Football Features

Can anyone match House Maldini? Football’s most successful family dynasties

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:17, 4 October 2021

Daniel Maldini’s first goal for AC Milan (on his first start!) has caused everyone to revisit the legacy of his fantastic family.

Daniel follows in the footsteps of father Paolo and grandfather Cesare, taking his place in one of football’s most incredible dynasties. The Maldinis have won a frankly ridiculous amount of silverware already, and Daniel could add to that massive stockpile.

But does “House Maldini” reign supreme? Are there any other footballing dynasties that can match them? We’ve had a look and come up with six of the most decorated football families we could find (in terms of honours won as a player).

This isn’t just about fathers and sons, so to qualify for this list there has to have been at least three generations of players involved. This rules out legendary families like the Ayews, the Schmeichels, as well as Manuel and Manolo Sanchis.

House Maldini

Members: Cesare, Paolo, Christian, Daniel
Major honours: 18
Total honours: 30; Serie A (11), Champions League (6), 2002/03 Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana (5), UEFA Super Cup (4), Intercontinental Cup (2), 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.

Father Cesare was part of the great European Cup-winning Milan side in the 60s. Son Paolo came along in the late 80s and electrified the game as a left-back. Paolo became a pillar of the Milan defence for over two decades, winning Serie A seven times and the Champions League a phenomenal five times.

Paolo’s elder son Christian didn’t make the grade (and is now playing for Pro Sesto) but Daniel’s goal on his first start seems to indicate he’s got what it takes. And while his dad and granddad have set the bar very, very high – he will want to at least win some silverware to leave his own mark on the great Maldini legacy.

House Forlan

Members: Juan Carlos Corazzo, Pablo, Diego
Major honours: 15
Total honours: 22; Primera Division (8), 2002/03 Premier League, 2017/18 Hong Kong Premier League, 1966 Copa Libertadores, 2003/04 FA Cup, 2009/10 Europa League, Campeonato Paulista (3), 2013 Campeonato Gaucho, 2003 Community Shield, 2010 UEFA Super Cup, 1966 Intercontinental Cup, Copa America (2).

Juan Carlos Carazzo didn’t win much as a player but found success as a manager of the Uruguayan national side. He guided them to two Copa America wins and in the second victory, one of the players was Pablo Forlan, the man who became his son in-law. Pablo had much more joy as a player, winning four straight Uruguayan leagues and the Copa Libertadores in 1966.

Then came Diego whom after struggling at Manchester United went to Spain and remade his legend, winning the Europa League, taming the Jabulani and leading Uruguay to the Copa America to honour his family legacy. Three generations of South American champions.

House Alonso

Members: Marcos, Marcos, Marcos
Major honours: 17
Total honours: 19; La Liga (6), 2016/17 Premier League, Champions League (6), Copa del Rey (2), 2017/18 FA Cup, 2018/19 Europa League, 2021 UEFA Super Cup, 1960 Intercontinental Cup.

Yes, that’s right, three generations of men all called Marcos Alonso. First came Marcos, who went by Marquitos and was part of the legendary Real Madrid team that won five straight Champions Leagues. He set a high standard and his son Marcos, who went by Marcos, ended up becoming a stud for Madrid’s rivals Atleti and Barcelona. He bagged La Liga, just like his dad, but when he had the chance to win his own European Cup he failed. In fact, he missed the decisive penalty in the Blaugrana’s shootout defeat to Steaua Bucharest.

Finally we have Marcos Alonso, who goes by Marcos Alonso, and has made his name in England with Bolton and more obviously Chelsea where he has won his own league title and, after last summer, his very own Champions League. Making his dad’s life even more awkward.

Marcos Alonso’s shinpads, with photos of his father and grandfather.

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House Hernandez

Members: Tomas Balcazar, Javier, Javier
Major honours: 10
Total honours: 12; Primera Division (4), Premier League (2), 1989/90 Copa MX, 2019/20 Europa League, 2010 Community Shield, 2014 FIFA Club World Cup, 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, 2015 CONCACAF Cup.

Tomas Balcazar was a Mexican footballing legend thanks to his part in winning the first title for the historic “Campeonisimo” Guadalajara side. He even represented Mexico at a World Cup, scoring against France. Tomas’ son Javier became known as Chicaro, made his name for Tecos and Puebla (for whom he won an impressive Double) and also represented Mexico at a World Cup, reaching the quarter-finals in 1986.

His son was also Javier, known as Chicharito. The third generation in this family who became a cult hero at Manchester United, winning the Premier League twice and almost capturing the Champions League. But his most poetic moment came before that when he scored for Mexico at the 2010 World Cup, against France at the age of 22, exactly as his grandfather had.

House Kluivert

Members: Kenneth, Patrick, Justin, Ruben
Major honours: 7
Total honours: 11; Hoofdklasse (2), Eredivisie (3), 1998/99 La Liga, 1994/95 Champions League, 1995 UEFA Super Cup, 1995 Intercontinental Cup.

The Kluivert dynasty starts in Suriname with Kenneth Kluivert (and yes that does sound like a superhero name) who was a local legend that won two titles for his local club, Robinhood. He moved to the Netherlands where son Patrick eventually broke through with Ajax, winning the Champions League at 18 years of age before moving on to Barcelona and really impressing even through a poor period for the Blaugrana in general.

His sons Justin and Ruben are forging their own paths, with the former coming through at Ajax before moving on to Roma and now Nice; while Ruben is back in the Netherlands playing for Utrecht, hoping to replicate the iconic status of his dad and grandad.

House Llorente

Members: Paco Gento, Ramon Grosso, Paco, Marcos
Major honours: 38
Total honours: 45; La Liga (23), Champions League (8), Copa del Rey (7), Supercopa de Espana (4), 1960 Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup (2).

At last, we come to House Llorente, though it could well be called House Gento for how large the Real Madrid patriarch looms over things. Still the only man to win the Champions League six times, Paco also won La Liga 12 times. No, really. His teammate for the last four of those triumphs was one Ramon Grosso, who went on to win three more Ligas of his own – he’ll be relevant later.

Paco Gento’s nephew, Paco Llorente, wasn’t as ridiculously dominant as his uncle and had to leave Madrid to make his own way. But he found himself back at the Santiago Bernabeu eventually and won three straight La Ligas with the famous “Quinta del Buitre” side. When Paco got married, it was to Ramon Grosso’s daughter Maria Angela.

That’s right, Paco Llorente unified the families of two Real Madrid legends and the product of this union was Marcos Llorente. The boy destined to make it at Real Madrid who, well, made it with Atleti instead. Llorente did win things with Los Blancos as a back-up but moved across town to find a starring role under Diego Simeone, helping them win an incredible La Liga title.

If any family can surpass the dynastic brilliance of the Maldinis, it is absolutely the Gento-Llorentes. Their trophy haul is absolutely obscene and their impact on football is being felt to this day, three generations deep.