Forget Boris and Jo Johnson – The top 10 brothers in football, including the Toures and the Nevilles

6 Sep

Boris Johnson will continue to campaign for an election he is yet to successfully call, after a torrid day where his brother RESIGNED from Government while describing being torn between family and ‘the national interest’.

The Prime Minister visited Scotland on Friday, to drum up support among voters, as opposition leaders continue their talks over how to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

Boris and Jo Johnson have endured quite the falling out in Parliament
Getty Images - Getty

The PM’s continued campaigning comes after a day of unwelcome events saw Jo Johnson quit as a senior minister attending meetings of his brother’s Cabinet.

The pro-EU Johnson described facing ‘unresolvable tension’ and being ‘torn between family loyalty and the national interest’.

But Boris Johnson maintained his uncompromising stance on Brexit, saying in a televised speech that he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than go to Brussels to ask for a further delay.

Although rare, sport often offers siblings the chance to bury any lingering issues from childhood and build successful bonds.

Despite the ongoing rifts between Boris and Jo, we thought it apt to celebrate the footballing siblings who went from teenage tykes to winning trophies.

Check out the top ten below.

10. Filippo and Simone Inzaghi

Filippo enjoyed the more decorated playing career, but Simone is proving to be a better manager thus far
Getty Images - Getty

‘Pippo’ made a name for himself as the archetypal poacher, a Fox in the Box whose six-yard strikes helped him win two Champions League titles, three Serie A titles and the World Cup in 2006.

For brother Simone, his playing career was relatively modest and he remained firmly in his brother’s shadow.

However, his move into management has seen the roles reversed, with Simone coming into a world of his own and he has been in charge of Lazio since 2016. Filippo was in charge of former side AC Milan, but has struggled and has just been appointed as manager of Benevento.

9. Lars and Sven Bender

The midfielders played for Bayer Leverkusen and Germany together
Getty - Contributor

12 minutes is the only difference between the twins, with Sven slightly older. As youngsters, both trained at TSV Brannenburg before both moved to 1860 Munich in 2006.

However, the older brother moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2009 and the siblings were separated as Lars moved to Bayer Leverkusen. The duo enjoyed mixed success at their respective clubs, with Lars earning the captaincy of Die Werkself, while Sven reached the Champions League final in 2013.

Thankfully, Sven brought his eight-tenure with Dortmund to an end in 2017 and the pair form part of Leverkusen’s defence.

8. Frank and Ronald de Boer

The brothers literally followed one another around for their entire career, featuring for Ajax, Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Shamal and Al-Rayyan before retirement
AFP - Getty

Another set of twins, there have arguably never been a pair who impacted the game as much as the De Boers. Technically gifted, both began their careers at Ajax in 1988 and became key components of Louis van Gaal’s successful side.

They then followed Van Gaal to Barcelona for £22million, but their successful first season was prove to be a one-off. Both brothers joined Dick Advocaat at Rangers, before seeing out their careers in Qatar.

Frank was a ball-playing centre-back, while Ronald was a goal-scoring midfielder.

7. Eden and Thorgan Hazard

While Eden is currently the more successful of the two, Thorgan is making a name for himself in Germany
Getty - Contributor

For fans of the Premier League, former Chelsea star Eden will need no introduction. But the stage may soon be set for Thorgan to usurp the Real Madrid winger.

After lighting up the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach, the 26-year-old moved to Borussia Dortmund in the summer and is a regular with Belgium alongside his brother, the captain.

Thorgan has started the season for Dortmund alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho, while Eden’s start at the Bernabeu has been far from plain sailing. Questions about his fitness and even his weight have plagued the 28-year-old since he arrived in Spain.

6. Rio and Anton Ferdinand

Both came through the fabled West Ham academy, but Anton never reached the same heights as Rio
Getty - Contributor

After seeing Rio depart for Leeds United for a world-record £18million in 2000, West Ham fans were convinced they would have to wait years to see another centre-half come through the ‘Academy of Football’.

However, just a few years later brother Anton came through and displayed the same composure on the ball as well as the outstanding physical attributes which his elder brother had become fabled for.

But it was Rio who enjoyed the more glittering career, moving for another world record fee to Manchester United and winning six Premier League trophies and the Champions League, amassing 81 caps for England as well.

5. Rafinha and Thiago Alcantara

Arguably the best sibling duo still playing the beautiful game today
AFP - Getty

In terms of pure technical ability, these two may just be the best thanks to their World Cup-winning father Mazinho and their education at Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy.

But although they are both gifted midfield players., that is where the similarities end. Thiago opted to play for Spain and is sponsored by Nike. Rafinha plays for Brazil and is sponsored by adidas.

Mazinho’s career took him across the globe, resulting in his sons’ multicultural upbringing. Thiago was born in Italy and then he moved to Spain at the age of five.

For Rafinha, he was born in Brazil and failed to quite hit the heights of his older brother, currently spending the season on loan at Celta Vigo from Barca while Thiago lights up the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

4. Michael and Brian Laudrup

Michael won league titles with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as a European Cup,. but Brian won the 1992 European Championships with Denmark
Getty Images - Getty

Before Christian Eriksen became the darling of Denmark, the Laudrup brothers were the pride of Scandinavia, with their elegance and poise on the ball mesmerising.

Michael was arguably the more successful of the two, league titles with Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as a European Cup. In fact, he was named as the Best Danish Footballer ever in 2006.

But younger brother Brian played a crucial role in  Denmark’s 1992 European Championships win and became a cult hero at Chelsea and Rangers during the latter stages of his career.

3. Sir Bobby and Jack Charlton

Both men won the World Cup with England in 1966 but Bobby went on to become the nation’s all time top scorer
Getty Images - Getty

Although the two brothers are no longer particularly close, their journey from the small mining town of Ashington to World Cup glory in 1966 is truly remarkable.

Bobby, the short and dynamic attacker, was a complete contract to Jack’s unerring centre-half. But the duo were brought up in an impoverished life where they only had one another at times.

As the final whistle blew on that scorching afternoon at Wembley against West Germany, Bobby headed straight for his older brother.

“Nobody can ever take this moment away from us,” he told Jack as they embraced, tears streaming down the younger sibling’s face.

2. Phil and Gary Neville

Sister Tracey was head coach of England Netball and their dad is called Neville…seriously
Getty - Contributor

The duo began their footballing careers in Bury as two tykes who just wanted to kick lumps put of each, as brothers naturally do. Older brother Gary was the more physically advanced of the two and broke into the Manchester United team first.

But it was Phil who took his brother’s right-back spot for the 1996 FA Cup Final, before being left out of England’s 1998 World Cup squad.

Phil left for Everton and became club captain, before both ended up at Valencia during an ill-fated management spell. The younger Neville is now managing the England Women’s team, while Gary can be heard airing his views on football in his role as a pundit.

1. Kolo and Yaya Toure

The best footballing brothers, let’s hope Yaya doesn’t expect a cake for the accolade
AFP - Getty

So iconic are the Toure brothers, the fan favourite song meant for them transcended football and was soon being performed on the strips of Magaluf and Malia.

After older brother Kolo earned a move to Arsenal, it seemed natural Yaya would follow. But Arsene Wenger passed on the chance to sign the midfielder and he wound up at Barcelona.

Meanwhile Kolo got a lucrative move to Manchester City and convinced Roberto Mancini his brother was the man City needed.

While neither man will have wanted to leave the Etihad in the way they did, the impact the Toure brothers had on the Premier League was huge Kolo was a key part of the Gunners’ 2004 ‘Invincibles’ team while Yaya will be remembered as one of the greatest midfielders to ever grace these shores.

Ally McCoist picks favourite Rangers win over Celtic, says Paolo Maldini was toughest opponent and recalls incredible atmosphere against Leeds

30 Jul

Back in the day, Ally McCoist was crowned Europe’s most deadly marksman. Twice.

In fact, the Rangers legend was only recently surpassed by Lionel Messi for the most consecutive Golden Shoes, after the Barcelona star won it for a third time in a row this year.

These days his infectious personality can be heard on talkSPORT’s Breakfast Show (Monday to Friday fro 6am), and talkSPORT.com decided to ask him about his greatest memories as part of a new series, where he talks about a glittering Rangers career and playing alongside Paul Gascoigne.

McCoist regularly co-hosts the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
getty

Greatest game: Rangers vs Celtic, 1983 Scottish League Cup final

My greatest game was probably the 1983 League Cup final, when we beat Celtic 3-2 and I managed to get a hat-trick.

We had two or three players out with suspension and injury. Nobody really fancied us and there were about 88,000 at Hampden Park that day. We won it 3-2 in extra-time and I scored all three!

McCoist scored an incredible 28 hat-tricks for Rangers
Getty

Greatest atmosphere: Rangers vs Dynamo Kiev, 1987, and Rangers vs Leeds, 1992

The two greatest atmospheres that stick out in my mind: one was when we played a great Dynamo Kiev team at Ibrox in 1987. They were effectively the Russia national team. They were a tremendous side and we managed to beat them 2-0.

The Leeds United game at home in the Champions League qualifier in 1992. I can still remember looking across in the tunnel at Gary Speed, Gary McAllister and Gordon Strachan. And the noise from Ibrox will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was an absolutely incredible atmosphere to play in.

Nothing beat the atmosphere at Ibrox for McCoist
getty

Greatest team-mate: Can’t pick!

It’s a tough one. I played with some fantastic players. Paul Gascoigne and Michael Laudrup were sensational players, they really were. But also, a couple of the home-grown boys like Davie Cooper and Ian Durrant were absolutely fantastic talents. It would be difficult to pick one.

McCoist and Gascoigne were team-mates in the mid-to-late nineties
getty

Greatest opposition player: Paolo Maldini

I was lucky enough to play against some of the best Italian defenders, like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. It would be difficult to split them.

The big German centre-back Jurgen Kohler, who won the Champions League with Dortmund in 1996 and played with Germany for a number of years, he was a different type of centre-back. He was big, strong and aggressive – whereas Baresi was a thinking man’s defender.

Maldini is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time
getty

Maldini was a great athlete; you just have to look at his career to see what an unbelievable footballer he was [he played for Milan from 1985 until 2009]. He could effectively play anywhere along the back. He was physically a specimen, but also a clever defender.

The Italian boys were different. They were very aggressive but they were thinking defenders. You were always thinking about what your next move was. They were brilliant defenders to play against.

Greatest goal: Rangers vs Dundee United, 1987

I know it sounds crazy, but I remember a tap-in towards the end of the 1986/87 season against Dundee. We hadn’t won the league for about eight or nine years. We’d just signed big Terry Butcher and Chris Woods and all these guys, so there was massive pressure on us to win the league.

It was getting to the business end of the season and it was very close, it was nip and tuck. We needed to win games.

Somebody took a shot and it hit a defender. It dropped about seven or eight yards out and I just knocked it in off the post.

I can just remember the elation, but more the relief for that goal going in. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but I still remember the importance of it.

McCoist was part of an incredibly successful era for Rangers
getty

Greatest moment: Winning the Scottish Premiership with Rangers in 1987

I think winning the title for the first time in years in 1986/87. I’ll never forget, that was my first title. I can remember the bus journey down from Aberdeen to Glasgow, normally about two and a half three hours, but it took about five hours. It was just one of the great trips and it was very special.

McCoist won nine successive league titles with Rangers
getty

Favourite kit: Rangers 1996/97

I enjoyed all the kits I played in, but I enjoyed the one in ’96 with Gascogine and Laudrup the most. That’s a special one with good memories.

McCoist’s favourite kit is an absolute beauty
getty

MORE

My Greatest