“It runs in the family” is something we have all heard a few hundred times. Whether it be brains, athleticism, or even disease, the phrase rings true on so many levels. Football is no different and with the amount of stars from all over the globe, a few of them have to be related in some way, shape or form. In some cases they are quite hard to find, especially if they don’t share the same last name.
There are many famous footballing families out there. Take the Lampards and Redknapps for example. There are also the Maldinis, the Ayews and the Laudrups amongst many others.
But there are certainly a few you just may have never known – same last name or not. Surely they aren’t trying their best to keep things under wraps or anything, but they’re just not as celebrated as the rest.
That’s not to say that they aren’t that good either, you’ll be pretty surprised to find that some of the sport’s biggest stars share kinship with other players.
So just who are these guys anyway? Well, we’ve come up with a list of 20.
Check them all out below.
20. John Terry and Paul Konchesky
The pair are not blood relatives, they’re actually in-laws. John Terry’s brother Paul Terry married Sarah Konchesky, who is sister to Paul Konchesky and has two kids with her.
John is still Chelsea’s captain and is currently on his 16th year at the club. The defender is also on a one-year deal and will be hoping that Chelsea keep him for yet another season by extending his contract sometime next year. Konchesky, meanwhile, is now playing his football at Gillingham, having represented the likes of Fulham, West Ham, Liverpool and Leicester City in the past.
Paul Terry is pretty similar to his brother John. He is now retired from football, but played as a midfielder for Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient. Much like his younger sibling, the ex-player had an affair with a teammate’s wife back in 2011.
19. Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha
Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha are two products of the famed Barcelona academy and they also happen to be brothers.
Siblings they may be, but they couldn’t be more different. Rafinha still plays for Barcelona, while Thiago plies his trade in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. Rafinha plays for Brazil at the international level, but Thiago is part of the Spanish national set-up.
They are both very attacking midfielders, yet the Munich man is right-footed and his brother is stronger with his left foot.
Rafinha is currently ahead of his brother in terms of goals this season. The Brazil international has scored four La Liga goals in five appearances, while Thiago has played seven league matches under Carlo Ancelotti but has only scored once.
18. Thiago/Rafinha And Rodrigo
The two brothers also happen to be cousins to Valencia winger Rodrigo. Thiago and Rafinha’s father Mazinho is brother to Rodrigo’s father Adalberto, and the two – who were also both footballers – played together at Celta Vigo.
Their sons were trained at Ureca, another club in the same city of Vigo, Galicia.
Rodrigo started out as a youth at Brazilian club Flamengo before moving to Spain and playing in Vigo. He also played for Real Madrid’s C and B teams, then signed a five-year deal with Portuguese club Benfica in 2010.
Benfica loaned him out to Bolton Wanderers for the first year and in 2014, he was loaned to Valencia, later making the deal permanent.
17. David Ospina And James Rodriguez
Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina and Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez both play for the Colombian national side and are related by virtue of the Madrid man being married to his international teammate’s sister, Daniela Ospina.
Apparently, David is to blame for this, as he is the one who introduced James to his younger sibling in 2008. The pair started dating soon after and got married two years later.
Daniela is also involved in sports and plays for Real Madrid’s volleyball team. The couple also have a daughter named Salome who was born in 2013.
David is married to Colombian model Jesica Sterling, with whom he has a son and daughter Maximiliano and Dulce Maria.
16. Alex Iwobi and Jay Jay Okocha
Arsenal youngster Alex Iwobi seems destined for greatness and if he can replicate the form of his compatriot Jay Jay Okocha, then the Gunners will have a world beater on their hands.
As it happens, Iwobi is Okocha’s nephew as well. The 20-year-old was born in Lagos Nigeria, but has been living in England since the age of four,and represented the country at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level before opting to play for Nigeria.
Okocha, now 43 and retired, is hailed as one of the best players to ever spring from Nigeria. During a career spanning from 1990 to 2008, the flashy attacker played for clubs such as Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City.
15. Patrick Vvn Aanholt and Leroy Fer
These two Premier League players are cousins, who also represent their home country, Netherlands, on the international stage.
Patrick van Aanholt, a former PSV Eindhoven and Chelsea youngster, is one of the better players on a struggling Sunderland side, while Leroy Fer plays for Swansea.
Van Aanholt is usually deployed as a left-back and has been with the Black Cats since the 2014/15 season. He spent seven years at Stamford Bridge before that, with the first two as part of the club’s youth academy.
Fer, meanwhile, joined the Swans on loan from Queens Park Rangers in February of this year and made the move permanent in July. He started the season in great form, scoring four goals in his first eight games for the Welsh side and is one of their best players at the moment.
14. Luka Modric and Mark Viduka
Former Australian forward Mark Viduka is cousin to current Real Madrid superstar midfielder Luka Modric.
Modric, a Croatia international, has been at Real Madrid for the past four years and has won two Champions League trophies with the La Liga giants. The 31-year-old recently agreed a new contract with the club, signing an extension which should take him up until 2020.
Viduka, now 41, represented Australia and made 43 appearances for the country during his career, also appearing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup as his nation’s captain. He played for the likes of Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United. Modric’s cousin scored four Champions League goals whilst playing and is the only Australian to have scored so many in the tournament.
13. Lomana/Kazenga LuaLua and Yannick Bolasie
Everton’s new winger Yannick Bolasie is cousin to brothers Lomana and Kazenga LuaLua.
Bolasie signed for the Toffees this summer for a fee of £25 million after impressing for Crystal Palace with his electric pace and attacking flair. He plays for Congo internationally, but had the option to make himself available for both England and France.
Kazenga, 25, was born in Zaire and is now playing as a winger for Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, having spent six years on Newcastle’s books. His brother Lomana, who is 10 years his senior, still plays today. The striker has played for several clubs over his career, including Colchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Olympiacos.
12. Lomana/Kazenga LuaLua and Tresor Kandol
The LuaLua brothers are also related to Crawley Wanderers striker Tresor Kandol. The 35-year-old Kandol previously played for Bournemouth, Leeds United, Milwall, Charlton and Luton Town among other clubs, and is known to celebrate his goals with extravagant somersaults, much like his cousins.
He played just one game for Congo whilst attached to Leeds.
Incidentally, The LuaLua brothers are related to yet another player in Reading striker Yann Kermorgant, who is a brother in-law. The 34-year-old Frenchman has played for Stade Reims, Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, and Bournemouth, and is married to their sister.
He isn’t what one would describe as a prolific forward, but his numbers show that he was quite the dependable scorer, especially in his younger days. France didn’t see it that way, however, as he has no international appearances to his name.
11. Eniola and Sone Aluko
Chelsea ladies forward Eniola Aluko happens to be the only female on this list and is sister to Sone Aluko.
Sone, 27, plays as a striker for Fulham, but can also operate on the wing. He was born in England to Nigerian parents and represented the Three Lions at all youth levels before deciding to play for Nigeria instead.
Eniola is two years older than her brother, but, unlike him, opted to play for England. She started out at Birmingham, before moving to Charlton Atheltic. Now an absolute star for the Blues ladies, Eniola also practised as a sports and show business lawyer, brokering commercial deals for big names such as David Beckham and Eden Hazard.
10. Marcos Senna and Marcos Assuncao
Marcos Senna and Marcos Assuncao were both born in Brazil and are both now retired. They played as midfielders for several clubs over their careers and are cousins.
Senna started out playing in his homeland with Rio Branco Esporte Clube and played with a few other clubs before moving to Spain to join Villareal in 2002. He almost moved to Manchester United four years later, but the Red Devils prioritized getting Owen Hargreaves and when they lost out and returned for Senna, he decided to stay put.
He was a part of the Spanish national set-up at one point and played with them for four years, winning Euro 2008 in the process, he also won the Don Balon Award (Spanish Player of the Year) in 2008.
Assuncao, while not as popular, is a Serie A winner with AS Roma, a club which he played for between 1999 and 2002. He also spent five years with Real Betis and has a Copa del Rey medal to show for his troubles.
9. Lionel Messi and Emanuel/Maxi Biancucchi
With such skill, you’d think that the best player in the world would have drained his family of all sporting ability. Yet there was still a bit of talent left for his cousins Emanuel and Maxi Biancucchi to dip into.
Well, what is there to be said about Messi that hasn’t already been said? But just for clarification, he’s the best player on the planet – although that depends on who you talk to, given he’s playing in the same era as Cristiano Ronaldo. The Argentinean is a five-time Balon d’Or winner and is Barcelona’s highest-ever scorer.
Emanuel, 28, plays for Ceara in Brazil’s second tier and is a midfielder. He has also played in Germany with 1860 Munich. His brother Maxi, a 32-year-old winger, also plays in Brazil’s second tier, and suits up for Bahia.
8. Michy Batshuayi and Aaron Leya Iseka
Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi came to the fore last season for his exploits with Marseille. His remarkable performances in the French Ligue 1 earned him a move to Stamford Bridge and he has gotten even more popular as a player due to his humorous activity on Twitter.
The Belgian striker scored 26 goals for the French side, but has been seldom used by new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. He has, however, scored three goals since joining the club.
His younger brother Aaron Leya Iseka has replaced him at Marseille, having joined on loan from Belgian outfit Anderlecht.
7. Edin Dzeko and Emir Spahic
Bosnia and Herzegovina internationals Edin Dzeko and Emir Spahic are cousins. Dzeko currently plays for Serie A side AS Roma, while Spahic suits up for Hamburger SV in Germany.
Dzeko is now his country’s captain and is regarded as one of the best players to hail from Bosnia, having won the Bosnian Footballer of the Year award for three years running from 2009 to 2012. He is also the country’s highest-ever scorer. The forward spent five years at Manchester City before joining Roma and was a very dependable scorer. He was quite unfortunate to have lived in Sergio Aguero’s shadow during that time.
Spahic captained Bosnia for 10 years, getting the armband in 2004 and handing it over after the 2014 World Cup. The defender is his country’s most capped player with 92 appearances and has represented Sevilla, Montpellier and Bayer Leverkusen in the past.
6. Jermain Defoe and Ryan Edgar
Sunderland hotshot striker Jermain Defoe is cousin to Brentwood Town striker Ryan Edgar. Defoe has made a name for himself, playing with some of the biggest clubs in the Premier League, but Edgar – who plays in midfield – has only represented sides from England’s lower tiers.
Now 34, Defoe is still able to bag goals at a reliable rate. He scored 15 league goals for the Black Cats last season and registered four in his first nine games this present campaign. He has also made 55 appearances for England, with the last coming in 2013. However, he still has ambitions regarding the Three Lions and was disappointed at Roy Hodgson’s Euro 16 snub.
5. Cacau and Vlademir
These two strikers are brothers who were both born in Brazil. Cacau, whose full name is Claudemir Jeronimo Barreto, retired from football in February of 2016.
The 32-year-old former striker had a great career in Germany, mostly with Stuttgart, and would make the German squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup after receiving citizenship from the country in 2009. He is also referred to as ‘Helmut’, a nickname given to him by a teammate, while at Stuttgart, who thought that he should have a German name after being granted citizenship.
His brother, Vlademir Jeronimo Barreto, is two years older and has German citizenship as well, but only made two appearances for Nuremburg, having signed with them in 2003. He never made any international appearances, neither for Germany nor Brazil.
4. Diego Maradona and Sergio Aguero
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is related to Argentina great Diego Maradona. The prolific scorer married the legend’s youngest daughter Giannina Maradona, and in 2009, she gave birth to their son Benjamin in Madrid.
Benjamin was Maradona’s first grandchild, and the former Napoli forward made sure to be present when the boy was born. Aguero also missed training at Atletico Madrid to witness the birth of his son, and the La Liga side punished him with a congratulatory message on their website.
Sergio and Giannina split in 2013, and Maradona was not impressed at all. He even referred to the City man as a ‘wimp’.
3. Nani and Angel Gomes
Valencia and Portugal winger Nani spent eight years as a Manchester United player before departing in 2015 and his much younger cousin Angel Gomes could be the next young sensation at the English club.
Gomes, a 16-year-old attacking midfielder, is touted to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Rashford. He has been hailed by Nani, who fully expects him to do big things at United, as well as Nicky Butt, the head of coaching at the club’s academy.
Nani was a very important player under Sir Alex Ferguson, but lost his place in the side after the Scot retired in 2013. He won four Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy during his time at Old Trafford.
2. Marek Hamsik and Walter Gargano
Uruguayan midfielder Walter Gargano is married to the sister of former teammate Marek Hamsik. The pair played together at Napoli before Gargano left for Monterrey in 2015. The 32-year-old spent a season on loan at Inter and another at Parma, then left Naples for good.
Hamsik, meanwhile, is the current captain at Napoli and has been one of their best players for the last few years. Last season, he recorded the fourth most assists in the Italian top flight with 11, just one shy of leader Paul Pogba. He is also one of the most influential players in the Slovakia squad and is only six caps away from a century for his country.
1. Didier Drogba and Olivier Tebily
Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is the cousin of former Ivory Coast international Olivier Tebily.
Tebily played as a defender and was an Arsenal fan as a child, so we can’t imagine Didier being very fond of him. He played for Sheffield United, Celtic and Birmingham City. He moved to the MLS to join Toronto FC back in 2008, but could only make four appearances as an ankle injury would eventually cause him to retire.
His cousin is still kicking about in the MLS with Montreal Impact, although he was recently fined for refusing to play a match because he did not want to start on the bench. The Ivorian striker won his fourth Premier League title with the Blues in 2015 and is etched in their history as one of the greatest players ever to grace their Stamford Bridge pitch, having won them the Champions League with a late equalizing goal and penalty shootout conversion against Bayern Munich in 2012.
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