5 pairs of footballers you probably didn’t know are related

There are many father-son pairs and brothers in football that we’ve seen, read about or heard of. However, there are also some famous footballers who are related to each other as cousins, nephews and in-laws.

#5. Luka Modric & Mark Viduka (Cousins)

Although Luka Modric and Mark Viduka are cousins, the latter has represented Australia at the international level while the former captained Croatia to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final.

Viduka, who is ten years older than Modric, was born in Australia where his father emigrated to in the 1960s. He started his professional career in Australia before moving to Dinamo Zagreb. Viduka, who was a forward, had a successful stint in the Premier League with Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United. He racked up 92 goals and 28 assists in 240 Premier League appearances.

In the 2008/09 season, which was Viduka’s final season as a player, he played against Modric who had moved to Spurs that season.

Although Viduka had a successful club and international career, Modric’s career has undoubtedly reached bigger heights.

#4. Steven Gerrard & Bobby Duncan (Cousins)

Liverpool’s talismanic captain Steven Gerrard who is considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation needs no introduction.

Gerrard has a 17-year-old cousin, Bobby Duncan, who plays for Liverpool! Duncan, a forward, is considered a huge talent and he joined Liverpool’s academy in 2018 from Manchester City after a compensation package was agreed. Duncan has hit the ground running at Liverpool and he looks up to Gerrard.

“Steven’s been a big influence. What he achieved in his career inspires me. He always had that hunger and desire to win trophies. As well as talent, it was his attitude, character and leadership that made him the player he was.” – Duncan said in 2016.

Steven Gerrard has another cousin, Anthony Gerrard, who has spent his career playing in the lower divisions of England. However, Steven and Anthony played against each other in the final of the 2012 League Cup which Liverpool won. Both players missed their kick in the shootout but it was Anthony who missed the decisive kick for Cardiff City.

#3. Alex Iwobi & Jay-Jay Okocha (Nephew and uncle)

Jay-Jay Okocha is one of the greatest Nigerian players of all-time and he notably played for Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Paris Saint-Germain and Bolton Wanderers. Okocha was part of Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations winning team in 1994 and their Olympic Gold winning team in 1996. Hence, he has a huge fan following in Nigeria which influenced Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi’s decision to play for Nigeria.

Iwobi was born in Nigeria but his father, the brother of Okocha, moved the family to England in 1996 when Iwobi was only four months old. The Arsenal man could have played for England where he grew up but he picked Nigeria after his return to his hometown in Lagos.

“I went over there [Nigeria] to see what it’s like and the way they described my uncle – wow, he’s a legend. Even when we were just walking around with him and in the car, the acknowledgement he gets from everyone… I thought, ‘Wow, maybe one day I would like to feel like that as well’. He influenced me without even talking to me about it.” – Iwobi revealed in an interview with Arsenal TV.

#2. Marek Hamsik & Walter Gargano (Brothers-in-law)

Marek Hamsik is a Napoli legend and the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. The Slovakian who is into his 12th season with Napoli shared the dressing room with Walter Gargano at Napoli for six years.

Gargano, who is an Uruguayan international, married Hamsik’s sister Michaela with whom he has three children. He left Napoli in 2015 to join Mexican club Monterrey and currently plays for Uruguayan club Peñarol.

Although Gargano has left Naples, he shares a close bond with Marek and the pair are often pictured together on family holidays during the off-season.

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#1. Frank Lampard & Jamie Redknapp (Cousins)

Frank Lampard’s started his professional career at West Ham where his father, Frank Lampard Sr, played for 18 years and was serving as an assistant manager when his son broke into the first team. In addition, at that time, West Ham was managed by Lampard Senior’s brother-in-law Harry Redknapp.

While Lampard Junior was making a name for himself at West Ham under Harry Redknapp, Redknapp’s son, Jamie Redknapp was already a regular for Liverpool. Jamie, who started his career with Bournemouth, represented Liverpool for nine seasons and also captained the club before departing in 2001. After leaving Liverpool, Jamie played for Spurs and Southampton before retiring at the age of 31 due to constant injury problems on the advice of his medical specialists.

Although Jamie won a few trophies with Liverpool and played 17 times for England, he is no match for Lampard Junior who won a plethora of trophies with Chelsea and represented England in 106 matches.  

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