AFP

Football's sons of a gun

Over the last few days we've seen the sons of two of football's modern greats, Diego Simeone and Zinedine Zidane, making their own mark on the world stage. They are not alone.

These rising stars carry the weight of expectation and a surname in football royalty as they try to carve out a career in their dad’s towering shadow.

Some kids crumble under the pressure, while others take it in their stride. Here’s our pick of the sons of a gun who tried to pave their own path in football.

Diego and Giovanni Simeone

A hard hitting midfielder in his playing days, Diego Simeone earned over 100 caps for Argentina in a decorated 20-year career, before going on to manage Atletico Madrid to five trophies in five seasons.

One of Diego’s iconic goals was a towering header while playing for Lazio in a 1-0 win over Juventus in April 2000.

It took 16 and a half years for history to repeat itself when Diego’s son, Giovani, was named to start for Genoa in the absence of first-choice striker Leonardo Pavoletti. The script was laid out for the next Simeone to come back and haunt the Old Lady and Giovanni grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The 21 year-old scored a double as Genoa stunned the Italian giant with a 3-1 win in front of a euphoric crowd at the Luigi Ferraris.

Rivaldinho and Rivaldo

Brazil and Barcelona legend Rivaldo achieved the rare feat of playing alongside son Rivaldinho when he came out of retirement in 2015 to play for Mogi Mirim in Brazil’s second division.

It was a match dominated by the father-son duo with Rivaldo setting his son up for the opener, dispatching a penalty for the second before Rivaldinho scored the third in the 3-1 win.

The telegraphic pairing was short-lived, that was Rivaldo’s only appearance for the club before returning to his role as club president.

Meanwhile, Rivaldinho has gone on to bigger and better, securing a move to Internacional in Brazil’s top flight.

Cesare and Paolo Maldini

Cesare Maldini became an AC Milan legend, with four league titles and a European Cup in eight decorated seasons. They were big boots to fill, but son Paolo picked up right where his dad left off and astonishingly, reached new heights with 25 trophies including seven league titles and five European Cups in a remarkable 24 year career at the club.

Maldini has two sons who look set to follow in their father and grandfather's footsteps. 17 year-old Christian has already trained with Milan’s first team and is now playing on loan at Brescia.

Paolo's youngest son Daniel is a member of Milan's youth academy, and the 12 year-old showed his dad's mongrel with this slide tackle on Milan great Clarence Seedorf as a five year old.

AC Milan retired Paolo’s iconic number three jersey when he retired in 2009 but looking at these two rising stars, that jersey may not be retired for long.

Zinedine and Enzo Zidane

Adopting his mother’s maiden name Fernandez, 19 year-old Enzo has tried hard to distance himself from the famous Zidane name, but he won’t be able to keep that quiet for long after scoring on his first team debut in the 6-1 thrashing against Cultural Leonnes.

Zidane's son nets on debut in Madrid mauling

His dad Zinedine was there on the sidelines watching on as a relieved manager and more importantly as a proud dad.

Zidane a proud father and manager for son Enzo

Peter and Kasper Schmeichel

Peter and Kasper Schmeichel are among the rare father-son duos to both win the Premier League title.

Peter won five Premier League titles in a trophy laden career with Manchester United, leaving huge gloves for son Kasper to fill when he opted to follow in his dad’s footsteps. To his credit, Kasper wrote his own name in football folklore as Leicester stunned English football to go from cellar dweller to Premier League champion in one season.  

Arnor and Eidur Gudjohnsen

Arnor Gudjohnsen was agonizingly close to taking the field with 17 year-old son Eidur in Iceland’s clash with Estonia in 1996. Instead, the 34 year-old made history by becoming the first father to make way for his son in an international match. 

It was a heartwarming moment, but Arnór still rues the missed opportunity, "It remains my biggest regret that we did not get to play together, and I know it is Eidur's too," Arnor said.

Eidur went on to shine for club and country, playing for the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea FC while holding the record as Iceland’s all-time leading goalscorer.

With three football crazed boys in Eidur’s offspirng, don’t be surprise if football is graced by a third generation of Gudjohnsen.

Johan and Jordi Cruyff

Children don’t always’s surpass the achievements of their parents and in Jordi Cruyff’s case, it was practically impossible.

A Barcelona legend as a manager and player Barcelona, Johan Cruyff revolutionised the club, introducing total football to the club, the foundations for the tiki taka style the club is renowned for today.

As a manager, Johan gave son Jordi his break at Barcelona in 1994, however the attacker was stifled by his father’s reputation, managing 11 goals in two seasons before moving to Manchester United where he made only 34 appearances in four years.

David and Brooklyn Beckham

David Beckham has a stock of young footballers with three sons Romeo, Brooklyn and Cruz all inheriting their dad's love for the game, with all three boys playig with Arsenal's youth academy.

Beckham's boys will always have a tough act to live up to as Brooklyn found out while trying to flaunt his 1 million Instagram, but Becks was on to remind his kids who's the real king of the castle.

 

Reached 1 million followers on my mums birthday. Thank u guys so much #ismydadcoolerthanme

A video posted by bb (@brooklynbeckham) on

Jean, Youri and Oan Djorkaeff

Jean Djorkaeff was a defensive marshal for the likes of Lyon, Marseille, and Paris Saint-Germain between 1958 and 1972, while managing 48 appearances for France.

34 years on, his son Youri went one better, winning UEFA EURO 2000 with France before winning the World Cup two years later.

The onus is now on Youri’s son Oan to up the ante, with the 16 year-old currently playing for Montpellier’s reserve side in France.