Famous football brothers
Playing a game, or being able to do whatever you are passionate about in your life is truly a blessing. But sharing that passion with a member of your family, especially your siblings is even more of a blessing. Follow us below as we name our choices for the best football brothers of all time.
Over the years, we've seen a lot of football players come and go, with a lot of great legends realizing their full potential and demonstrating that they are truly unique both in their family and in the entire globe. However, there have been some exceptions to this rule, as we have seen several football players who weren't the only gifted athlete in their family. Of course, this is something that has happened many times, with players likeKasper Schmeichel
and Paulo Maldini carrying on their fathers' footballing DNA.
Although such occurrences do happen frequently in football and rising stars follow in their parents' footsteps to become the greatest players in the sport's history, there are other situations where more than one child inherits their father's footballing genes, and that is when iconic and occasionally
famous football brothers
Read on as we list our picks for the greatest brothers in the history of football if you're wondering which players are brothers and why they don't form a legendary combination at the same team. The brothers named stand out among the numerous other siblings who have also had a strong interest in playing football.
Famous brothers in football history
We might have had many
famous football brothers
throughout history, but these truly stand out amongst numerous siblings who shared the passion of playing the most beautiful game we all love and adore. Follow us below as we introduce to you the best football brothers of all time and also take a look at each brother’s career and success.
Toni and Felix Kroos
The Kroos brothers are currently two of the most
famous football brothers
in the world, as they each play in the best of their forms at their respective teams. While it may rightly seem as if Toni Kroos has managed to reach more success counting all the trophies and honors he has won at one of the most decorated clubs in the world, Felix Kroos has had his moments here and there as well. Let us see how two the greatest brothers in the history of football managed reach where they are now.
Toni Kroos, a German footballer born on 4 January 1990 in East Germany, is the older brother of Felix Kroos and currently plays for 14-time Champions League winnersReal Madrid
, who signed the midfield maestro from Bayern Munich in 2014. The 33-year-old started his professional career at Bayern Munich’s reserves side, having risen up the ranks at Hansa Rostock and the Bavarians’ youth academies.
As a youngster, he made his professional debut Bundesliga forBayern Munich
on 26 September 2007 and managed to impress everyone with his phenomenal performance, while also becoming the then youngest footballer to ever player for Bayern at the age of 17 years and 265 days old. Toni went on to hone his skills further and represent his country in the 2014 World Cup, where he was the only player in Germany’s squad to be born in East Germany.
The midfielder managed to help his national team win the prestigious World Cup and went on to conquer Europe with Real Madrid, winning an unbelievable number of trophies with Los Blancos. Overall, throughout his career, Kroos has won 5 Champions League trophies, 3 La Liga titles, 3 Supercopas de Espanam, 3 Bundesliga titles, 3 German Cups, 5 FIFA Club World Cups, 4 UEFA Supercups, a German Supercup and of course the most important of all, a World Cup.
Of course he is only one part of the iconic duo as one of the most
famous brothers in football history
, and the Kroos family has got a lot more to be proud of, as their younger son has also achieved success in his own career.
31-year-old Felix Kroos is the younger brother of Toni Kroos, who was born on 12 March 1991. Many might ask the question, who is Felix Kroos? Well, the German former footballer, who was a central midfielder just like his brother, might not have achieved the same success and greatness in his career as his older sibling who literally conquered the world of football both with the German national team and Real Madrid, but he is considered to be a talented footballer nevertheless.
Just like Toni, Felix Kroos rose up the ranks at Hansa Rostock’s youth side, the only time when the two now famous football brothers played football shoulder to shoulder in the same team. While the Kroos brothers grew up in the same house and developed through their youth years at the same club, everything changed when Toni moved to Bayern Munich and Felix continued playing for Hansa Rostock without his brother.
Having joined his club’s senior side in 2009, he quickly signed forWerder Bremen
in 2010 and spent six years at the German club before being loaned out and later sold to Union Berlin. Unlike his older sibling, Felix has never left Germany. An interesting fact about the two famous brothers in football history is that their father, Roland Kroos, is a football coach.
Frank and Ronald de Boer
Long before Toni and Felix Kroos were even considered to be footballers, let alone famous football brothers, Frank and Ronald de Boer were on top of their games, playing for some of the greatest football clubs of all time. The two brothers were some of the finest footballers that we could ask for from the Netherlands. There is also a significant difference between the Frank & Ronald pair, and the Toni & Felix duo, which is the fact that the Dutch former footballers are twins, while the Kroos brothers were born in different years.
The de Boer brothers managed to achieve memorable success throughout their respective careers, with both playing for some of the best teams in the world, which rightly justifies why we have included them on our list of
best football brothers of all time
. Let’s have a look and see how the two managed to become two of the greatest footballers of all time.
Frank de Boer
Frank de Boer, for those who were not fortunate enough to watch his performances, is a Dutch former footballer, who played as a defender for more than fifteen years before hanging up his boots in the 2005-06 season at Al-Shamal. He was most recently the head coach of the Netherlands national team. While the center-back is considered a national treasure by many in the Netherlands, he also has thousands and even millions of admirers across the globe, as he was once at the pinnacle of football during his time at Ajax and Barcelona.
Frank, along with his twin brother Ronald, were both discovered and signed by Ajax’s youth side, and both started their journey towards greatness in the world of football at Ajax. Frank chose to be a left-back early on in his career at the Dutch club, but later switched to center-back and reveled in his new position as he went on to become one of the greatest center-backs of his generation. Just as one might expect from and hope for famous football brothers to go through, Frank played alongside his brother at Ajax for several years.
The now 52-year-old center-back was not only an adept defender with quite an impressive tactical awareness, but also quite a lethal goalscorer, as he went on to score 46 goals and even provide 17 assists in 433 appearances forAjax
. With his immense versatility and ability to play in a number of roles, Frank then moved to Barcelona and created a solid wall at the back for the Blaugrana.
Of course his career in Spain could never reach his legendary career in the Netherlands, as he only won a single La Liga title at Barcelona, while winning 5 Eredivisie titles, 3 KNVB Cups, 3 Dutch Super Cups, the UEFA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Supercup and the Champions League with Ajax. Frank and his brother two of the
greatest brothers in the history of football
, but are also recognized as two successful and iconic individuals in the football halls of fame.
Ronald de Boer
Obviously as the title “famous football brothers” suggests, Ronald de Boer is the twin brother of Frank de Boer, with whom not only he shared a womb and a house, but also a football club, as they both played some of their best football together at Ajax. Despite all their similarities and the fact that they are literally twins, the two Dutchmen had different play styles during their playing days. While Frank chose to be a left-back and later a center-back, Ronald was comfortable playing further in front as an attacking midfielder or even a forward if the need arose.
Ronald de Boer started his career at Ajax, having gained prominence through the Dutch club’s youth teams. Unlike his brother, there was a period of pause in the attacking midfielder’s career at Ajax, as he moved toFC Twente
only after three years at his parent club. Of course he later returned home in 1993, when Ajax paid €1.4 million to acquire back his services.
Ronald went on to stay at the Eredivisie side for six more years, making a total of 304 appearances, scoring 61 goals and providing 39 assists in the process, before moving to Barcelona for €7.5 million in 1999. Overall, Ronald won almost as many trophies and titles as his twin brother, with Frank de Boer holding the advantage by one UEFA Cup, which he won with Ajax during Ronald’s spell at FC Twente.
Thiago and Rafinha Alcantara
Next on our list of famous football brothers are Thiago and Rafinha Alcantara, who currently play for two of the best clubs in the world. Unlike the de Boer brothers, Thiago and Rafinha are not twins and were born two years apart. The two have certainly gotten their footballing genes from their father Mazinho, a football manager and former professional player, who used to play for clubs such as Elche, Celta Vigo andValencia
, and evenFiorentina
The Alcantara family are quite the cosmopolitans as Thiago was born in Italy, while Rafinha was born in Brazil, with both eligible to play for Spain and Brazil national teams. Interestingly, while both had the same passion in football, they did not share the same passion when it came to international football, as Thiago chose to appear for Spain, while his younger brother opted for Brazil in the end, despite appearing for Spain at youth levels. How exactly did the two become famous football brothers?
Thiago Alcantara do Nascimento, shortly known as Thiago, might not need any introduction to football lovers, as he has proven to be an integral part of his clubs’ success in recent years, with his managers happy and quite content with the central midfielder. Thiago was born on 11 April 1991, and will be turning 32 years old this April in 2023. As a La Masia product, the footballer rose up the ranks at Barcelona’s youth academy and was finally called up to the club’s senior side in 2011.
The versatile midfielder managed make an impressive 100 appearances for the Blaugrana, scoring 11 goals and providing 20 assists in the process. But his time with the Spanish giants was cut short when he moved to Bayern Munich for €25 million back in 2013, where his career as a world-class midfielder truly took off as he went on to make a total of 235 appearances for the Bavarians, scoring 31 goals and providing 37 assists as well.
in September 2020, Thiago Alcantara has made quite a trophy cabinet for himself, having won 4 La Liga titles, 7 Bundesliga titles, 2 Copas del Rey, 2 Spanish Super Cups, 4 DFB-Pokal trophies 2 Champions League titles and many more world-class and prestigious honors and trophies throughout his illustrious career so far.
Rafael Alcantara do Nascimento, shortly known as Rafinha, is the other half of the “famous football brothers” duo. He currently plays for Al-Arabi, mostly as a central or even attacking midfielder. Just like the de Boer brothers, Rafinha and Thiago grew up together playing for the same club, as both are La Masia academy products who later went on to play forBarcelona
’s senior side.
While Thiago managed to get out of the now crumbling club early in his career, Rafinha stayed with the Blaugrana only to later become an outcast, moving out on loan to Inter and Celta de Vigo. He finally joined PSG in October 2020.
Rafinha signed a two-year contract and joined Al-Arabi on September 3, 2022.
Eden, Thorgan and Kylian Hazard
We cannot talk about famous football brothers and not mention Eden, Thorgan and Kylian Hazard, who have made quite a name for themselves at their respective clubs. While Eden has been struggling to find his form and escape constant injuries at Real Madrid since 2019, he is still considered to be one of the best wingers of his generation. Thorgan plays as an attacking midfielder and winger for Eindhoven on loan from Borussia Dortmund.
The two also have a younger brother named Kylian, whom some don’t know about, as he has not yet made a name for himself on a global scale like his older brothers. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder for RWDM and we are going analyze their performances individually.
Eden Hazard, the oldest of the famous football brothers, started his professional career atLOSC Lille
, rising up from the club’s youth side. He then made his big break and joined Chelsea for €35 million back in 2012, where he went on to become an absolute legend of a player. He helped the Blues win several titles, including 2 Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the English League Cup and 2 Europa League trophies, which helped him mark his name amongst the greatestChelsea
The versatile winger made a total of 352 appearances for the Premier League side, scoring an impressive 110 goals and providing 92 assists in the process, which only made Real Madrid crave the Belgian even more, as the finally signed him for a whopping €115 million in 2019. Unfortunately for the club, the player himself and his supporters, Eden hasn’t even gotten close to the level he was at back at Chelsea, with one major reason being his constant injuries. His transfer market value has also seen a significant dip, dropping from €150 million to €7.5 million.
29-year-old Thorgan Hazard might not have made a big-money move to Real Madrid, or appeared on the main cover of FIFA 20, but he has still managed to make a couple recognizable and even big-money moves throughout his career, having played for some of the best clubs in the World. He too has played for Chelsea, but was brought up in the world of football byRC Lens
instead of Lille. Overall, he has made more than 412 appearances across all competitions, scoring an impressive 86 goals and providing an even more remarkable 95 assists at club level.
The only department where Thorgan is well behind his older brother, is in the trophies department, as while Eden has got quite a full trophy cabinet for himself, Thorgan won DFB-Pokal in 2020-21 season with Borussia Dortmund, he was also named Belgium Footballer of the Year and Belgian Golden Shoe in 2013.
While the other footballer siblings mentioned on this list are only two brothers and even twins, Hazards have one more member in their group, which is Kylian Hazard, the youngest of the three Belgian brothers. While Kylian was part of LOSC Lille’s U19 squad just like Eden, he moved to White Star Brussel after a couple of seasons training with the French club’s youth sides. He then made a couple of free transfer along the way, before finally joining Chelsea’s U23 side, where he realized that it was time to settle down and make a name for himself at a club.
He joined Cercle Brugge from Chelsea in 2019, and managed to make a total of 68 appearances, scoring 6 goals and 7 assists. Cercle Brugge terminated his contract and he signed a new two-year contract with RWDM in 2022. He is 27 years old and it might be difficult for the winger to reach his older brother Eden’s level, if ever.
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