Cristiano Ronaldo recently made the news when asked about his eldest son’s prospects of one day becoming a professional footballer. He hilariously complained about the current Juve academy prospect love for sugary drinks and chips, saying
“Sometimes he drinks coke, sodas and eats crisps and he knows it makes me angry. Sometimes I tell my son after a run on the treadmill to dive into the cold water to recover and he says: ‘Dad, it’s so cold there.’ That’s fine, it is normal, he is only 10 years old.” .
If only my father stopped me from eating sweets, I could of been up there with Messi and Ronaldo! It does take a huge amount of dedication and discipline to become a professional footballer I’m sure, regardless of how successful ones father was in the sport. Here is a look at some father son combos who have played the game to varying levels of success.
1. The Schmeichel’s
Both playedwith Manchester City, but neither won the title there. Of course the Schmeicel name is synonymous with Manchester United , and that is due to winning five Premier League titles in his seven year spell in the league. You can also throw in a few Fa Cups, a European Super Cup and Champions League for good measure. Peter also found club European success by winning an Intertoto cup with Aston Villa, as well as numerous domestic accolades with Sporting Lisbon and Brondby. I don’t think I have ever seen any goalkeeping jerseys bought by fans since Schmeicel retired.
His son Kasper started his career off with Man City before establishing himself at Leicester and going onto win not just the Championship in 2014 but also the Premier League with the Foxes in 2016. In between Man City and Lecister, Schmeichal JR linked up with Sven Goran Erikkson at Notts County and won a league two championship!
Both players have represented there home nation Denmark numerous times. Since his first cap Kasper stood between the sticks a total of 60 times, while his father Peter 129 times. Peter even more impressively won the European Championship in 1992 with the Danes and also has one international goal to his name, scored against Belgium in 2000.
2. The Maldini’s
This is a dynasty that is currently spanning three generations. The first beginning with Cesare, who joined AC Milan in 1954. He went onto establish himself as a legend, winning four league title and a European Cup in 1963. He also became the manager of AC Milan and guided them to more European success in the 70’s. However perhaps his greatest gift to to the Rossoneri and Italian football in general was his son, Paolo.
Paolo Maldini spent all of his playing career, which spanned 25 Seasons with, AC Milan He retired in 2009 at the age of 41 with a a total of 25 trophies with the club. These included an incredible five the European Cup/UEFA Champions League , seven Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana titles, five European/UEFA Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. He ended up turning down the call up for the 2006 World Cup and missed his opportunity to add the worlds most prestigious prize to his name.
Daniel and Christian Maldini are both Paolos sons and both professional footballers. While Christian never made his with AC Milan, hopes are high for Daniel who has donned the famous red and black kit numerous times.
3. The Kluivert’s
Justin and Patrick Kluivert are the tenth father/son combo in the history of the Netherlands national team, both accomplished that at the age of 18. However Justin has a long way to go to if he wants to be mentioned as the same breathe as his father.
Patrick Kluivert at the mere age of twenty was crucial to Ajax’s 1995 success in the Champions League. Justin was on the cusp of European success with Ajax, only to lose in the final of the Europa League to Manchester United. Both players played in Italy, but neither found much success there. Patrick left AC Milan after just a season to join Barcelona and link up with his old Ajax manager, Louis Van Gaal. While Justin, following a chat with club legend Francesco Totti, joined Roma but is now currently on loan with RB Leipzig of Germany.
At the age of 21 Justin has it all ahead of him and hopefully just like his father, that includes a stay at St. James Park with Newcastle!.
4. The Blind’s
Daley Blind began his career in the youth academy of his hometown club, Ajax, the same club where his father Danny made his name as a professional. All though initially not enjoying the greatest of introductions into the first team, regularly being booed by his own fans, Daley managed to play himself to being a regular starter. He went onto claim four Dutch titles and was named Dutch footballer of the year in 2014. This earned him a transfer to Manchester United where he enjoyed Europa, Fa and League cup success. Eventually Daley found his way back to Ajax adding another domestic league title along with a KNVB Cup to his trophy cabinet.
He father Danny on the other hand has won all UEFA club competitions along with five domestic league titles with Ajax. A mainstay in a powerful Ajax side up until his retirement in 1999. He went onto manage Ajax and capture a KNVB Cup, a trophy he claimed four times as a player. Impressively Danny went onto manage the national team and which included his son Daley, before being let go for failure to qualify for the Euros 2016 and World Cup 2018.
5. The Haaland’s
Erling Braut Haaland is one of the most coveted names in world football. At the age of 20 Haaland’s goal scoring record is frightening and a move away from Dortmund to one of the traditionally bigger European clubs is no doubt on the horizon. While much of his story is still to be told, his father Alf-Inge Håland enjoyed a lengthy career in England. Most people may remember him from his infamous spat with Manchester United player Roy Keane, Haaland played with Notts Forest, Leeds and Man City in England. All though short on titles he did enjoy time as part of the Leeds squad who reached the UEFA Cup semi finals during the 1999–2000 season . Haaland did get to enjoy the 1994 world cup with his native Norway and went onto win 34 caps with the side. His son currently sits on seven appearances for the national side opting to play for Norway instead of his country of birth England.
6. The Wright’s
Ian Wright and his son Shaun Wright-Phillips became the first father and son combo to win the Premier League. Ian had a sensational career most notable with Arsenal where they won the double in 1998. His son Shaun was signed by Arsenals London rivals Chelsea, and was part of the Jose Mourinho side that won the league in 2006. Both have been capped by England with Shaun surpassing his father by three appearances for the three lions with a total of 36 games.
Ian’s son and Shaun’s brother Bradley has carved out a successful career in the MLS where he is a two-time Golden Boot winner. He has also won the Supporters Shield three times and currently maintains the highest goal scorer ever for the New York Red Bulls. The Wright family continues to produce quality footballers as Shaun’s son D’Margio Wright-Phillips is currently on the books at Man City.
7. The Cruyff’s
More dutch names to add to the list, and arguably one of the greatest footballers who ever lived. Of course we are talking about Johan , a man who influence still reverberates around contemporary football. Starting off with Ajax in 1964 Cruyff won a staggering six domestic league titles before venturing to Barcelona. Cruyff captured the hearts the Nou Camp fans when he helped Barça to their first La Liga title in 14 years.
He eventually returned to Ajax and won another two Dutch leagues, before trying his hand at management. Cruyff’s system has been credited as the reason for Ajax’s 1995 European Cup Triumph and practically every Barcelona win since he took over the club in the late eighties has been attributed to his philosophy. The former Amsterdam Arena is now named Johan Cruijff ArenA in his honour.
With his father creating such a legacy Jordi had big shows to fill. While certainly his career may not be as glittering that of the legendary Johan, Jordi did win a Supercopa de España with Barcelona and a Premier League title with Manchester United.