20 Soccer Players Who Were Much Better Than Their Siblings

Soccer, much like many other sports has been known to be something that can be passed down through generations, Shaun Wright-Phillips and his father Ian Wright and Peter Schmicheal and his son Kasper have proven this over the years. Father and son partnerships are not the only connections in football since there are also a number of siblings who have been able to share a pitch over the years as well and prove that the beautiful game really is in their blood.

Even though pairs of siblings have been part of the game since it was first invented more than a century ago, fans will always debate who they think the best brother is and as harsh as it sounds there will always be one sibling that is living in the other's shadow.

Football can be a cruel game, regardless of how well some of these footballers could play, they would always be compared to their sibling and sometimes there was never any contest. It sounds harsh but football is a competition and every football out there is competing to be the best even if it means competing against their own family.

The following list looks at 20 soccer players who were always much better than their siblings, the ones that forced even the most talented footballers in the world to remain in their shadow. It isn't easy to step into the competitive world of football, knowing that you may be competing against your own flesh and blood at some point, but many of these stars took that in their stride and ensured that when it came to their family, they always had the bragging rights.

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20 Gary Neville - Phil

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Gary Neville will always be seen as the most successful Neville brother following his lengthy stint at Manchester United under Alex Ferguson.

Even though Phil was also part of that 1992 Class, he was unable to pick up the pace like his brother and was instead forced to live in his shadow throughout his career.

Both brothers' playing days are now far behind them and Gary has been able to move into a career as a pundit where he can share his impressive knowledge of the game, whilst his brother currently works as the head coach for the England women's team.

19 Yaya Toure - Kolo

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Yaya and Kolo Toure are one of only a few sets of brothers who have been able to play on the same team in their careers and during their time at Man City, it was Yaya who truly stood out and it was his goal in the 2011 FA Cup final that won the trophy for Manchester City.

Both brothers have a lot of footballing talent since Kolo has played for the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and the current Premier League Champions in his career, but Yaya has had numerous stints as Captain and really shone in the midfield role.

18 Shola Ameobi - Sammy

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Shola Ameobi is a Newcastle United great, he's made more than 300 appearances for the club throughout his lengthy spell and now his little brother Sammy is hoping to follow in his footsteps.

Even though Shola's lengthy career has been an interesting one, it seemingly came to an end after his release from Notts County a few months ago.

It could now be argued that Sammy has enough time left in his career right now to step up his game and bypass his brother, who spent more than 14 years at Newcastle, a team that Sammy left last year.

17 Bobby Charlton - Jack

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Bobby Charlton is still considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time and has become a cult legend to Manchester United fans over the years, a World Cup winner and recipient of the Ballon d'Or, Charlton cast a large shadow, just ask his brother Jack.

Bobby's older brother Jack was also on the pitch when England won their first and only World Cup back in 1966, but because Jack was a defender and spent most of his playing career at Leeds United, he was unable to reach the levels of success that his younger brother Bobby managed.

16 Didier Drogba - Joel

Didier Drogba is best known for his medal-winning haul at Chelsea at the same time that he was able to put Ivory Coast on the map, but whilst Didier has never struggled to rise to the top in the football world, his younger brother Joel was unable to compete with the legacy he left behind.

Joel has a number of random trials with football clubs in his early career, but none of these teams offered him a contract until he signed for Metalurg Donetsk in 2007.

He was released from the club the following year and now hasn't played football for more than a decade.

15 Vincent Kompany - Francois

Vincent Kompany is one of the best defenders in the world right now and he continues to prove this on a regular basis whilst playing for Manchester City, who recently lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Whilst Vincent has been busy lifting trophy's in Manchester, his brother Francois has been released from Macclesfield Town without ever making an appearance. Kompany is currently being featured as part of the Belgian national team at the World Cup, whilst his brother has been playing for  KSV Roeselare in the lower leagues of Belgian football ever since 2015.

14 Xabi Alonso - Mikel

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Xabi Alonso rose to fame during his time at Liverpool, where he remained for more than five years before it was reported that every top club in Europe was hoping to land his signature and Real Madrid were the ones who finally forced the midfielder to budge. He then spent a further five years at the Spanish giants before joining Bayern Munich in 2014 and opting to retire from the game in 2017.

Xabi's older brother Mikel's career is dwarfed in comparison since he has spent most of his life playing for much smaller teams and has managed to keep his name out of the headlines.

13 Samuel Eto'o - David

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Samuel Eto'o is a name that many football fans remember from his back to back treble wins at Barcelona, not to mention his 118 caps for Cameroon, which could be why Real Mallorca decided to take a chance on his younger brother David back in 2003 a chance that didn't work out.

Of course, David was always going to have to live in his older brother's shadow despite spells at 16 different clubs all over the world.

David hasn't been able to live up to the hype that surrounds his last name and the legacy that his older brother left behind.

12 Romelu Lukaku - Jordan

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Romelu Lukaku stole some of the headlines alongside the Belgium national team at the 2018 World Cup this summer, but his brother Jordan failed to make it to the World Cup finals after he was cut from the squad by Martinez.

While Romelu has been making waves at Manchester United over the past few years, his younger brother Jordan has been playing for the Serie A club Lazio. Jordan has been able to live life under the radar in his brother's shadow throughout his career, but 23 years old, he definitely has a bright future ahead of him.

11 Eden Hazard - Thorgan

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Eden Hazard is widely considered to be one of the most creative footballers of the current generation and throughout his past few years at Chelsea, he has been able to use these skills to flourish.

His younger brother Thorgan was at Chelsea alongside him back in 2012, but after making just one appearance in three years, he was sold to Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2015.  Whilst Thorgan was named in the preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup finals, he was one of the names who was left out of Roberto Martinez's final team but his brother made the cut.

10 Luis Suarez - Paolo

Trouble seems to follow Luis Suarez around after the striker's controversial biting record, but there's no denying that when he's in form he is someone who can not be stopped. He proved this throughout his time at Liverpool and with 110 goals in 130 appearances for Barcelona, it's easy to see why he's considered to be one of the best strikers in the world.

Luis' older brother Paolo doesn't like the spotlight as much and has seemingly been happy to keep his head down and play for much smaller clubs.

Paolo has not been achieving anything of note that he could hold against his brother's impressive career.

9 Jerome Boateng - Kevin Prince

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Kevin Prince Boateng and his half-brother Jerome has shown over the years that football may be the only thing that they have in common. Whilst Kevin has opted to be quite flamboyant both on and off the pitch, his brother Jerome has pushed for his career and has been able to remain a solid part of the German national team as well as Bayern Munich.

Despite getting his start in the German youth team, Prince hasn't faired as well and was recently reported to have moved to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt after opting to cancel his contract with Las Palmas last summer.

8 Rio Ferdinand - Anton

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Rio Ferdinand flourished under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United throughout his career and became one of the most decorated defenders in the game at that time, something that he proved when he earned 81 caps for the England national team before he decided to retire back in 2015.

His younger brother Anton followed in his footsteps when he started out at West Ham, but it's obvious that he lacks his older brother's ability in defense and hasn't quite been able to lift himself to the heights of his brother just yet. Anton is currently plying his trade at Southend United.

7 Paul Pogba - Florentin

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Paul Pogba became one of the most expensive and best-known footballers in the world when he moved from Manchester United to Juventus for €105 million but then decided to return back in 2016. Pogba was also an integral part of the French national team throughout the 2018 World Cup.

His older brother Florentin plays as a defender and he has struggled to find his feet in the football world over the years, currently plying his trade at Turkish side Gençlerbirliği S.K.

Paul also has another brother called Mathias who has also struggled to find his identity in the football world over the years.

6 Christian Benteke - Jonathan

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Christian Benteke has become a household name over the past few years following stints at Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Crystal Palace and has a number of an impressive showing for the Belgian national team, despite being left out of the squad for the 2018 World Cup finals.

His younger brother Jonathan can only dream of being included in the national squad after an injury potentially ruined his career. Benteke was signed to Crystal Palace alongside his brother back in 2016 but after making one appearance in the Premier League he suffered a knee injury and was later released by the club.

5 Toni Kroos - Felix


Toni Kroos has won league and Champions League titles with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid well as helping Germany to win the World Cup back in 2014, which obviously left his younger brother Felix with quite an act to follow, something he has been unable to do.

Felix has spent most of his career at lower league clubs and only managed to climb out of the basement in 2010 when he signed for Werder Bremen, but followed this up by moving down to Union Berlin in 2016. Toni currently plies his trade in Spain, whilst Felix remains in the second tier of German football.

4 Sami Khedira - Rani

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Success seems to follow Sami Khedira, who won Bundesliga back in 2007 with VfB Stuttgart, before moving to Real Madrid and winning seven domestic and international trophies. He has since won the Serie A title and Coppa Italia with Juventus, not to mention the fact that he won the 2014 World Cup with Germany.

His younger brother Rani doesn't have the same kind of resume even though he also started his career at Stuttgart, before moving to RB Leipzig.

The midfielder currently plays for FC Augsburg but despite being with the club for more than a year, he is yet to feature in an official game.

3 John Terry - Paul

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Former England and Chelsea captain John Terry was once considered to be one of the best defenders in the world before he was stripped of the captaincy of the national team when he became part of a front-page scandal relating to his personal life.

His older brother Paul has also been part of his own fair share of scandals but was unable to reach the heights that John managed in his football career. Paul was reduced to the lower leagues in England with stints at Leyton Orient, Rushden & Diamonds, and Darlington before he hung up his boots in 2012.

2 Wesley Sneijder - Rodney

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Wesley Sneijder is perhaps best known for his stint with Real Madrid as well as his prowess that helped Inter Milan to win the treble, not to mention his 100 plus caps for The Dutch national team, but shockingly it was Wesley that could have actually stopped his brother Rodney from being able to achieve greatness.

Rodney was signed to Ajax back in 2008 when he was approached by Real Madrid but it was Wesley who ended these discussions and told his brother that he must make a breakthrough at Ajax first, Rodney is now atDHSC in the sixth tier of Dutch football.

1 Bastian Schweinsteiger - Tobias

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Bastian Schweinsteiger is a legend at Bayern Munich and as part of German national team which could be why Manchester United chased his signature back in 2015, a team that his older brother Tobias has always been a huge fan of, but was unable to ever come close to playing for them.

Unlike his brother Bastian, Tobias' career was reduced to lower league clubs and when he finally did make it to Bayern Munich he was only ever used in the reserves.

He decided to hang up his boots back in 2015, without ever being able to match his brother's success.

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