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It's in the blood - Footballing Fathers and Sons

Tuesday 21st March 2017
Last weekend Justin Kluivert followed in the ever famous footsteps of his father Patrick and scored his first goal for Ajax at just 17 years of age. All be it not quite the feat of scoring in the Champions League final at just 18 but still impressive none the less.

Ajax have high hopes for Kluivert junior and see him as the high potential player his father was back in the mid-90s when he first burst onto the big stage and it seems that so far their belief is justified.

With Justin Kluivert the latest famous footballing offspring to hit the headlines, it seems fitting to take a look at other famous footballing fathers and sons down the years. We've been graced with some famous duos in different generations all be it some turned out to be disappointing hopefuls that did not quite live up to their hype.

The great Danes!

We will start the list with perhaps the most talked about father-son duo over the past few years. Peter and Kasper Schmeichel. Of course, Peter Schmeichel is deemed one of the finest goalkeepers of his generation and won numerous titles with Manchester United. So you can only imagine how much was said when his son Kasper kept goal during Leicester City's miraculous title win last season. The two are the first father-son combination to both win the Premier League and you'd be very shocked if such a record didn't last for a very long time. Arguably the most successful father-son connection in the English game, certainly the Premier League era!

In the footsteps of a true great



In 1994 a young man came through to the Barcelona first team with heaviest of weight on his shoulders, not the only youth player with great expectations in the Barcelona set up of course, however, this young man held the name of one of the most famous to ever kick a ball.

Of course, it's the late Johan Cruyff and his son Jordi. The former needs no introduction, a true genius of the game and will forever be archived as one of the greatest. A large amount of pressure for young Jordi! The Dutchman began at Barcelona and moved to Manchester United in 1996 however his career path somewhat spiralled from there with moves to multiple Spanish clubs before finishing his career in the lower leagues of Holland. The chances of Jordi emulating his father were awfully slim to begin with of course but he will sadly forever be remembered underachieving in his career, all be it part of one of the most famous father-son duos in the game.

The two Franks



The top goal-scorer in the history of Chelsea Football Club is, of course, Frank Lampard. The ever-present midfielder scored 211 goals for the club and is written in their folklore. However some forget that he wasn't the first Frank Lampard to be a success in England, his father, Frank Senior was a stalwart for West Ham from 1967 to 1985. All be it the two were very different footballers with Frank Senior a hard tackling brute of a defender whilst his son spent his time attacking the opposition, they were still very successful in the English game. Both are held in the highest of regard for their two clubs and in the memories of those who are old enough to remember the elder of the two in their playing days.

Ian and the Wright brothers



One of Arsenals most famous strikers has the great privilege of having two sons play professional football, both of which lead very different careers. First, we can take a look at Ian and his goal-scoring feats in the English League. A late comer to the game who is still one of the Gunners top goal-scorers to this very day with 185 goals. His adopted sons Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips both went on to make a career in the game, with the first of the two flirting between Manchester City and Chelsea while the second struggled to forge a successful career in England. The two now ply their trade in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls with Bradley having previously won the golden boot and being regarded one of the most prolific players in the league in recent years.

From great to greater

In the 50s and early 60s, Milan's late great defender Cesare Maldini won multiple Serie A titles and also a European cup. A highly successful player held in high esteem at the San Siro. So it would be incredible to think that his son, Paolo, surpassed the greatness of his father before him and propelled himself to the very top tier of football legends. Paolo lifted 5 European Cups with Milan and 7 League titles to boot. His playing career spanned 3 decades and was ever present for the Rossoneri right through to his retirement in 2009. Incredible to think that just one family name can have such an impact on one of Europe's biggest clubs, and it might not have ended just yet. Paolo has two sons, Christian and Daniel who will be looking to uphold the family traditions through their careers, wherever that may take them.

Of course, there are more father and son combinations throughout the generation that deserve a special mention, Manchester United and Liverpool midfielder Paul Ince has seen his son Tom ply his trade mostly in the championship through most of his career to date. Famous Chelsea and Iceland striker Eidur Gudjohnsen wasn't the first of his clan to play upfront for his country. His father Arnor was a footballer during the 80s. We may well see Zinedine Zidane join the list as his 4 sons are all in the youth system at Real Madrid with high hopes for each. And these are only to name a few!
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.


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