Millions of young children around the world desire to follow in their parents’ footsteps when they grow up, and it appears that football is no exception as many footballers have fathers who had played the game before them.
Just like the famous ‘like father, like son’ expression, most footballers are building on their father’s legacy. In most cases, their fathers performed well and this leaves them under pressure while some of them are performing better than their fathers.
1. Erling Haaland (Father: Alf-Inge Haaland)
The 21-year-old Norwegian had his breakthrough in 2019 at RB Salzburg. He scored a total of 29 goals in 27 appearances for the club before moving to Borussia Dortmund. Despite just being 21, Haaland has become one of the top attackers in the world, scoring 82 goals in just 80 games for Dortmund, making him one of the best strikers in the world. That’s a long way from father Alfi-Inge Haaland’s career, which spanned defense and midfield for Bryne, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, and Manchester City. Erling Haaland is currently a Manchester City player and looks to continue from where his father stopped.
2. Federico Chiesa (Father: Enrico Chiesa)
Federico Chiesa, like Simeone, is following in his father’s footsteps at Fiorentina. The 24-year-old has impressed since breaking through the Fiorentina academy in 2016, eventually earning a move to Juventus. He is the son of Italian legend, Enrico. Chiesa is well-liked in Italy, and he made his national team debut in a friendly against Argentina in 2018. He went on to play a key role in the Azzurri’s Euro 2020 victory.
3. Giovanni Simeone (Father: Diego Simeone)
Despite a difficult 2018/19 season in which he only scored eight goals in 40 appearances for Fiorentina, Giovanni Simeone is demonstrating the ability to be a top-flight European striker. The 27-year-old has found success abroad, scoring 10 or more goals for Genoa and Cagliari, as well as 15 goals in 28 games for his most recent loan club, Hellas Verona. Giovanni had previously been connected with Atletico Madrid, which is managed by his father and former footballer Diego Someone.
4. Justin Kluivert (Father: Patrick Kluivert)
Patrick Kluivert and Justin Kluivert have some striking similarities. Both strikers are quick and have a good eye for goal, and both have played for the Netherlands senior team since they were 18 years old. Unlike Patrick, who suffered injuries late in his career, Justin has escaped them.
5. Timothy Weah (Father: George Weah)
Timothy Weah, a stylish winger, has a lot of expectations to live up to. His father George Weah was one of the best African strikers of all time, the only African to win the Ballon d’Or, and is now the president of Liberia. Timothy, on the other hand, has had a fantastic start to his career, coming through the ranks of PSG and training alongside some of the finest forwards in the game today.
6. Jordan Larsson (Father: Henrik Larsson)
Henrik Larsson, with his trademark dreadlocks and deadly scoring ability, established himself as one of Europe’s best strikers in the early 2000s. However, while managing Helsingborgs in Sweden in the mid-2010s, he signed his son Jordan. He was forced to seek playing time elsewhere after Henrik’s departure, and stints with NEC in Holland and Norrkoping in Sweden demonstrated his talent.
7. Giovanni Reyna (Father: Claudio Reyna)
Borussia Dortmund is quietly assembling a team full of youthful talents, and Giovanni Reyna is one of them hoping to break through. Giovanni’s father, Claudio, and mother, Danielle (née Egan), were both key members of the US national team in the 1990s and 2000s which means football is in his blood and is one of the families made up of footballers.
8. Marcus Thuram (Father: Lilian Thuram)
Marcus Thuram is the son of Lilian Thuram and currently plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga. He is one of the club’s most important attackers. After being relegated with Guingamp in 2019, the 24-year-old joined the German side, putting his time in France behind him and scoring 25 goals in 84 games.
9. Isaac Drogba (Father: Didier Drogba)
Isaac Drogba, the son of another great footballer, joined Guingamp in 2018 after leaving the Chelsea academy – though he has since left and is now playing for Académica Coimbra B in Portugal. Isaac spelled at Guingamp’s academy means that he is following in the footsteps of his father Didier Drogba, who played 50 times for the Ligue 2 club before going on to Marseille and then Chelsea.
10. Daniel Maldini (Father: Paolo Maldini)
Daniel Maldini made his AC Milan debut from the bench against Hellas Verona in February 2020, becoming the third member of his family to play for the Rossoneri after father Paolo and grandpa Cesare. Daniel plays as an attacking midfielder, unlike his father, who is regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, having won seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues in a career spanning over 1,000 games for club and country. But this is a family of great footballers.