Following in the footsteps of a father who’s a famous footballer is extremely difficult because of the immense pressure that accompanies it. Many professional footballers have lived in the shadows of their fathers including the sons of these five all-time greats of the game.
Paul Dalglish (Son of Kenny Dalglish)
Kenny Dalglish is arguably considered the greatest Liverpool and Scottish player of all time. Such was his impact and performance as a player in the great Liverpool team of the late 70s and 80s.
Kenny has four children and his only son, Paul, was a professional footballer who played as a forward. He spent his youth career with Liverpool and Celtic but didn’t make a senior appearance for either of his father’s former clubs.
He was signed by his father at Newcastle United in 1997 and he scored twice in 14 games for the toons. Since leaving Newcastle, Paul played for five other clubs in England, three clubs in Scotland, a semi-professional club in Northern Ireland and MLS club Houston Dynamo.
He retired in 2008 and ventured into management but hasn’t found a lot of success in that department either again, unlike his father. He’s currently the manager of Miami FC owned by Paolo Maldini.
Stephan Beckenbauer (Son of Franz Beckenbauer)
Franz Beckenbauer, a World Cup winning player and manager, is a two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or and one of the very few players to win the prestigious award while playing as a defender.
His son, Stephan, a defender like his father, began playing with Bayern Munich where Franz spent most of his playing career. However, Stephan was unable to move past the reserve team and he spent most of his playing career playing in the lower divisions of Germany most notably for 1860 Munchen before retiring in 1997 aged 28.
Immediately after retirement, Stephan worked for Bayern as a scout and youth coach until his untimely death in 2015 because of a brain tumour, aged 46.
Jordi Cruyff (Son of Johan Cruyff)
Among all the players in this list, Jordi Cruyff had the most successful playing career by a mile. Jordi is the son of one of the greatest personalities in football and a three-time Ballon d’Or winner, Johan Cruyff.
Jordi spent his youth career with Ajax and Barcelona before making his debut for the latter in 1994. He played 54 games for Barcelona and scored 11 goals before joining Manchester United in 1996 for whom he scored eight times in 58 games.
The attacking midfielder played for La Liga clubs Celta Vigo, Deportivo Alaves and Espanyol after leaving Manchester United before retiring in 2004. However, he came out of retirement to play for Ukrainian club Metalurg Donetsk in 2006 before retiring in 2010 after a season in Malta.
He’s currently the manager of Chinese Super League club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.
Diego Sinagra (Son of Diego Maradona)
Diego Sinagra was born to Cristiana Sinagra with whom Diego Maradona had an affair. However, Maradona only recognized Sinagra as his son in 2007 and in 2015, he publically recognised Sinagra as his son in front of the media in Buenos Aires.
Sinagra spent his youth career with Napoli, the former club of his father, and Genoa. However, he struggled as a professional and played in Italian lower divisions before going to play beach soccer.
He played for Italy at the 2008 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup which they lost to Brazil in the final. He was also part of Napoli’s beach soccer team in 2009 which won the Italian beach soccer championship for the first time in its history.
The 32-year-old plays as a midfielder or as a forward.
Edinho (Son of Pele)
Pele is arguably the greatest player ever to grace the beautiful game and he’s the only player to win the FIFA World Cup thrice. So, the son of Pele was bound to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
Pele’s eldest son, Edinho, was a goalkeeper who started his professional career with Santos where his father spent almost the entirety of his career. He left Santos in 1991 to play for Portuguesa Santista and later for São Caetano before returning to the club in 1994.
Edinho was with Santos for four years and he was part of the team that finished runner-up in the league in 1995 before retiring in 1999 at the age of 29. Post-retirement, he chose a career of coaching and management but In 2014, he was given a 33-year sentence for money laundering and drug trafficking. The sentence was later reduced to 12 years and 10 months. He has vehemently denied these charges but he’s currently in jail serving his sentence.