Zidane Junior tops list of footballing sons destined for greatness

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Nepotism gets a bad rap in general but in footballing terms it has brought us such ‘greats’ as Jamie Redknapp, Nigel  Clough, Darren Ferguson and Alex Bruce.

But while the above named players have seen their success in the game hampered by injury or a general lack of skill, a new crop of footballing progeny is coming through with big things expected.

Here we take a look at the offspring of Zinedine Zidane, who recently tipped his son to reach the top, and four others destined for greatness.

Luca Zidane – Real Madrid

While only 16-years-old, Luca is already making a name for himself in Spain but not where you might expect.

While his father is arguably the best player to have ever graced the game in midfield, Zidane junior has been earmarked as one to watch between the sticks.

Currently in goal for the Cadete A side at Real Madrid – where his father is assistant manager of a side priced at 11/10 to win La Liga – Luca is said by his father to possess all the qualities needed to succeed in football. And he should know!

Jose Mourinho Junior – Real Madrid, Fulham

Another promising goalkeeper, Mourinho Junior was signed to Chelsea’s west London rivals Fulham last year at the tender age of 14.

While being snapped up by the Cottagers indicates that Jose Junior has made it on his own, it was a spell at Real Madrid, during his father’s Bernabéu reign, that set him on the road to stardom.

However, unlike Zidane Junior, goalkeeping runs in the Mourinho blood, with Jose Junior’s grandfather – also named (wait for it) Jose Mourinho – a top stopper in Portugal during the 70s, winning two Portuguese Cups with Vitoria Setubal.

Brooklyn Beckham – Manchester United, QPR, Fulham, Miami (?)

Speculation that Brooklyn – the first-born of David Beckham’s three sons, would follow his father into the game has been rife almost since his conception.

Like many a footballing son before him, Brooklyn got his break at David’s then club Manchester United but has attempted to cut his own path during training and playing spells with London clubs QPR and Fulham.

However, with dad David recently taking up a $25m option to start his own MLS franchise in Miami – where he is 8/1 to be the manager – Beckham Junior is being heavily-tipped to make the grade stateside when the Florida outfit enters the league in 2019.

Joe Van der Sar – Manchester United, VV Noordwijk, Ajax

With the exception of possibly Kasper Schmeichel, no budding goalkeeper will struggle to live up to their name more than Joe Van der Sar.

The son of Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United legend Edwin has already gone some way toward emulating his father’s path by running out for three of his former clubs.

Joe was a mainstay in the United development squads during his dad’s stay at Old Trafford and like his father has since stood between the sticks for amateur outfit VV Noordwijk and Eredeivide giants Ajax.

Van der Sar Senior has predicted a hard time for his son as a result of his surname but with the youngster already proving himself in the Ajax academy expect big things in the future.

Joshua Nascimento – Santos

Being the son of Edson Arantes do Nascimento may not seem too daunting to anyone outside of Brazil but with that being the birth name of Pele, son Joshua Nascimento has some mighty big boots to fill.

Pele Junior is keen to play down the connection – shunning the number 10 shirt at current club Santos – and is keen to carve out his own legacy in the game.

Playing at Santos he is in the shadow of not only his father but another club legend in the shape of Neymar.

However, while the youngster has opted to ignore the fashion of being a star with one name – like Pele, Ronaldo or … Cher – he is being tipped for success.

Even if he only goes on to achieve 10 per cent his father’s feats he could still go down as one of the greats.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.