There have been many instances of a pair of brothers turning out for the same team over the years.
The Hazard family has been a part of the football discussion in recent days due to each of the three brothers making moves in the transfer market. Eden Hazard finally secured his long-awaited move from Chelsea to Real Madrid, while Thorgan Hazard moved to Borussia Dortmund and Kylian Hazard made the change from Chelsea to Cercle Brugge on a permanent deal.
This phenomenon compelled us to shift our lens towards the high-profile brothers who have played football for the same team, and the trend is more common than many might believe. After all, all three members of the Hazard family were a part of the Chelsea roster at one point of time. Here are the ten brother pairings in football that have featured for the same club or national team in their careers.
10. Lorenzo Insigne and Roberto Insigne – Napoli SC
There are four Insigne brothers who play football and two of them, Lorenzo Insigne and Roberto Insigne, play for the Serie A side, Napoli. While Lorenzo Insigne, the elder of the two, is an important figure at the club, the younger brother, Roberto, has mainly been sent on loan spells for the most part of his career. The 25-year-old is currently on loan at Benevento Calcio, in the second tier of Italian football.
9. Sven Bender and Lars Bender – Bayer Leverkusen
The German twins, Sven and Lars Bender have both represented the same teams at the club and the national level. The duo have represented the German national team and have featured together for 1860 Munich and currently are playing together at Bayer Leverkusen. While Sven also spent a spell at Borussia Dortmund in between, Lars made the move to Bayer Leverkusen from 1860 Munich in 2009 and has now spent 10 years at the Bundesliga side.
8. Taulant Xhaka and Granit Xhaka – FC Basel
While they represent different nations on the international stage, Taulant Xhaka plays for Albania and Granit Xhaka plays for Switzerland, the two brothers have played together at the Swiss club, FC Basel. The elder brother, Taulant, is still a Basel player, while the younger brother, Granit, currently plays for Arsenal.
The Xhaka brothers faced each other in the UEFA Euro Cup 2016
Interestingly, the Xhaka brothers have clashed against each other several times in UEFA Champions League and UEFA European Championships as well.
7. Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew – Swansea City
The Ayew brothers, Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew have both featured for Swansea City and the Ghana national team as well. They are the sons of former Ghana captain, Abedi Pele. They are still contracted with the Swans but were sent out on loans. While the younger of the two, Jordan Ayew, played last season on loan at Crystal Palace, the elder brother, Andre Ayew featured for the Turkish club, Fenerbache. They might take the field together yet again in the new season of the EFL Championship.
6. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng – Hertha Berlin
Another case of brothers representing different nations is the case of Boateng brothers, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng who represent Ghana and Germany respectively. However, the duo have played for the same club in early parts of their career.
Before bursting out on the European football scene, the pair were a part of the Bundesliga side, Hertha Berlin SC. Currently, Kevin-Prince is contracted at Sassuolo and spent the latter part of the last season at Barcelona, while Jerome is playing for FC Bayern Munich and was part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning squad for the Die Mannschaft.
The life and the past of Boateng brothers
5. Rafael and Fabio – Manchester United
The twin Brazilian brothers started their careers at Fluminense before joining Manchester United in 2007 and both play as full-backs on either flanks. They have three Premier League winner’s medals from their time in England and are currently plying their trade in the French Ligue 1. While Rafael is representing Olympique Lyonnais, Fabio is playing for Nantes. Rafael had a more successful spell for the Red Devils, while Fabio remained on the fringes and moved to Cardiff City on a permanent deal in 2014.
4. Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha Alcantara – FC Barcelona
Another Brazilian pairing of brothers who have featured for the same side are the Alcantara brothers, Thiago and Rafinha. However, they represent different nations when it comes to the international stage, with Thiago, the elder of the two, opting to represent Spain and Rafinha choosing to play for Brazil.
Both of them rose through the ranks at the famous Barcelona youth academy, La Masia, to play for the senior squad. Thiago still plays for Bayern Munich after moving there from Barcelona in 2013 while Rafinha has been out of action through an ACL injury after having been loaned out to Inter Milan in 2018.
3. Eden Hazard and Thorgan Hazard – Chelsea
The Hazard brothers had quite contrasting careers at Chelsea after signing for them together in 2012. While the elder of the two, Eden Hazard, secured his place among the legends of the club after spending 7 years at the London outfit. The younger brother, Thorgan Hazard failed to make a single senior appearance for The Blues but struck the right chords at Borussia Monchengladbach which has now earned him a move to Borussia Dortmund.
The brothers have however played together more frequently for the Belgian national team in recent times.
2. Yaya Toure and Kolo Toure – Manchester City
The Toure brothers talk about each other and it cannot get any better
Kolo Toure joined the Cityzens from Arsenal in 2009 and the younger brother, Yaya Toure joined a year later from Barcelona. Kolo is currently part of the coaching setup at Leicester City with Brendan Rodgers, while Yaya Toure secured a move to Olympiacos after being released by Manchester City.
1. Gary Neville and Phil Neville – Manchester United
Perhaps one of the most-renowned brother pairings of last generation, the Neville brothers rose through the ranks at Manchester United before going on to create their own legacies at the club and country level. Gary Neville, the elder brother, spent all of his football career at MUFC, spanning 19 years.
The younger brother, Phil Neville, spent 11 years at the club before moving to Everton, where he played for eight more years. The siblings have now ventured into football coaching and Phil Neville is currently the head coach of the England Women’s national team while Gary has had a few spells as assistant coach to England national team and a brief spell as the manager at Valencia in 2015.