary Neville on commentary, into raptures.

Months later, Torres lined up with some of those Barcelona players for Spain and he became the first player to score in two European Championship finals.

READ: Who will win the Ballon d’Or this year? Will it be somebody who does this double?