Ten best sibling rivalries in football

Monday, July 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Filippo and Simone Inzaghi.

Italian international Filippo Inzaghi’s Benevento last week earned promotion to Serie A, putting him in a direct collusion path with his brother Simone who is on the touchline for current Italian league chasers Lazio. Sometimes lighting strikes twice in the same household. A leg up in the game courtesy of a generous footballing gene pool is a lot more common than you might think. Let us face it, sibling rivalry affects us all. ‘Anything you can do I can better’ and all that malarkey. Here are some of the siblings in the beautiful game, compiled by Webster Nyandika

1. Filippo and Simone Inzaghi

Filippo Inzaghi was the more iconic brother during his playing time in Serie A, scoring goals for fun with Atalanta, Juventus and AC Milan, not to mention his exceptional record for Italy.

Simone meanwhile spent most of his career with Lazio and only mustered three Italian caps, though is currently enjoying the better managerial career than his once prolific brother.

2. Yaya and Kolo Touré

Kolo was not only a solid member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles side’ but he also went on to win the Premier League title with Man City in 2011, doing so alongside his brother.

For Yaya, he became the first player to win African Player of the Year four times in a row in 2014 and would win a further two league titles with the Citizens, while Kolo enjoyed one final sojourn with Celtic before hanging up his boots in 2017 – he is now a first team coach at Leicester City under former manager Brendan Rodgers.

3. Gary and Phil Neville

Although both men were members of United’s ‘Class of ’92’, Phil is not remembered as fondly as Gary at Old Trafford.

He isn’t well liked in general really, after conceding a penalty for England against Romania in Euro 2000.

And that reputation took another hit after he pitched up at Valencia as assistant manager to his brother, with the duo lasting less than a year before they were sacked following a disastrous campaign.

This is also a good moment to put on record that their father is called Neville Neville.

4. Ronald and Frank De Boer

These chaps were anything but a bore on the pitch. They literally followed each other around for their entire careers, featuring for Ajax, Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Shamal and Al-Rayyan before retirement.

Frank became manager of Ajax 2010, while Ronald was a coach. Forever in his shadow.

The former now manages Atlanta United after abysmal spells with Inter Milan and Crystal Palace respectively, while the latter is currently the Ajax A1 assistant manager.

5. Ronald and Erwin Koeman

Erwin may be the older brother, but it is Ronald who enjoyed the more prolific career.

Ronald won double the number of caps for the Netherlands as his sibling and also represented Barcelona with distinction, while Erwin didn’t play outside of the Eredivisie.

They both went into football management with Erwin working as an assistant to Ronald during his stints in charge of Southampton and Everton, but after a poor showing on Merseyside, they have since gone their separate ways.

Ronald is now manager of the Dutch national side while his older brother is also an international head coach – managing Oman.

6. Michael and Brian Laudrup

Despite Michael winning league titles with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as a European Cup, brother Brian perhaps topped his brother after he helped Denmark to the unlikeliest of European Championship triumphs in 1992.

Michael and Brian both ruled themselves out of national selection that year after disagreements with then-coach Richard Moller Nielsen, but the latter opted to go to the tournament anyway, while his brother decided to top up his tan on holiday – oh how he rues that decision now.

7. Franco and Giuseppe Baresi

When brothers play for nemesis clubs it can be regarded as one of the fiercest sibling rivalries known to mankind – and that is exactly what Franco and Giuseppe Baresi done during their playing careers.

Franco was a Milan legend during his time on the pitch, while Giuseppe was an Inter legend, with both players winning a plethora of titles – as well as a few bumps and bruises during the Milan Derby.

8. Rafinha and Thiago Alcántara

One was born in Italy, the other was born in Brazil. They’re both bloomin’ good at football though.

Older sibling Thiago is now 27 and left the Camp Nou to follow Pep Guardiola to Bayern Munich in 2013. 

He has also pledged his national allegiance to Spain, where he holds citizenship, receiving 31 caps since 2011.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Rafinha is still with the Catalan club but remains sidelined with an injury.

He has featured for several of Spain’s youth sides but has also turned out for Brazil’s Under-20s in the past, though he opted to represent the country of his birth where he has since picked up two caps for the Seleção.

9. Eden and Thorgan Hazard

When Chelsea learned that Eden had a younger brother they snapped him straight up.

In fact, Thorgan arrived at Stamford Bridge as part of the deal the Blues agreed with Lille in order to sign Eden.

However, dreams that the west Londoners could one day feature both brothers are all but over after Thorgan signed for Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2015, where he is now showcasing his worth as one of the club’s outstanding players in recent seasons.

Chelsea may not have been able to realise that dream because Eden also left for Real Madrid, but the Belgium national side certainly are, with the brothers regularly featuring alongside each other for the Red Devils.

10. Jordan and Andre Ayew (Abedi Pele is their dad)

The Ayews are quite a footballing family. Their family tree could probably cobble together an entire team. Former Ghana captain Abedi Pele is the father of both forwards.

Jordan and Andre played together at Marseille for several years and reunited at Swansea where they are both currently on the books.

However, both have been loaned out this season with the former now at Crystal Palace and the latter at Fenerbahce.

More on Lifestyle