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Top 10 Footballing Families: Part I

Football has often been a family affair. Today we look at the most famous families in world football. These families are ranked for their collective ability and trophies.

10: The Guðjohnsens

Arguably the greatest footballing family to hail from the mighty Iceland. This father-son act between them have played, and achieved success, all over Europe. Arnór, the father, played in France, Sweden and Iceland over a career spanning over 20 years. But for him, it’s his time in Belgium for which he is best remembered. With Anderlecht, Arnór won the league three times and the Belgian Cup twice in a seven year stint.

His Son Eiður, is one of the most traveled players of the modern game, representing 13 different clubs during his career so far. Known for his awareness on the pitch, and his ability to link up play, he had a great relationship with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during his time at Chelsea. A  move to Barcelona followed, as did a Champions League medal. At 35 he only recently retired from international football, after 78 caps and 24 goals. The two nearly made history by playing in the same match. But instead Eiður came on as a substitute, replacing Arnón in a friendly against Estonia.

9: The Djorkaeffs:

Jean “Tchouki” Djorkaeff was a French centre half who played for the three biggest clubs in France between the late 50’s until the mid-seventies, making over 500 appearances in his career. Jean won the Coupe de France on two occasions, once with Lyon and the other with rivals Marseilles. After  managing in France for a number of years, he now serves as the director of the main cup tournament in France.

It was Jean’s son Youri who would make greater waves in European Football. In a 22-year career,Youri played all over the world. Most of us may remember him from when he signed for Bolton, along with Jay Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo, where he scored some spectacular goals, particularly that overhead kick against Charlton.

On an international level he was a key player in France’s World Cup and European cup glory. In all he made an impressive 82 appearances for Les Bleus, scoring 28 goals. He also won the Coupe de France, like his father, but with Monaco. The Frenchman’s time with Inter Milan also earned him a Uefa Cup medal.

8:The Inces

You know a  footballing family means business when they have a player known as ‘The Guv’nor’ . Paul Ince was one of the most respected British players in history. After leaving West Ham, Ince played for Manchester United, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Wolves. Roy Keane rates him as one of the best footballers he’s ever played with, choosing him over Scholes in his ‘Dream XI’. After a tumultuous managerial career thus far, Ince remains a figure of respect in the English game.

His son Tom, at just 22 is attracting attention from all the right areas. A Liverpool youth player, he left for Blackpool in a search for first team action. The winger’s record is a little better than a goal every other game and has made him one of England’s most sought after players. Currently on loan at Crystal Palace, the world is his oyster. Liverpool were linked with re-signing Ince, as were moneybags Monaco, but it seems likely that when his contract runs out in the summer he will stay in the Premier League, with Spurs and Everton his most likely destinations.

7: The Ayews

Adebi and Kwame Ayew were two Ghanaian footballers whose career spanned thirty years.  Kwame was a striker who plied his trade mainly in Portugal and made 25 appearances for his country, but was never a prolific scorer for club or country. It is his brother who really stole the spotlight. Better known as Abedi Pele, he was so good they changed his name to Pele for God’s sake and is still considered the greatest Ghanaian footballer ever. He is arguably the most decorated African player to ever play the game, winning countless individual awards and leading Ghana to African Cup of Nation success. He is a legend for Marseille,winning the Champions League in 1993.

The new generation of up-and-coming African footballers still have Ayews in the mix. André Ayew, at the age of 24, already has 47 caps for Ghana and is a cert to be terrorizing fullbacks in the upcoming World Cup. André has been continuously linked with a move to England, and it’s no surprise considering his pace and power. His younger brother Jordan is currently on loan at Sochaux from Marseille and is a similar player to his brother. If that wasn’t enough, their other brother Ibrahim is a defensive midfielder playing in Ghana, but has had spells in Europe. He is also a Ghanaian international.

Oh and Abedi had a brother, Sola, he was a footballer too. That is one talented family

6: The Laudrups

By sheer quantity alone the Laudrup’s were bound to have some quality players. Father Finn Laudrup was a Danish international in the 70’s, but it is his sons who are better known. Brothers Michael and Brian were two of the most talented and entertaining footballers of their generation. Both were named in Pele‘s list of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers in 2004.

Representing illustrious clubs such as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, the brothers were the hottest properties in Europe at one stage. Michael, the former Swansea manager, was voted the Best Foreign Player in Spanish Football over the preceding 25-year period and is one of the most decorated players in European football.

However, his brother can boast a rarer piece of silverware;  a European Championship medal with Denmark. The former Munich, Milan and Rangers midfielder was on the Danish team that his brother walked out on, after conflicts with the manager.

The legacy of the Laudrups still continues. Michael’s sons Andreas and Mads are in their early twenties and have a number of youth caps. Brian’s son Nikolai, is a right winger in the Danish lower leagues.

Jason Dundon, Pundit Arena.


Featured Image By mustapha_ennaimi (Flickr: DSC_6028) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.