Prime News Ghana

Footballers you never knew were related

By Vincent Ashitey
Footballers you never knew were related

Sometimes football families are spread across generations too. Just think of these famous footballing father and son duos; Cesare and Paolo Maldini, Johan and Jordi Cruyff, Carles and Sergio Busquets and, of course, Abedi Pele and his two boys Andre and Jordan Ayew.

The aforementioned names are all famous across the football globe for the successes they enjoyed on the pitch and anyone who knows a thing or two about football is well aware of their family connections.

However, there are loads of other relations playing the game at an elite level, ranging from brothers to cousins to fathers to the slightly more tenuous link of brothers in law.

 

Jay-Jay Okocha & Alex Iwobi (Uncle and nephew)

There was plenty of excitement when young Alex Iwobi burst onto the scene for Arsenal due to his impressive and intelligent displays on the left flank. He has since gone on to become firmly attached to the Arsenal match day squad on a regular basis.

International recognition with Nigeria followed upon which it emerged that he is directly related to one of the Super Eagles finest ever talents; the one and only Jay-Jay Okocha.

Iwobi is Okocha’s nephew. Okocha, whose mercurial talents lit up dreary Bolton for five years, has no doubt passed on some pearls of wisdom (and as importantly, some outrageous skills) to his young family member down the years.

Lomana & Kazenga Lua Lua (Brothers) & Yannick Bolasie (Cousin)

Only 11 footballers hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo have played in the Premier League and three of them are related, the Lua Lua brothers and Everton’s chief trickster Yannick Bolasie.

Lomana enjoyed a few productive years in the top-flight while playing for Portsmouth after starting out at Newcastle alongside his younger brother Kazenga, who can now be seen terrorizing defences in the Championship on loan at QPR.

Bolasie, meanwhile, established himself as one of the Premier League’s most dangerous wide midfielder’s and earned a big-money £25m move to Goodison Park from Crystal Palace in 2016. After a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury, he was sent out on loan to Championship side Aston Villa to help their push towards the Premier League summit. He is currently on loan at Anderlecht.

Emir Spahic & Edin Dzeko (Cousins)

How about this for some football trivia. Bosnia & Herzegovina’s all-time appearance maker and top goalscorer happen to be cousins!

The no-nonsense defender Emir Spahic has accumulated 93 caps since making his debut for his country back in 2003, while his younger cousin Edin Dzeko leads the way for goals scored with half a century.

Both players have played an integral role in their country’s impressive rise in recent years, helping them qualify for their first-ever major tournament at the Brazil World Cup in 2014.

Leroy Fer and Patrick Van Aanholt (Cousins)


Both Patrick van Aanholt and Leroy Fer have been capped by the Netherlands at most age groups including the senior team, but their parents actually hail from the tiny island Curacao.

The cousins started their careers at two of Holland’s biggest clubs, Van Aanholt with PSV and Fer at Feyenoord before they found their way over to the Premier League, playing for Crystal Palace and Swansea City respectively.

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Marek Hamsik & Walter Gargano


Walter Gargano and Marek Hamsik spent eight years alongside each other in Napoli’s engine room before the former departed for Monterrey in 2015 and in that time the Uruguayan midfielder met the Slovakian’s playmakers sister, Michaela, who he wed in 2012.

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