It must be a very proud moment for any parent, watching their child play professional football for the first time, but imagine if you had two sons and both of them made the grade?
There are plenty examples of footballing families, fathers, uncles and cousins, but here we are going to look at siblings.
There have been many good footballing brothers over the years, in many cases one brother is a top player while the other plays at a good level in the lower leagues, for example Wayne Rooney and John Terry both have brothers in the lower leagues, but here I want to look at the brothers who have played at the top- both of them.
So here we are, please share your thoughts by commenting on this page, or on our facebook and Twitter pages. If you like the list feel free to share.
The top 20 footballing brothers.
20. Hazard. Eden & Thorgan. Belgium.
Belgium seems to be at the centre of the football world at the moment and these two will certainly be at the centre of Belgian football the coming years. Older brother Eden has already established himself at the top with Chelsea and having gained 35 caps for his country already despite being only 22. His wee brother Thorgan has signed for Chelsea as well, although he is on loan at Zulte Waregem, a bright future is certain for the youngster who has represented his country at every level, except full, which is just a matter of time.
19. Bender. Sven & Lars. Germany.
The German twins are both full internationals for their country, aged just 23. Lars has 12 caps and has made over 100 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen while Sven has 2 caps but has won 2 bundesliga titles and a German cup playing for Borussia Dortmund. They were both members of the German squad that won the UEFA Under 19 championship in 2008.
18. Ravelli. Thomas & Andreas. Sweden.
Andreas Ravelli won 41 international caps for Sweden and won 3 Swedish league titles, surely a good career by any standard….yet he must look enviously at his twin brother Swedish goalkeeping legend Thomas. Thomas won a Swedish record 143 caps and played over 420 top flight games for Osters and IFK Goteburg. He won an incredible 9 Swedish league championships and a Swedish Cup in his fantastic career.
17. Inzaghi. Simone & Filippo. Italy.
Simone never lived up to his older brothers reputation, but then few could. He did manage 3 caps for the Azzuri and won Serie A and 2 Coppa Italias and scored 4 in a champions league game against Marseille, but its his older brothers exploits that will ensure the name Inzaghi its place in football history. Filippo played for AC Milan, Juventus, Parma and Atalanta in his glittering career, he has 57 caps scoring 25 goals. He won the World Cup, Champions League x2, Serie A x3, a world club cup and a coppa Italia. He remains the 2nd highest goalscorer in European competition with an incredible 70 goals.
16. Wallace. Danny, Ray & Rod. England.
Surely the only thing better than having two sons playing professional football, is having 3 sons who made it. Danny had already established himself as a player playing for Southampton and Manchester United and scoring in his one and only England appearance. He won the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, the FA Cup and the league cup with Man United but multiple sclerosis forced him to retire prematurly from the game. His younger twin brothers had very different careers, Ray, a full back made 4 England under 21 appearances before having a decent career as a journeyman footballer. Rod however won the league title with Leeds United in 1992 and moved to Rangers in 1998 where he picked up a domestic treble and followed it the next year with a league and cup double.
15. Hassan. Hossam & Ibrahim. Egypt.
The most capped twins in international sport. Hossam playing 169 times and Ibrahim 125 times for Egypt. Hossam and Ibrahim spent the majority of their careers together. They played for fierce rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek as well as spending time at Greek Club PAOK Salonika. They won 13 Egyptian league titles and 5 cups. As well as 2 African Champions Leagues. Hossam added 3 African nations cups onto his glittering career and was named the greatest African player of the last 50 years.
14. Boateng. Jerome & Kevin-Prince. Germany & Ghana.
Unique. That sums up these brothers situation pretty well. Kevin Prince is a Ghanaian international his brother Jerome a German international. Fascinating, both born and raised in Germany both brothers played for Germany at all youth levels, oldest brother KP decided his international future lay in Africa, and he has played for Ghana 9 times. He has also won Serie A and played for big clubs including AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham and Portsmouth. His younger brother Jerome has 29 German caps and currently plays for Bayern Munich, the full back won the FA Cup with Manchester City and the Bronze medal for a third place finish at the 2010 world cup. He has also played for Hamburg, and is sure to add to his trophy cabinet as Bayern Munich go from strength to strength. Their uncle played for Rosenborg.
13. Da Silva. Fabio & Rafael. Brazil.
At only 22 years old, these two Brazilian twins have the world at their feet. Both the young full backs have 2 caps for Brazil and both have won the premier league with their club Manchester United (Fabio is currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers) Rafael is perhaps the better of the two having already nailed down a starting position at Old Trafford, but given their age, look out for both these boys to feature heavily in the future of world football.
12. Ferdinand. Rio & Anton. England.
Anton Ferdinand may not be as famous or indeed as good as his big brother Rio, but he has still had a good career, he has played for West Ham United, Sunderland, QPR and Bursaspor and he made 17 appearances for Englands under 21 team and he is a very accomplished centre back. Older brother Rio also came through the ranks at West Ham United before a big money move to Leeds United followed. He was sensational for Leeds and it wasn’t long before Manchester United came calling, at United he has won 5 league titles and the champions league. He is one of the finest defenders England have ever produced with 81 caps for England. The brothers older cousin Les Ferdinand was himself a great centre forward.
11. Altintop. Hamit & Halil. Turkey.
The German born Identical twins have both represented Turkey at international level, Hamit has won 79 caps and Halil has won 38. Halil has forged a good career fro himself having starred for Kaiserslautern, Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt and current club Trabzonspor. His brother Hamit is the more successful of the two, he has played for Schalke, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and currently Galatasaray. He has won 2 Bundesligas and 2 German Cups and was a runner up in the 2010 Champions League.
10. Milito. Diego & Gabriel. Argentina.
The Milito brothers have both have very successful, if understated careers. Diego has played 24 times for Argentina, and had a decent career with Genoa and Real Zaragoza, he got his big break at Italian giants Inter Milan and grabbed it with both hands. Winning the Champions league, serie a and coppa Italia treble in 2010. His double in the final, assuring him a place in Inter Milan history. Gabriel played for Zaragoza as well, winning a Spanish Cup. Again a big move followed for Gab, it was Barcelona and 3 la ligas, 2 champions leagues and a world club cup was his reward. He played for Argentina 42 before retiring at 32.
9. Koeman. Ronald & Erwin. Netherlands. Erwin Koeman had a very good football life, playing for PSV Eindhoven and Mechelen, he also played 31 times for his country and picked up a medal in The Netherlands finest moment, Euro 88. He won 2 dutch leagues with PSV and at Mechelen picked up the Belgian league and cup along with the UEFA Super Cup and Cup Winners Cup. Ronald played for all of Hollands “big 3” picking up 4 league titles and 3 dutch cups. He won his first European Cup with PSV and moved onto Barcelona where he was an integral part if the dream team, he added 4 La Ligas and another European Cup, this time scoring a glorious free kick in extra time to win Barca their first ever European Cup. He was also a member of the successful Euro 88 team and was named Dutch Footballer Of The Year in 1987 & 88.
8. Toure. Yaya & Kolo. Ivory Coast.
Yaya has played for Ivory Coast 75 times and had spells at Olympiacos (where he won Greek Super League) and Monaco before bursting onto the scene at Barcelona, winning 2 league titles, champions league and World Club Cup. He has won the African Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012. He is now at Manchester City where he has won the League and FA Cup. He is joined at City by big brother Kolo, who was signed as a youngster by Arsenal and went on to make over 230 appearances for the Gunners, winning the Premier League and 2 FA Cups, before joining in the success at City. He has made 103 appearances for his country. Ibrahim Toure the thrid brother is also a professional football player, playing in Egypt.
7. Cannavaro. Fabio & Paolo. Italy.
Paolo is the captain of Napoli and a very good centre back. He has played for years in his native Naples and has won the Coppa Italia. An assured and steady defender, much like his older brother, Fabio, the only defender in recent times to win The ultimate accolade- FIFA World Player of the Year. He won 2 la ligas in his time with Real Madrid and of course led Italy to the 2006 World Cup. He won the UEFA Cup with Parma and spent a long part of his career at Juventus.
6. Baresi. Franco & Giuseppe. Italy.
Giuseppe is an Inter Milan legend, playing for the club over 400 times, winning 2 leagues and 2 coppa italias. He won 18 caps for the national team and is remembered as one of Inters most loyal and hard working midfielders. His brother Franco played as a sweeper and spent his entire career with Serie A club AC Milan. He is considered one of the greatest defenders of all time. He won the Champions League 3 times, as well as 6 Serie A titles, 4 Supercoppa Italiana, 3 European Super Cups, 2 Intercontinental Cups. With Italy, he won the 1982 World Cup and picked up 82 caps along the way. He was named in the FIFA 100 as one of the 125 greatest players to play the game.
5. De Boer. Ronald & Frank. Netherlands. The De Boer twins broke into Ajaxs famous team packed with players from their own youth set up and both established themselves as important members of the team that won the 1995 champions league. They played together at Ajax, Barcelona and Rangers. Winning a host of trophies along the way. Ronald earned 67 dutch caps, won 5 dutch league titles, la liga once, one Scottish league and 2 Scottish cups on top of the champions league with Ajax. Frank won an incredible 112 caps for the Netherlands and won all the same trophies as Ronald except the Rangers ones (he joined Rangers two years after Ronald) Both world class players in their day, Frank is now manager of Ajax.
4. Neville. Gary & Phil. England.
The Neville family also produced an England international netball player, sister Tracey. But its Gary and Philips achievements in the beautiful game that catapulted the family to national fame. Both started at Manchester United they won several titles and cups including the champions league, and both were regulars for club and country. Often having to compete for the same starting position, Phil eventually moved onto Everton where he is still club captain. Gary remained at United and added more silverware to his honour list. Gary won 85 England caps while Phil won 59. Gary retired in 2011 having won 8 league titles, 3 FA Cups and The afore mentioned champions league, Phil has won the same minus two premier leagues.
3. Socrates & Rai. Brazil.
The late truly great Socrates, will go down as one of the greatest playmakers to ever play the game. A fine technical footballer who also found the time to be a fully qualified Doctor of Medicine. He won 60 caps for his country, and was named as South American player of the year in 1983. Pele named him on the FIFA 100 list and he is fondly remembered as an all time football great. Rai is ten years his brothers junior and must of felt the pressure growing up as Socrates wee brother, he didn’t disappoint though, winning 51 Brazil caps and winning the World Cup in 1994. He won 15 major honours in his career, largely spent with Sao Paulo and Paris St Germain. He was yet another great playmaking Brazilian.
2. Charlton. Sir Bobby & Jack.
Imagine winning the world cup. How good would it be celebrating with your team mates? Now imagine one of those team mates was also your brother. What an achievement. Jack played 35 times for his country and was named FWA Footballler of the year in 1967. He won 2 Fairs Cups, a league title and FA Cup with the famous Leeds United team of the sixties and early 70s. Sir Bobby is in many ways the embodiment of Manchester United. A survivor of the tragic Munich air crash. He went onto play over 600 games for Man United. He was named European Footballer of the year in 1966. He also won 3 league titles and the European Cup.
1. Laudrup. Michael & Brian.
Brian Laudrup played for Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Rangers, Chelsea and Ajax, huge clubs in the European game, he played 82 times for Denmark and won the 1992 European Championships. He was named in the team of the tournament at both Euro 92 and the 98 world cup, a four time danish footballer of the year, he won the champions league, serie A, 3 Scottish titles, UEFA super cup and 2 danish league. He was named on the FIFA 100 list of greatest living players ever. He is without doubt the greatest danish player ever…..except maybe one….his older brother Michael. If you think Brian’s career was impresive how is this for a list…. Michael earned 104 caps for Denmark, played for some of the biggest clubs in world football- Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Lazio and Ajax. He won 5 la ligas in a row, a European Cup, a world club cup and serie A title. Perhaps his peers say it best about Michael Laudrup, here is some quotes on him.
Romário: “The best player I have ever played with and the 4th best in the history of the game”
Raúl: “The best I have ever played with”
Iniesta: “Who is the best player in history? Laudrup.”
Messi: “I fully understand why he is considered one of the best players in Barcelonas history and even the world.”
Beckenbauer: “Pelé was the best in the 60s, Cruyff in the 70s, Maradona in the 80s and Laudrup in the 90s.”
“To me, Michael Laudrup is the most genius player the world has ever seen. He will always be my numero uno. Always.” Javier Clemente
If he is good enough for those guys, he is good enough for me!
I have left out some fairly notable brothers and there are some worth mentioning. The McAdam brothers Tom and Colin played on opposite teams in an Old Firm derby. Barry and older brother Derek Ferguson both represented Scotland and Rangers. John and Justin Fashanu are deserving of a mention as well.
What other well known footballing brothers are worth a shout, let me know who you think desrves to be on this list.
Please let me know your thoughts on the list. Follow us on Twitter @cloudie86