Five football sons who failed to live up to their famous name
Our recent rundown of footballing progeny with the world at their feet got the Ladbrokes News team thinking about the opposite side of the nepotism coin.
While the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Edwin van der Sar, Jose Mourinho, David Beckham and Pele can expect big things from their offspring, the five names on this list ultimately failed – or are failing – to live up to the names of their great fathers.
Despite running out for Manchester United and Barcelona in a career that saw him win a Premier League title as well as FA Cup, Intercontinental Cup and Spanish Supercopa winner’s medals Jordi will always remembered for failing to live up to the hype at Old Trafford.
Big things were expected from the son football legend Johan – winner of 20 major trophies including three European Cups, and a three-time Ballon d’Or recipient – but Jordi ultimately underwhelmed during a four-year stint at United and was out on loan at Celta Vigo as the Red Devils went on to secure a historic treble in 1999.
Just eight goals in 46 United appearances saw the Dutchman move on to play for some of Spain’s less fashionable clubs before spells in the Ukrainian and Maltese leagues brought his playing career to an end.
With dad Kenny winning everything north and south of the border, most notably as part of the Liverpool side that won six football leagues, three FA Cups and three European titles, much was expected when son Paul entered the professional ranks.
However, two MLS Cups with Houston Dynamo are all that is to show for a career that took in spells at Newcastle, Norwich and Blackpool as well as unremarkable stints in the Scottish leagues.
Steve Bruce is widely regarded as the best English player to never have run out for national side. As the bedrock of the Manchester United defence he lifted the Premier League three times as well as winning three FA Cups, two League Cups and a European Cup Winner’s Cup.
As such, his defensive skills were expected to rub off on son Alex.
However, no one other than Steve seems to be able to see the father-son similarities and as such, Bruce junior has been shipped out on loan six times in his career to date.
The 29-year-old has no career honours to speak off and after leaving Birmingham to shake off charges of nepotism, realised he’s best off with his dad and signed on for a reunion at Hull.
Sir Alex may not have enjoyed the most distinguished of playing careers but when the under-pressure manager of Manchester United plays his son in the heart of midfield, big things are anticipated.
Fergie junior may have a Premier League title win on his CV but after unsuccessful spells at Wolves and Rotterdam he found his level plying his trade for Wrexham.
Over 300 appearances for the Welsh side showed he was a competent footballer but his career was always on a downhill trajectory once the father-son ties were cut.
Teddy’s son was given his start at a club clearly beyond his level, despite being part of the Ipswich Town FA Youth Cup winning side in 2004-05.
Crystal Palace gave him his first chance in the professional ranks but he was soon shipped out to their US affiliates in Baltimore, where a return of just one goal in nine games stateside failed to impress.
He then embarked on a tour of the non-league game in England, taking in spells at Cambridge, Welling United, Bishop’s Stortford, Histon and Dartford.
A return of 30 goals in 46 games for the latter prompted AFC Bournemouth to offer him a route back into the Football League, but this was swiftly seen as a mistake and he was shipped out on loan – back to Dartford – before signing on a free for AFC Wimbledon.
Dad Teddy may have made Spurs fans eat their chants by winning three Premier Leagues, one FA Cup and a Champions League with United, but his son is destined to forever grace the lower reaches of the game.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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