Sons of Ronaldo, Neville, Zidane, and van der Sar Set to Follow in Their Fathers’ Illustrious Footsteps


Savage Jr., then 18 years old, came off the bench in the Champions League’s final five minutes in December to become the most recent boy wonder to follow in the footsteps of their renowned father.

Charlie Savage is performing admirably for Manchester United’s development squad

Savage Sr was on co-commentary duty and “began to cry” as he proclaimed the arrival of his son.

After spending the second half of this season with League 1 strugglers Forest Green, Charlie, who is now 20 years old, has advanced in his career.

In 2020, Wayne Rooney’s son Kai also joined United. Wazza shared a photo of himself, Coleen, and his then-eleven-year-old son alongside the announcement that he had signed a contract with his former club.

But he will not be the first son to attempt to live up to the lofty expectations he was born with.

The children of football luminaries such as Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Kluivert are also attempting to forge their own paths in the sport despite the weight of their illustrious last names. Maxim Gullit, son of Ruud and great-nephew of Johan Cruyff, also made his senior debut off the bench for Jong AZ Alkmaar.

Kai Rooney, the son of Wayne Rooney, joined Manchester United in December 2020

Patrick Kluivert’s son Justin is among a group of young footballers aspiring to emulate their legendary fathers

Here, SunSport examines the other youthful athletes aspiring to follow in the footsteps of their fathers…

Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, 12

Cristiano Jr. is registered with Manchester United alongside his father Ronaldo

If Cristiano Jr. wants to emulate his five-time Ballon d’Or-winning father Ronaldo, he has a lot to live up to. The youngster was a member of Juventus’ academy and excelled in several junior competitions.

However, he transferred to United with his father and is currently a member of Al-Nassr’s youth squad in Saudi Arabia. And Ronaldo, 38, previously confessed he would ‘like’ Junior to follow in his footsteps.

However, the Portugal captain has stated that he will not “pressure” his eldest son into pursuing a career in football.

Joe van der Sar, 25

Joe van Der Sar is son of Man Utd legend Edwin

Edwin van der Sar is the legendary father of Joe van der Sar. Joe began his career at Manchester United, where his father played for six years, before moving on to Noordwijk and signing with Edwin’s Ajax in 2013.

These are enormous gloves to fill, with lofty expectations. Prior to joining the Pittsburgh Panthers in the United States, he was attempting to ascend the ranks at Noordwijk.

Maxim Gullit, 22

Maxim Gullit is the son of a Chelsea legend. Ruud, on the right, is the great-niece of Johann Cruyff

Son of Ruud and great-nephew of Johan Cruyff, Maxim Gullit’s footballing genes could hardly be finer. Maxim, a defender and son of Estelle Cruyff, played primarily for AZ’s Under-19 squad in 2018-19 but was given an Easter delight by being promoted a level.

In the final 19 minutes of the AZ second team’s match against champions Twente in the Dutch second division, the talented teenager helped his team maintain a clean sheet. In October 2020, he made his debut for the first team in a 4-1 Europa League victory over HNK Rijeka. He went on to become a regular for their Under-21 squad.

He currently plays for Eredivisie Club Cambuur and has made a few appearances for Dutch national youth teams.

Zidane (Luca, Enzo & Theo)

Three of Zinedine Zidane’s sons are professional footballers, but only Luca made his Real Madrid debut last March

The three sons of Zinedine Zidane aspire to follow in his gigantic footsteps. Enzo, a 28-year-old midfielder, is presently playing for Fuenlabrada, while Theo, a 21-year-old aspiring to advance in Real Madrid’s academy.

The 25-year-old goalkeeper Luca made two appearances for Los Blancos before leaving in pursuit of more playing time. After two years with Rayo Vallecano, he is now with Segunda Division club Eibar.

Gudjohnsen (Andri Lucas, Sveinn Aron & Daniel Tristan)

Eidur Gudjohnsen has three sons with football aspirations, including Andri Lucas at Real Madrid (left)

Former Chelsea, Tottenham, and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen once had a son at Real Madrid, a son at Barcelona, and a son in Italy.

Sveinn, who is 25 years old and the striking image of his father, plays for the Swedish club Elfsborg, while his younger brother Andri Lucas was a star at the Bernabeu before joining Norrkoping.

The 21-year-old star for Iceland, who was born in London, joined Real Madrid’s La Fabrica academy in Valdebas in 2018, while 16-year-old Daniel Tristan is currently playing for Malmo after having played for Barcelona and Real Madrid’s junior teams.

In 1996, Eidur famously substituted for his father Arnor while playing for Iceland.

Tyrese Campbell, 23

Kevin Campbell, a former striker for Arsenal, Everton, and West Brom, is the father of Tyrese Campbell of Stoke

In 2019-20, Stoke’s young sensation Tyrese Campbell made 33 Championship appearances for the Potters, achieving a major breakthrough.

The forward, who joined Stoke in 2016 from the academy of Manchester City, is the son of former Arsenal, Everton, and West Bromwich Albion striker Kevin Campbell.

Before being loaned out to League One Shrewsbury for the duration of the 2018-19 season, Tyrese scored his first goals for Stoke in the FA Cup. In his most recent 41 games for Stoke, he tallied nine goals and provided five assists.


Harvey Neville, 20

Harvey Neville’s father, Phil, and relative, Gary, were both former Manchester United players

With TWO Manchester United Treble winners as his father (Phil) and uncle (Gary) and England’s netball head coach as his aunt (Tracey), it was unlikely that Harvey would pursue a career in auditing.

Harvey, who originally played in midfield or on the wing but is now a fullback, began his career with United before transferring to rivals City, where he won the Under-13 Premier League International Tournament.

In 2018, he returned to Old Trafford after moving to Valencia when his father and uncle became first-team managers.

And earlier this year, he followed his father Phil to the United States, joining Fort Lauderdale CF close to his grandfather’s residence in Miami. Then, in October, Phil substituted his son Harvey into his MLS debut with Inter Miami.

Maurizio Pochettino, 22

Watford manager Maurizio Pochettino was (almost) named after his father, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino

Maurizio is the son of prospective Chelsea manager and former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.

And the Argentine youth, characterized as a wide player with a goal-scoring eye, continued to play for the Lilywhites despite his father’s dismissal in November of that season.

He even inked a new contract with the club, but left in January 2021 to join Watford on a free transfer. The Barcelona-born player was released after just one appearance and is now under contract with Gimnastic de Tarragona in Catalonia’s third division.

Justin Kluivert, 24

Justin Kluivert, on the left, is already displaying the skills of his former Barcelona striker father Patrick

Justin Kluivert’s talent has allowed him to flourish at such a young age. His name may have gotten him noticed, but it is his talent that has allowed him to prosper at such a young age. Justin, the son of Patrick, was cultivated by the Ajax academy and starred in Serie A for Roma after signing for £ 14.9 million in 2018.

Manchester United was rumored to be interested in the teenager, who scored five goals and dished out two assists in 2019-20.

He spent the previous two seasons on loan with RB Leipzig, where he enjoyed a return to form, and Nice before making a third provisional move, this time to Valencia.

Daniel Maldini, 21

Daniel Maldini is continuing the legacy of his father Paolo and grandfather Cesare at AC Milan

Daniel continues the Maldini dynasty in Milan, following in the footsteps of his father Paolo, and grandfather Cesare. As a second striker, Daniel plays at the opposite end of the field from his father.

In 2019-20, the talented youth made his Serie A debut against Hellas Verona, becoming the third generation of Maldini to play for AC Milan. Since then, he has played 24 matches for the San Siro club, but in the summer he joined Spezia on loan.

Giovanni Simeone, 27

Giovanni Simeone, the son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, is a winger on contract at Hellas Verona from Italian club Fiorentina

Giovanni, the son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego, is one of the few members of this cohort to have already established themselves. Giovanni, who is typically utilized as a second striker, has earned five caps for Argentina, netting once.

After a fruitful loan stint in which he scored five goals in six Serie A matches, he joined Cagliari in the summer of 2020. However, he is currently on loan to Napoli from Hellas Verona.

Erling Haaland, 22

Former Manchester City player Alf-Inge Haaland is the father of Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland, son of Alf-Inge Haaland of Manchester City, whose career was ended by a horrific tackle from United legend Roy Keane, is currently one of the greatest players in the world.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coached the 22-year-old at Molde before he scored goals for RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund.

Despite interest from United and Real Madrid, Manchester City made a summer offer to acquire the imposing center forward.

And what a signing it has already proven to be, with Haaland surpassing the Premier League scoring record with a few games remaining in his rookie season.

Sydney van Hooijdonk, 23

In January, Sydney van Hooijdonk could transfer to a British club. Son of former Nottingham Forest striker Pierre, the 22-year-old has been in excellent form for NAC Breda in the Dutch second division over the past few seasons.

The towering center forward has contributed 23 goals in 70 games since his 2019-2020 season debut.

In England, he has been affiliated with Forest, Swansea, and Sheffield Wednesday due to his impressive play. However, he transferred to Serie A club Bologna and is currently on loan at Heerenveen, where he has scored 12 goals in 25 Eredivisie games.


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