Xhaka, Boateng… 5 Pairs Of Brothers Who Played Together For The Same Club
Bolton Wanderers legend Jaj-Jay Okocha has a nephew currently playing with Everton: Alex Iwobi. The Hazard family is synonymous with football: Eden Hazard plies his trade with Real Madrid, Thorgan Hazard is an attacker for Borussia Dortmund, Kylian Hazard plays for Cercle Brugge, and 17-year-old Ethan Hazard is currently the subject of transfer rumors.
Sergio Aguero has two brothers playing professionally in Argentina. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and his father Hamlet have both been capped for the Armenian national team.
Clearly, football has its fair share of familial connections across the globe. While there are many such connections to explore, let’s take a look at a very specific – and interesting – group: Brothers who have played for the same team.
Over the years, quite a few brotherly pairs have found themselves employed by the same club. Quite notably, three out of four Hazard boys have been at Stamford Bridge at some point in their playing career. It wasn’t too surprising when rumor mills carried the news that Chelsea were looking to bring in Ethan Hazard. Having brothers at the same club clearly does much to improve locker room dynamics.
So, without further ado, here are five pairs of brothers who have played together for the same club:
5. Taulant Xhaka and Granit Xhaka
Before he moved to Borussia Monchengladbach almost a decade ago, Granit Xhaka played alongside his brother Taulant at FC Basel. They both made a total of 51 league appearances in the two years they spent at Basel, with Granit making the majority of those appearances.
After Granit left for Monchengladbach, his elder Taulant found a stronger footing in Basel, making 179 league appearances since then.
Notably, the Xhaka brothers represent different nations internationally. Granit Xhaka plays for Switzerland – where they were both born – while Taulant plays for Albania – their home country. On occasion, they have played against each other, most recently with Arsenal facing Basel in the Champions League.
4. Andre and Jordan Ayew
The Ayew siblings are sons of former Ghana international Abedi Pele. Following in their father’s footsteps, Jordan and Andre Ayew have both played professional football. They played together at Marseilles, making nearly 300 Ligue 1 appearances combined.
More recently, the Ayew brothers played together at Swansea, making a combined 149 Premier League appearances.
They have currently parted ways, with Jordan plying his trade at Crystal Palace. Andre just joined Al Sadd last month, 39 years after his father played in Qatar. Their brother, Ibrahim Ayew, currently plays as a midfielder in Gibraltar.
3. Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng
Like the Xhaka brothers, the Boateng siblings also represent different countries. Kevin-Prince Boateng’s allegiance lies with Ghana’s football team, while Jerome represents Germany. While their careers have progressed in separate directions, the brothers played for the same club once upon a time.
Before becoming household names across Europe, Kevin-Prince and Jerome both played side by side at Hertha Berlin SC. Kevin-Prince was a regular with the German side, making 42 league appearances during his two years at the club. His brother, Jerome, spent only a year at Hertha, making 10 league appearances.
2. Fabio and Rafael
The twin Brazilians caught Alex Ferguson’s eye in 2007 after they impressed him during a youth tournament for Fluminese. Explosive in their natural full-back positions, Fabio and Rafael quickly gained fans at Old Trafford, each winning three Premier League titles together.
However, while Rafael remained successful at United, Fabio found himself on the fringes of the first team and ended up leaving for Cardiff. After a combined 131 league appearances for the Red Devils, the duo now ply their trade elsewhere. Rafael plays for Istanbul Basaksehir, while Fabio plays for Nantes.
1 Phil and Gary Neville
Another set of brothers from Manchester United, and perhaps the most renowned of the last football era: Phil and Gary Neville. The duo rose to become Old Trafford legends, picking up an astonishing 663 league appearances combined.
Both starting as youths at United, the Neville brothers spent their entire playing career in the English Premier League. Gary remained at Old Trafford throughout, while Phil transferred to Everton in 2005.
The siblings have continued their footballing careers as coaches, with Gary managing Villareal in 2016 and Phil currently managing Inter Miami.