14 sons of famous footballers who want to become big
Poor Alfe-Inge Haaland. A skilled Premier League player who won 34 caps for Norway is now best known as Erling’s father.
The Manchester City (opens in new tab) striker has already had a better career than his father, with all due respect to former City, Leeds (opens in new tab) and Nottingham Forest (opens in new tab) midfielder. But what about other sons of famous footballers?
Here are 14 players aged 21 or under who want to follow in their father’s footsteps…
Samuel Eto’o, one of the greatest African footballers of all time, enjoyed a great career with Real Mallorca, Barcelona, among others (opens in new tab) and Inter (opens in new tab) (Everton (opens in new tab)less).
Two of his brothers, David and Etienne, are also footballers, and Samuel has a son who is now taking his first steps into the game. Etienne Eto’o had a trial with Benfica (opens in new tab) in 2021, before signing his first professional contract this year with his compatriot Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Lilian Thuram, winner of the World Cup, the European Championship and the UEFA Cup during his playing time, is France’s all-time record maker with 142 caps. His first son Marcus has clearly inherited his father’s talent: the Borussia Mönchengladbach attacker has a great opportunity to be included in Didier Deschamps’ selection for Qatar.
Khephren Thuram, just over three years younger than Marcus, is a regular in France’s Under-21 squad. Born in Italy while Lilian played for Parma, Khephren is a key part of Lucien Favre’s Nice squad.
Didier Drogba, a Chelsea legend who won virtually everything there is to win at Stamford Bridge, is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in Premier League history.
His son, Isaac, was part of Chelsea (opens in new tab)‘s youth setup until 2018, when he joined French side Guingamp. The centre-forward spent a few months with Caratese in the Italian lower leagues last year and now plays for Portugal’s Coimbra.
When Phil Neville joined Valencia (opens in new tab) as a coach in 2015, he brought along his son Harvey. The youngster, who can play as a wing-back or in midfield like his dad, later spent three years at Manchester United (opens in new tab)‘s books.
Neville Jr. followed his father again to Inter Miami in 2021. After making 18 appearances for the club’s second team, the 20-year-old was named in the first team squad for the 2022 season.
Together with Neville he practices his profession at Inter Miami, a man with an even more famous father. Romeo, the second of David Beckham’s three sons, was once on Arsenal’s books for a few months (opens in new tab)and he now plays for the second team of the MLS club.
Inter Miami is, of course, partly owned by the former England captain. Romeo may one day feel the need to escape from his father’s considerable shadow.
One of the most important figures in the history of Real Madrid (opens in new tab)Zinedine Zidane will always be associated with the Blanks more than any other club. And although he stepped down from his role as Madrid manager in 2021, the Zidane clan still has representation at the Bernabeu.
That is thanks to Theo, a promising midfielder who plays for Real Madrid Castilla. His two older brothers are also professional footballers: fellow midfielder Enzo is with Fuenlabrada and Luca is goalkeeper at Eibar.
Papa Eidur Gudjohnsen is known to football fans for his successful spells at Bolton, Chelsea and Barcelona, plus brief spells at Tottenham, Stoke and Fulham. But he comes from a real football tribe: his own father was also an Iceland international – Eidur made his debut in 1996 as a substitute for Arnor – and his brother came through in Swansea’s youth system.
He now also has three sons in the sport. Eldest Sveinn Aron plays for IF Elfsborg, youngest Daniel Tristan is in Malmo’s academy, while middle child Andri Lucas is a striker currently plying his trade at IFK Norrkoping in Sweden. He spent time in both Barcelona’s and Real Madrid’s youth squads and was even part of the first team for Real Madrid’s 2021 Champions League campaign.
Andri is 20 years old and has 12 caps for Iceland and two goals to his credit.
Jamie Carragher, a childhood Everton fan turned Liverpool (opens in new tab) legend during a single-club career in which he made 737 appearances for the Reds. His son James spent six years in the club’s academy but was sacked in 2017.
Picked up by Wigan, Carragher Jr. made his professional debut for the Latics in August 2021. The six-foot-tall centre-back is currently on loan at Oldham in the National League.
A US international, Reyna was also eligible to represent England due to his hometown of Sunderland. His father Claudio played for the Black Cats at the time; the midfielder also played for Bayer Leverkusen, Rangers (opens in new tab)Manchester City and New York Red Bulls during his career.
His son Giovanni went through the New York City academy before moving to Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) in 2019. Since then, he has played 86 games for the German giants and won 14 caps for his country.
Mauricio Pochettino is known today for his managerial achievements, but he had an outstanding playing career with the likes of Espanyol, PSG (opens in new tab) and the Argentina national team.
His son Maurizio spent time at Southampton’s academies (opens in new tab) and Tottenham (opens in new tab) while his father was the first-team manager of both clubs. After spending last season with Watford, the 21-year-old joined Spanish side Gimnastic in the summer.
Ruud Gullit was one of the best footballers of his generation. As title winner at three different clubs, the Dutchman also won two European Cups with AC Milan (opens in new tab) and Euro ’88 with the Netherlands.
His son Maxim would do well to match his father’s achievements in the game, but the Cambuur defender comes from a wealthy football lineage: his mother Estelle is a niece of the late great Johan Cruijff.
When Daniel Maldini made his AC Milan debut in 2020, he was the third generation of his family to play for the Italian giants, following grandfather Cesare and father Paolo. But unlike those two club greats, the youngest Maldini is not a defender but an attacking midfielder.
He played 24 games for the Rossoneri in total, but will spend the 2022/23 season on loan at Spezia.
Robbie Savage was a co-commentator for BT Sport when his son Charlie made his Manchester United debut in 2021. said the young midfielder as he entered the field at Old Trafford.
The Wales Under-21 international Savage Jr plays in the same midfield position as his father – although the 19-year-old insists he is less tenacious and more technically gifted than the old man.
Benjani played for four Premier League clubs – Portsmouth, Manchester City, Blackburn and Sunderland between 2006 and 2011. The striker went on to represent two clubs in South Africa before hanging up his boots in 2014.
His son, known as Benjani Jr., signed a professional contract with Yeovil Town in October 2022, having previously been part of Portsmouth’s academy.
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