By 90Min
November 29, 2018

Football loves a family story, and the sight of a young starlet with a familiar surname coming through the ranks always creates excitement. 

It can be a daunting prospect to live up to the expectations of your family legacy though. Some players step out of their fathers' shadows to make their own memories, while others are weighed down by the name across their shoulders.

These seven players all had legendary fathers to live up to.


Kasper Schmeichel

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The son of Premier League great Peter Schmeichel, for years it looked as if Kasper would struggle to live up to his father's legacy as he failed to make the grade at Manchester City. He was farmed out on loan to the lower leagues before joining Notts County permanently in 2009.

However, in recent years he has carved out his own chunk of history as part of the title-winning Leicester team in 2015/16, and is now considered one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. He is also admired by the whole footballing community for his honesty and humility.


Justin Kluivert

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Only two players have scored more international goals for the Netherlands than Patrick Kluivert, so his son Justin has big shoes to fill. Having started at Ajax like his father, Justin made the move to Roma this summer and recently scored his first Champions League goal against Viktoria Plzen.

He made his international debut in March of this year at the age of 18 - the same age his father was when he made his first appearance for the Oranje. Patrick won the Champions League before he turned 20 though - Justin might struggle to match that accomplishment.


Paolo Maldini

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Cesare Maldini was a legendary defender who spent the majority of his career at AC Milan, where he helped to establish I Rossoneri as one of the superpowers in Italian and European football. He captained the side that won Milan's first European Cup in 1963, beating Benfica in the final.

How could his son Paolo possibly live up to that? Possibly by winning five European Cups, seven Serie A titles and setting a record number of Milan appearances - which is unlikely to ever be surpassed. 

His 17-year-old son Daniel is now on the books at Milan, seeking to continue the family line.


Timothy Weah

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Even without former Ballon d'Or winner George Weah as his father, Timothy Weah would be a very exciting kid. At the age of 18, he's already played six times for Paris Saint-Germain and scored twice, including against Monaco in the Trophée des Champions at the start of this season.

Despite his father now being the President of Liberia, Weah chose to represent the country of his birth, the United States, scoring on his first start for the USA against Bolivia. Weah seems undaunted by his father's legacy and could go on to achieve great things in the game.


Luca Zidane

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It's one thing to have your father watching on proudly from the stands; it's another to have him watching on expectantly from the sidelines. Zinedine Zidane handed his son Luca a La Liga debut for Real Madrid against Villarreal last season but it was a mixed day for the young goalkeeper, who made some fine saves but was also culpable for Villarreal's equaliser.

The 20-year-old is currently keeping goal for Real Madrid Castilla and the France Under-20 side. It seems unlikely that he will make the grade at the Santiago Bernabeu, but he could go on to forge a good career for himself elsewhere - as a goalkeeper, he has many years ahead of him.


Shaun Wright-Phillips & Bradley Wright-Phillips

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Of Ian Wright's two sons, Shaun was the one tipped for great things as he made over 150 appearances for Manchester City between 1999 and 2005 while Bradley struggled to make the grade. Shaun was snapped up by Chelsea while his brother dropped into the Football League, playing for the likes of Southampton, Plymouth and Charlton.

However, Bradley is the one who ended up making the bigger mark on football - or should I say 'soccer' - as he became the top scorer in New York Red Bulls history after moving stateside in 2013. 124 goals in 208 appearances for the Red Bulls is a record of which his father would be proud.


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