Being a footballer is full of perks but making it to the highest levels of the sport takes a great deal of character.
Not only do you have to outperform your contemporaries at youth level to get that first deal, but you have to maintain a level of performance worthy of your professional contract.
That job is probably a little more difficult for players with successful family members having already paved the way.
Any younger sibling that had to show their parents their report card after their older brother pulled out a string of straight As can probably relate.
This list looks at some of the families with multiple members who have proudly worn the family name on the back of their shirt.
In February 2010, McDonald Mariga signed for Inter Milan. A few months later he won the Serie A title and became the first Kenyan to even play in the UEFA Champions League… sometimes life is that easy.
At the time, his younger brother Victor was in the more humble surroundings of the Belgian league, so it was pretty obvious who was getting the bigger piece of chicken at the family dinners.
However since then, Victor has starred for Southampton and emerged as one of the better defensive midfielders in Europe, whereas older brother has found himself at Serie B team Latina.
If anyone in England was unsure about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s ability, his recent performance against Tottenham may have gone some way to change their minds.
The Gabonese striker was crowned the continent’s best player at the top of the year and made sure that it was a family affair, bringing his footballing brother and father along. Pierre senior may not be well known to newer fans but he is one of Gabon’s most capped players.
In 2003, Bona decided to venture (excuse the pun) leaving Feyenoord after six seasons to join the French team Auxerre. The Dutch outfit clearly have an affinity for the Kalou name, or maybe they didn’t want to repaint the ‘Kalou’ parking spot, because it was only a matter of time before his younger brother took his place.
He managed to surpass the efforts of Bonaventure winning the Dutch footballer of the year award in 2005 before going on to greater success with Chelsea.
Cameroonians are typically given their football debuts at an early age, so by the time they grow facial hair they are already established names. Samuel Eto’o had already played many international tournaments before the age of 21 and Rigobert Song was the first African to appear in four World Cups.
Although Alex has not been able to match his cousin’s feat on the international stage, he has made more of an impression at domestic level. Rigobert briefly played for Alex’s current team West Ham, and so he probably told him about the best places to get fufu in East London.
Not only have the Boatengs made a pretty big impact on the football scene, but they have shown that they could just as easily have prospered in the music business. Older brother George Boateng dabbles with hip hop, Jerome was the first footballer to sign to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports label.
And we were all a little bit impressed with Kevin’s MJ impersonation.
The stars came up against each other during the World Cup, and luckily the honours were shared (2-2) otherwise they probably wouldn’t have talked to each other ever again.
The Ayews are Ghanaian royalty and anyone with the surname probably hasn’t paid for a drink since people were wearing flares in Accra. Abedi Pele was one of Africa’s most decorated players and in the early 90s, he won just about every award going including three consecutive African footballer of the year awards.
Those kinds of achievements would be enough of a burden for one footballing son, so luckily there are three brothers to share the burden. André and Jordan both play for Premier League teams and both scored when Aston Villa and Swansea met last October.
In 2014, Yaya Touré threatened to leave Manchester City, after he felt that they did not mark his birthday appropriately. It seems that Premier League medals, £220,000 pounds a week and individual accolades are not as important as a red velvet birthday cake. If Yaya felt that he was unloved, he only need look at this video of City fans.
The players are sure to go down as two of the greatest Africans in Europe, with Yaya’s performances and Kolo’s successful years at Arsenal and Liverpool.