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 (Patrick Kluivert) – Ajax
One of Ajax’s most exciting young players, Justin Kluivert has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of his father Patrick, despite being just 18.
Having made his first-team debut last season, the Dutchman has played 55 times for Ajax in all competitions so far, scoring 12 goals.
The 18-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.
Justin and Patrick Kluivert are the tenth father/son debutants in the history of the Netherlands national team.
Patrick: 18 years and 138 days old.
Justin: 18 years and 325 days old.
The first to do it as teenagers. 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/fbKIg6U5Pc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 26, 2018
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 (Lilian Thuram) – Guingamp
Son of Lilian Thuram, Marcus is currently playing in Ligue 1 with Guingamp as a striker.
Joining from Sochaux last summer, the 20-year-old has scored three time in the league so far this season in 29 appearances – 17 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 (Didier Drogba) – Guingamp
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 (Zinedine Zidane) – FC Lausanne-Sport
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.
Now at Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport, having signed from Alaves in January, Enzo has played 13 times for his new team.
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 (George Weah) – Paris Saint-Germain
19': Timothy Weah ⚽️
53': Timothy Weah ⚽️
77': Timothy Weah ⚽️
George Weah's son, Timothy, gets a hat-trick for USA U17 vs. Paraguay. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/7lbEevxx3l
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) October 16, 2017
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. 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 (Diego Simeone) – Fiorentina
A frequent starter for Fiorentina this season, striker Giovanni Simeone is showing the potential to be a top-flight European striker.
Scoring seven goals in Serie A so far, the 22-year-old had been linked with a move to join Atletico Madrid, where his father Diego Simeone is the manager.
“The player I’d like to coach is my son Giovanni,” Diego said in October 2017.
“I love his skills, I think he can become a great striker. He is physically strong and he runs up and down the pitch, he works for the team and is hungry to win games.”
Spending most of his club career playing across Europe, Diego won the Italian title with Lazio and the La Liga title with Atletico Madrid – with whom he would later make his name as a manager.
Ianis Hagi (Gheorghe Hagi) – FC Viitorul
Joining the likes of Tom and Paul Ince, and Steve and Alex Bruce, Ianis Hagi is currently playing for Romanian side FC Viitorul – managed 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 (Martin Keown) – Partick Thistle
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 22-year-old has started 30 times in the Premiership so far this season, with Partick currently fighting relegation.
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 (Andy Cole) – Wigan Athletic
Once a member of Manchester City’s academy, Devante Cole now finds himself as a striker with League One side Wigan Athletic, joining from Fleetwood Town in January 2018.
Like father Andy Cole, Devante is a centre-forward, scoring 10 league goals for 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 (Henrik Larsson) – IFK Norrkoping
Now playing in Sweden with IFK Norrkoping, striker Jordan Larsson started his career at Helsingborg managed by dad Henrik Larsson.
But the 20-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 (Kevin Campbell) – Stoke City
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.
4326 – Tyrese Campbell made his Premier League debut 4326 days after his father Kevin Campbell last made an appearance in the competition (April 2006 v Newcastle). Generation.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2018
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 (Enrico Chiesa) – Fiorentina
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 this season scoring six and assisting four so far.
Breaking through from the Fiorentina academy, Chiesa is highly thought of in Italy and was given his debut for the national team in their recent friendly against Argentina.
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.