First Families of Football

Jack and Bobby CharltonHappy Family Day everyone! To celebrate Family Day, we thought we’d take a quick look at some of soccer’s most unique families.

Like Father Like Son

There have been many fathers and sons and extended family members who have have made their career as pros, many of them even representing the same club and country with distinction. Some, such as Darren Ferguson, Nigel Clough and Michael Bradley have not only followed their fathers’ into the family business, but have had to establish playing careers with their old man picking the team and screaming at them from the dugout!

Cesare and Paolo Maldini

Perhaps no father and son has reached such legendary status as Cesare and Paolo Maldini at Milan. They both captained Milan to the greatest prize in club soccer: The European Cup/Champions League, as well as capturing 11 Serie A titles. The Maldinis racked up over 1300 appearances for Milan and over 150 for the Italian national team. The also both won the World Cup with Italy, (Cesare as assistant manager in 1982 and Paolo as a player in 2006).

Vladimir Weiss, Vladimir Weiss & Vladimir Weiss

When Vladimir Weiss was capped for Czechoslovakia in the 60s, he probably didn’t realise that his family involvement on the national team would outlast the nation he was representing. His son, also Vladimir won 19 caps for Czechoslovakia in the 80s, before continuing his international career for Slovakia after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The family tradition continues today with their grandson/son . . . another Valdimir currently representing Slovakia at full international level.

Brotherly Love

The Charltons & Walters

Although the Maldinis both won World Cups, there are a couple of sets of brothers who went even further, achieving something so impressive that it would make Archie Manning feel like his boys had under-achieved. When West Germany triumphed over the heavily fancied Hungarians in the 1954 World Cup Final, Fritz and Otmar Walter became the first brothers to win a World Cup together. Bobby and Jackie Charlton repeated their achievement 12 years later helping England to claim their only major international honour in the 1966 World Cup.

Rod, Ray and Danny Wallace

Although we’ve seen many brothers and even twins play together in top flight teams, the Wallaces went one better in the late 80s, with twins Rod and Ray joining older brother Danny in the Southampton first team. The three brothers first played together for Southampton against Sheffied Wednesday in 1998.

The de Boers

Identical twins Ronald and Frank De Boer were both part of the exciting young Ajax team which won the Champions League in 1995. Incredibly they would go on to play together at 5 different clubs over the next 10 years. After Barcelona swooped to sign both brothers from Ajax in 1999, the brothers were again reunited at Rangers in Scotland and then at Al Rayyan and Al-Shamal in Qatar.

Crossing the divide

Kevin and Jerome Boateng

Kevin-Prince Boeteng and his half brother Jerome have found themselves representing different countries at international level. Kevin represents Ghana while Jerome has established himself in the Germany squad. This unique situation came to a head in the last World Cup when they squared off against each other in a group D match. Although Jerome was substituted in the 73rd minute, he had the last laugh with Germany squeaking out a 1-0 victory to win the group, although both countries qualified for the next round.

Colin and Tom McAdam

There are few rivalries in world soccer that are as intense or entrenched as the Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic in Glasgow, but incredibly brothers Colin and Tom McAdam were on opposite sides for 7 of the powderkeg fixtures. The brothers actually lined up directly opposite each other with Colin McAdam playing centre forward for Rangers and brother Tom marking him wile playing centre-half for Celtic. Tom edged the series, winning 4 of their head-to-head encounters to his brother’s 3.

Rangers vs Celtic
Brotherly love goes out the window in an Old Firm Game.
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