Rafinha has urged Barcelona to re-sign his brother Thiago in this summer’s transfer window. Thiago represented Barcelona between 2005 and 2013 – making more than 100 appearances for the Spanish club’s first team before leaving for Bayern Munich in 2013. The 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from Bayern this summer, and Rafinha has called on Barcelona to bring his older brother back to Camp Nou ahead of the 2018-19 campaign. Rafinha’s own future at Barcelona is in doubt, however, with the midfielder spending the second half of last season on loan at Inter Milan.
We have come across a number of hugely successful brothers in the world of football. While some play for the same club, others don’t even represent the same nation!
Sone and Eniola Aluko
Hull striker Sone Aluko and his sister Eniola, who plays for Chelsea. Despite playing for England at under-19 level, Sone decided to represent Nigeria, while Eniola chose England. As befits the senior sibling, Eniola Aluko has the longer list of credits thus far: two women’s FA Cups (scoring the winning goal in one of them), runner-up in the United States Women’s Pro League, more than 60 caps for England and an Olympic quarter-final for Great Britain. Little brother Sone, also a forward, is catching up after four seasons with Aberdeen and Rangers followed by a move to Hull City.
Sven Bender and Lars Bender
The Benders are the definition of brothers in football. Like many others in this list, Lars and Sven started at the same club too, 1860 Munich in this case. They began their career in the same year . They left Munich in the same year too! While Sven moved to Borussia Dortmund and played there for eight years, Lars went to Bayer Leverkusen. In 2017, Sven ended his tenure at Dortmund and joined his brother at Bayer Leverkusen, to be united once again.
Giovani dos Santos and Jonathan dos Santos
The Dos Santos brothers have been together for what feels like an eternity! Both Giovani and Jonathan started their professional career at Barcelona, having impressed their scouts at a youth tournament in France. Both made their first team debuts for the Catalans while they were still teenagers. Elder brother Giovani moved to England (with Tottenham Hotspur) in 2008, while Jonathan continued to be with Barcelona, though he was limited to playing a role of a fringe player. They were brought together again by Villareal, though for just the one season. Now, as if it was meant to be, they’re back together again, this time with LA Galaxy.
André and Jordan Ayew
Sons of Abedi Pele, one of the greatest African footballers of all-time, Ghanaian brothers André and Jordan have made a career off stalking one another around the world. The Ayew boys established themselves as Ligue 1 royalty (André in Marseille and Jordan in Lorient) before making a move to the Premier League.
Jérôme and Kevin-Prince Boateng
There may not be a more intriguing brotherhood than the one of the Boateng boys. The oldest is said to be the most talented player, the middle (Kevin-Prince) has always been a star topic in headlines, and the youngest (Jérôme) has won the World Cup and the Champions League. Kevin-Prince plays for Ghana and Jérôme plays for Germany. In South Africa 2010, the two of them set a record by becoming the first brothers to play against each other at a World Cup finals.
Yaya and Kolo Touré
It takes guts to leave a club like Barcelona, but brave Yaya Touré left Spain to join his older brother, Kolo, at Manchester City in the summer of 2010. Yaya was a powerhouse in midfield, whilst Kolo was an unpassable force in defence on his day. The two of them played together until Kolo moved to Liverpool in 2013 … then the two of them played against one another in some of Premier League’s most colossal clashes.
Granit and Taulant Xhaka
Granit and Taulant’s parents – both of whom hail from Albania – moved from Kosovo to Basel in Switzerland before either of their footballer sons were born, meaning they have dual Albanian and Swiss nationality. The duo both played regularly for FC Basel and Switzerland at youth level but while Granit was capped by the senior team in 2011, Taulant opted to represent Albania in 2014 after declaring his wish to be considered for selection in 2013. They are the first pair of brothers to the field for opposing countries in European Championships history; Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka, for Switzerland and his brother, FC Basel’s Taulant Xhaka, for Albania.
Rafael and Fábio da Silva
Not just brothers – twins! And just look at them! There hasn’t been a more adorable set of siblings in football’s history. Both of them spent years at Manchester United before parting ways.
Paul, Florentin and Mathias Pogba
Paul Pogba might be the costliest player of all time, but many believe the Frenchman is over-rated and that Manchester United made an expensive mistake by signing the ‘wrong Pogba’. The 23-year-old has two older twin-brothers who are also footballers. Florentin, the eldest, currently plays for French club Saint-Étienne, while Mathias plays for Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam and the Guinean national team.
Thiago Alcantara and Rafinha
The Alcantara brothers started their professional career at Barcelona. Also, similar to the Boateng brothers, they both represent different countries. Thiago remains one of Spain’s best players, and on the other hand, Rafinha will have to work extremely hard to get what would be only his third cap for Brazil. Both of them play as midfielders, though Rafinha is a tad more offensive than his elder brother.