Football families are not an uncommon phenomenon. Many families all over Europe and the world take pride in producing one footballer after another, as generations pass by. But what about those who can proudly say that they have produced more than one star at a time? Here’s a look over some of the most well-known football brothers to grace the turf in recent memory: 

1) Franco and Giuseppe Baresi

Perhaps the two most famous brothers in world football, the names of Franco and older brother Giuseppe go hand in hand with both Milan giants. After making the grade at Internazionale, Giuseppe Baresi bought his little brother for trials at the Beneamata. The Inter hierarchy however, opted against signing Franco, which prompted him to take a chance at local rivals AC Milan. The rest as they say is well, history. Giuseppe Baresi would go on to make most of his career as a Nerrazzuri player, but have little success in comparison to his younger brother, who went on to make history playing with Milan, winning all there is to win both domestically and internationally, and being voted Rossoneri Player of the Century, which prompted his club to retire his legendary number 6 shirt.

2) Diego and Gabriel Milito

Two brothers who can proudly boast about winning a host of club trophies, the Militos are currently two of the most famous brothers in Europe. It was Gabriel’s career that took off first as a failed medical denied him the chance to join Real Madrid, and so saw him join Real Zaragoza – where he would connect eventually with his brother – before earning a big move to La Liga giants Barcelona. Despite being constantly in and out of the Catalans’ first team due to chronic injury problems, the former Independiente player still managed to win every conceivable title as Josep Guardiola guided the team to an unprecedented sextuple. Diego, on the other hand, made his European debut with Genoa, a stay that was cut short due to the club’s relegation to Serie C1 as part of the Calciopoli scandal. Diego Milito went on then to join Zaragoza, playing alongside his brother and establishing himself as one of La Liga’s finest strikers. Another single season at Genoa paved the way for a transfer to Internazionale; where he would go on to win the treble under coach Jose Mourinho last year.



3) Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng

The story of Jerome and Kevin-Prince is truly one for the ages. Born in Berlin, Germany, to a German mother and a Ghanaian father, the siblings were separated as Kevin-Prince lived with his father in a poor neighbourhood, while Jerome stayed with his mother in a wealthy environment. Jerome started his professional career at Hertha Berlin, where he swiftly became an undisputed starter despite being just 18 years old at the time. His defensive displays caught the eye of Hamburg SV, where he would spend three rich years before making the switch last summer to Premier League big spenders Manchester City. His versatility and physical style of play have turned him into a key player for club and country alike, and he was part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Germany squad.

In similar fashion to his brother, Kevin-Prince’s career also started with Hertha Berlin. Much was expected of the Germany youth team player, but he failed to live up to the hype and saw three years spent between Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Portsmouth. The midfielder’s career was seemingly just chugging along before a summer transfer to AC Milan catapulted the Ghanaian to the big time, and he has become an invaluable asset to coach Massimiliano Allgeri. It is worth noting that despite representing Germany at youth level, Kevin-Prince opted to play for Ghana, and his relationship with brother Jerome is a frosty one due to his hard tackle on Michael Ballack in last season’s FA Cup final, one that forced the former Chelsea player to miss the World Cup.

4) Frank and Ronald de Boer

Names largely associated with Dutch football during the 1990s, Frank and Ronald de Boer started their careers at the best possible youth academy in Holland: AFC Ajax. They stayed at their parent club for nearly ten years – Ronald managed to squeeze in a two-year spell at Twente – before both being signed by Spanish giants FC Barcelona in 1998, for a combined fee of £22M. However, Ronald’s stay at the Camp Nou only lasted two seasons, as he left to play for Scottish giants Rangers, before enjoying spells in Qatar with Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal, effectively hanging up his boots at the age of 38 in 2008. As for Frank, the younger twin left Spain in 2003, heading for one season in Turkey with Galatasaray, before joining his brother at Rangers, and again once more at Al-Rayyan.

For a long period of time, the debate was open as to who was the better player of the two, with a slender majority of pundits agreeing on Frank de Boer. Frank currently works with the Ajax youth team and as assistant manager to Bert van Marwijk with the Dutch national team, while Ronald continues to reside in Qatar and works as a football commentator for Arab media giants Al-Jazeera.

5) Gary and Phil Neville

The Premiership years cannot be spoken of without mentioning the Neville brothers, a name that became synonymous with Manchester United’s success in the 1990s. Having joined the youth ranks of United in 1991, Gary Neville spent just one season playing for the reserves, before being called up to the main squad by Sir Alex Ferguson the year afterwards. Alongside brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, Gary would go on to form a group known as “Fergie’s Fledglings”, a core of hungry, young players that built the foundations for the Red Devils’ domination. Forming a wonderful understanding with David Beckham on the right side, Ferguson named Gary his captain following Roy Keane’s unceremonious exit from Old Trafford in 2005. His series of nagging injuries in the following years prevented him from being at the epicentre of some of United’s proudest moments, including the 2008 Champions League victory. At the start of the current season, he stepped down as team captain, with the badge being given to fellow defender Nemanja Vidic.

On the other hand, Phil’s role at Old Trafford was never as central as his brother’s; yet he did clock up eleven years and over 250 appearances, before moving to Everton in 2005. His work ethic made him a favourite of manager David Moyes, who would eventually reward him with the skipper’s armband. Phil Neville is known to have been a very good cricket player during his youth – his father was also a cricketer – a path that he would have continued had football not called.

6) Kolo and Yaya Touré

Arguably the biggest names in the European game to ply their trade at a single club at the present time. Having both started at local side Mimosas in their native Ivory Coast, Kolo Touré was snapped up by Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal for a mere £150,000 back in 2002. Kolo would go on to form an integral part of the Arsenal setup during his years in London, most notably by being one member of the “Invincibles” squad of 2004, forging a remarkable partnership with Sol Campbell along the way. A reported bust-up with then-team-mate William Gallas prompted the defender to hand in a transfer request in January 2009, before eventually being shipped-off to Manchester City the following summer. Over at Eastlands, Kolo was made captain for one season before losing the armband to Carlos Tevez.

Brother Yaya took some time before establishing himself as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in Europe: After spells in Belgium, Ukraine and Greece, his ascension towards the limelight happened at Monaco, where he caught the attention of the Barcelona board. What followed was three successful years in Catalonia, where he won everything there is to win under Pep Guardiola during the famous sextuple season of 2008/09. Following the growth and maturation of Barca youngster Sergio Busquets, Yaya Touré opted to leave the Blaugrana, joining his older brother Kolo in Manchester for the staggering fee of £24M. Along with his brother, they continue to impress as Manchester City actively pursue their first Premier League title since 1968.


7) Anton and Rio Ferdinand

As products of West Ham’s famous youth academy, much was expected from the two defensive brothers Anton and Rio Ferdinand. Rio’s name remains to this day associated with the defending of the highest level. He signed for the Hammers’ youth scheme back in 1992, playing alongside future England stars such as Frank Lampard. His performances at West Ham quickly sky-rocketed his reputation as one of the best future stars, and he was soon bought by Leeds United back in 2000 for a record price of £18M, breaking the British transfer record as well as becoming the world’s most expensive defender. Two years later, Leeds’ financial burden meant that he was shipped out once more, this time to Manchester United for £30M. It was as a Mancunian that Ferdinand’s time at the very top really got under way, as he reaped most of the available trophies there are to win under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage, namely the Premier League on four occasions, as well as the Champions League. Failure to attend a drugs test back in 2003 remains the only blot on what is otherwise a very successful record.

Anton Ferdinand on the other hand failed to follow the footsteps of his older brother, despite an equally intense build-up. He matured at boyhood club West Ham, but never quite managed to hit the heights in a defence that regularly leaked goals. Yet there has continued to be much faith placed in his abilities and in August 2008, he was bought by Sunderland for £6M. Seven years younger than Rio, Anton could yet make up ground on his more famous and accomplished sibling.

8) Filippo and Simeone Inzaghi

One of the deadliest predators in the game – some say he’s second to none – Filippo Inzaghi’s journey started at boyhood club Piacenza Calcio back in 1991. After a series of loans and co-ownership deals, “Pippo” Inzaghi’s career finally took off at Atalanta, as 24 league goals in 33 games earned him a ticket to Turin giants Juventus. At Juve, the striker formed an incredible attacking trio with Alessandro Del Piero and Zinedine Zidane, winning the Serie A title in his maiden season at the Bianconeri. After Carlo Ancelotti decided to swap Juventus for AC Milan, Inzaghi too jumped boats and continued to boost his reputation as lethal in the box, winning Serie A once more as well as reaching three Champions League finals and winning two with the Rossoneri. At 33, Filippo was part of the 2006 World Cup-winning Italy squad. Recently singled out by Jose Mourinho as the main Milan striker to fear, he continues to perform at the highest level.

Also moulded as a striker, Simeone Inzaghi didn’t quite reach the level of big brother Filippo. His career got under way at SS Lazio, as he helped the team win the domestic double at the turn of the century. His career appeared to fizzle out after that though, as he found himself in and out of the Lazio team for the next few seasons. Simone enjoyed two loan spells, at Sampdoria and Atalanta, and when back at Lazio kept making the odd appearance. His goal scored against Lecce back in the 2008/09 campaign marked his first Serie A strike since September 2004. Seeing his career going nowhere, he retired at the end of last season.

9) Brian and Michael Laudrup

Having a name synonymous with Danish football, Michael Laudrup probably remains to this very day the best Dane in recorded football history. A youth product of both Brondby and KB, Michael would go on to represent both teams at senior level before transferring to Juventus. His spell in Italy would turn out to be a disappointment, despite clinching the 1985 Scudetto with the Bianconeri. In 1989, he opted to try his luck in Spain, and that is where he made a name for himself as one of the game’s greats, as he was part of Barcelona’s Johan Cruyff-guided ‘Dream Team’ during the 1990s. Playing alongside the likes of Hristo Stoichkov and Romario, the Frederiksberg-born attacking midfielder won four successive league titles and a Champions League with the Blaugrana, before a bust-up with Cruyff led him to cross the point-of-no-return from Barcelona for Real Madrid. He played for two seasons at Real, earning a La Liga title in his first year before ending his career in 1998 with Ajax. Michael switched to management afterwards, guiding teams such as Getafe, Spartak Moscow, and currently Mallorca. Many of his previous team-mates – chiefly Romario and Raul – consider him the best player they have ever worked with.

Despite enduring a less remarkable career, Michael’s little brother Brian is also regarded as one of the game’s greats. A striker/attacking midfielder like his brother, Brian was in constant motion throughout his career, never staying at the same club for more than two years since leaving Brondby in 1989. He made a name for himself in Germany playing for Bayern Munich, but a fallout with Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge meant that his contract wasn’t renewed in 1992, leaving him free to transfer to Italy and play for Fiorentina, a personal dream. The reality quickly turned into a nightmare however, as the Viola were relegated that season, prompting Laudrup to escape the stadium in the trunk of a car to evade the supporters’ anger. He was then loaned to AC Milan, where he won the 1994 Scudetto, but refused to return to Fiorentina at the end of the campaign, prompting a sale to Scottish giants Rangers. In Glasgow, Brian clinched the domestic title on three consecutive occasions, and after a two-year run with Chelsea, FC Copenhagen and Ajax, opted to hang up his boots in 2000. A Danish Player of the Year on no less than four occasions, he was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma and is undergoing treatment.

10) Hamit and Halil Altintop

Born in Gelsenkirchen into the Turkish community, Hamit Altintop started playing football professionally with Wattensheid 09 alongside his twin brother Halil. His versatility, along with his long-range shooting ability soon caught the attention of Schalke 04, and he would go on to represent the Ruhr side for four seasons. With his contract expiring in 2008, Hamit secured a Bosman transfer to Bayern Munich. In Bavaria, the midfielder won the trophies that had been out of reach at Schalke, picking up the Bundesliga title on two occasions, as well as reaching the Champions League final with Die Roten last season before ultimately succumbing to Internazionale.

Halil on the other hand left Wattensheid 09 in the same year as his twin, but with Kaiserslautern as his destination, staying there for three seasons before linking with up his brother at Schalke in 2006. At the start of 2010, Halil rescinded his contract and decided to try his luck at Eintracht Frankfurt. Despite being born in Germany, both Hamit and Halil have an unconditional love for the country of their grandparents, Turkey, and are full international players with the Eurasian side. Their views over origin and belonging entangled them in a war of words with Mesut Oezil, a fellow product of the Turkish community in Germany, who instead chose to represent the Mannschaft, starring in the 2010 World Cup.