12 footballers playing in Europe following in the footsteps of their famous dad

12 footballers playing in Europe following in the footsteps of their famous dad

All over the world, there are millions of young children who want to follow in their parents’ footsteps when they grow up, and it seems in football there is no difference.

Some players, such as Kasper Schmeichel or Daley Blind, have done well to manage the pressure their family name brings, as the former helped his Leicester City side win the Premier League in 2016.

As a youngster, the Danish goalkeeper was videoed playing football in the halls of Old Trafford with another famous son, Tom Ince, who has also gone on to play in the Premier League.

But across Europe, there is a new batch of players, fathered by some of football’s greatest, who are trying to make their name in the sport while juggling the pressure of their father’s success.

While some are performing better than others, all still have a long way to go in their careers.

Here are 12 footballers currently playing in Europe, looking to follow in the footsteps of their fathers.

Justin Kluivert 

Age: 19

Club: AS Roma

Father: Patrick Kluivert

One of Roma’s most exciting young players, Justin Kluivert has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of his father Patrick, despite being just 19.

Having made his first-team debut in 2017, the Dutchman played 56 times for Ajax in all competitions, scoring 13 goals.

The 19-year-old’s form earned him a place in the Netherlands squad for their friendlies against England and Portugal, with father Patrick admitting he might cry should a debut come – lo and behold, Justin made his debut against Portugal making the Kluiverts the first teenager father-son debutants in Netherlands’ history.

Kluivert made a move to Italian giants A.S. Roma during the 2018 summer transfer window for €17.25 million.

A former Ajax and Barcelona striker, Patrick Kluivert is widely regarded as a football icon in the Netherlands and around the world, scoring 199 club career goals, while winning titles in Spain and the Netherlands, including the Champions League with Ajax in 1995.

Marcus Thuram

Age: 21
Club: Guingamp
Father: Lilian Thuram

Son of Lilian Thuram, Marcus is currently playing in Ligue 1 with Guingamp as a striker.

Joining from Sochaux last summer, the 21-year-old scored three times in the league last season in 32 appearances – 20 of which have been starts.

A French legend, Lilian Thuram retired as the most-capped player in the history of the France national team with 142 appearances between 1994 and 2008, winning the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships.

The defender spent a large part of his club career playing in Italy with Parma – where his son Marcus was born – and then Juventus.

Isaac Drogba

Age: 17
Club: Guingamp
Father: Didier Drogba

Another famous footballer’s son playing for Guingamp, Isaac Drogba joined the French side in February after leaving the Chelsea academy.

Joining the Ligue 1 side’s academy, Isaac is following in the footsteps of father Didier Drogba who played 50 times for Guingamp before moving on to Marseille, and then Chelsea.

Hailed as one of the best strikers of modern football, Drogba won the majority of his trophies over two spells with Chelsea, including four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and also the Champions League – which saw him score a late equaliser and the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the final.

Enzo Fernandez 

Age: 23
Club: Rayo Majadahonda (on loan from FC Lausanne-Sport)
Father: Zinedine Zidane

One of four sons of Zinedine Zidane, all of whom have followed their father into football, Enzo Fernandez is currently trying to make a name for himself away from Real Madrid – where his career started.

Signed by Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport from Alaves in January, Enzo is now on loan at CF Rayo Majadahonda.

The other three of Zidane’s sons – Luca, Theo and Elyaz – are currently playing for Real Madrid at various levels, with Luca bucking the trend and playing in goal.

However good the quartet turn out to be, they will have a hard time living up to the Zidane name, with Zinedine widely regarded as one of the best footballers ever to grace the game.

Timothy Weah 

Age: 18
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Father: George Weah

Having grown up in the United States, Timothy Weah moved to France in 2014 playing for Paris Saint-Germain before signing with the first-team three years later.

Playing mostly for the club’s reserves and youth sides, the 18-year-old striker made his first-team debut in March 2018 coming off the bench in a 2-0 win over Troyes and scored his first goal for the club in the Trophee des champions against Monaco. He also received his first senior call-up to the USMNT in the same month.

Now president of Liberia, George Weah made his name as a centre-forward with PSG, winning all that was on offer domestically, as well as the 1995 Ballon d’Or.

Giovanni Simeone 

Age: 23
Club: Fiorentina
Father: Diego Simeone

A frequent starter for Fiorentina, striker Giovanni Simeone is showing the potential to be a top-flight European striker.

Scoring 14 goals in 40 appearances over the 2017-18 campaign, the 23-year-old had been linked with a move to join Atletico Madrid, where his father Diego Simeone is the manager.

“My son has everything to play under me, but I will never sign him,” Diego said in September 2018.

“Unfortunately, I’m never going to sign him for my team, I never want to totally rule the possibility out on one hand but it would be very difficult to have a son in the locker room.

“It would be difficult for him, for me, for the relationship…and besides, right now he is doing great, maybe one day I’m not at Atletico, maybe he can come.


Ianis Hagi 

Age: 19
Club: FC Viitorul
Father: Gheeorghe Hagi

Joining the likes of Tom and Paul Ince, and Steve and Alex Bruce, Ianis Hagi is currently playing for Romanian side FC Viitorul – managed (and owned) by father Gheorghe Hagi.

Signed in January 2018, 19-year-old Ianis linked up with his dad having failed to make much of an impact in Serie A with Fiorentina, and was named captain on joining the club.

A Romanian legend before going into management, Hagi had spells with both Real Madrid and Barcelona, while winning numerous league titles at Galatasaray and Steaua Bucharest.

On an international level, Hagi won 125 caps for Romania and is the country’s joint-top highest goalscorer with 35 goals (level with Adrian Mutu).

Niall Keown 

Age: 23
Club: Partick Thistle
Father: Martin Keown

Like dad Martin, Niall Keown is a centre-back by trade, though that is where the comparisons end.

Playing in the Scottish Premiership with Partick Thistle, having spent four years with Reading, the defender also chose to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level, however he is yet to make a senior team appearance.

The 23-year-old has started 33 times in the Premiership last season, but will be playing his football in the second tier of the Scottish Football League as Partick were relegated from the Premiership in 2018.

A three-time league and five-time FA Cup winner with Arsenal, Martin Keown was a member of the famous Invincibles side that finished the 2003/04 Premier League unbeaten, while also representing England 43 times.

Devante Cole 

Age: 23
Club: Burton Albion (on loan from Wigan Athletic)
Father: Andy Cole

Once a member of Manchester City’s academy, Devante Cole now finds himself as a striker with League One side Burton Albion, on loan from Wigan Athletic.

Like father Andy Cole, Devante is a centre-forward, scoring 10 league goals for previous Fleetwood, which subsequently earned him his move to Wigan.

One of England’s best strikers, Andy Cole scored 231 club career goals with 119 coming in a seven-year spell with Manchester United.

During that spell, Cole won the Premier League five times, two FA Cups and the Champions League.

Jordan Larsson

Age: 21
Club: IFK Norrkoping
Father: Henrick Larsson

Now playing in Sweden with IFK Norrkoping, striker Jordan Larsson started his career at Helsingborg managed by dad Henrik Larsson.

But the 21-year-old’s life at the club did not go according to plan, as he was attacked by fans in November 2016 following the club’s relegation, moving to the Netherlands with NEC.

Despite having been managed by his dad, Jordan has a long way to go if he wishes to reach the heights of the Swedish legend.

In a 21-year playing career, Henrik Larsson scored 133 goals, winning 15 trophies, including the 2006 Champions League with Barcelona.

Tyrese Campbell 

Age: 18
Club: Stoke City
Father: Kevin Campbell

Making his Premier League debut in February 2018 for Stoke city, Tyrese Campbell will be hoping he can have as good a career as the one his dad, Kevin, enjoyed.

Playing 325 Premier League games for Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, Kevin Campbell scored 82 goals but was not fortunate enough to win the league, leaving Arsenal before Arsene Wenger’s revolution began.

Federico Chiesa

Age: 20
Club: Fiorentina
Father: Enrico Chisea

Like Simeone, Federico Chiesa is following in his father’s footsteps at Fiorentina.

Son of Italian great Enrico, the 20-year-old has impressed with the Viola last season scoring six in 38 appearances in 2017-18.

Breaking through from the Fiorentina academy, Chiesa is highly thought of in Italy and was given his debut for the national team in a friendly against Argentina earlier this year.

Enrico, considered one of the most exciting and dynamic strikers in Italy during the mid-’90s, spent three years himself at Fiorentina between 1999 and 2002, winning the Coppa Italia.