Manchester United are edging closer to the signing of Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Braut Håland after his father, Alf-Inge Håland, was spotted at the club’s Carrington training complex earlier this week.
The 19-year-old has been in scintillating form this season, bagging 26 goals in 18 appearances – including five hat tricks. His father was a combative midfielder who had spells at Forest, Leeds and City. He was infamously on the receiving end of a Roy Keane horror tackle during a feud between the pair.
Regarding United, Alf-Inge Håland once said: “I really dislike United and I can’t stand their players”. Awkward.
But the Hålands are just the latest in a long line of father & son footballers, albeit with varying degrees of success. Here’s our best XI…
Peter & Kasper Schmeichel
Two great Danes who both won the Premier League title and captained their country at major championships. Peter is regarded as a God in Denmark, and not just by himself. He played a starring role in Denmark’s Euro ’92 triumph, making a string of world-class saves in the final against Germany. He also led Manchester United to an historic ‘Treble’ in 1999 when they defeated Bayern Munich with two dramatic injury time goals.
Kasper started his career at rivals Manchester City but only made 8 appearances before signing for Notts County. He spent one year at Leeds United then moved to Leicester City, where he’s spent the past 8 seasons. He was instrumental in helping The Foxes win the 2016 Premier League title.
Cesare & Paolo Maldini
This is one of the rare occasions when a son emerges from his father’s shadow to enjoy a more illustrious career. Cesare was a key component of the AC Milan side which won the 1963 European Cup. The defender played over 400 games for the Rossoneri, winning 4 Serie A titles along the way. Maldini Sr also had to stints as Milan manager (1972-74 & 2001).
Paolo eclipsed his father’s on-field achievements by appearing over 900 times for Milan in a career spanning 25 years. Maldini Jr collected 25 trophies during his time at the San Siro, including seven Serie A titles and five European Cups. Paolo also eclipsed his father’s modest haul of 14 international caps by amassing 126 of his own.
Danny & Daley Blind
Danny Blind was the linchpin of the Ajax defence when the Amsterdam outfit won the Champions League in 1995. The cultured centre-back played almost 500 games for the Dutch giants during a 13-year spell at the club, winning 16 major honours in the process. After hanging up his boots, Blind Sr moved into coaching and after stints as assistant boss at both Ajax and Holland, he was appointed manager of the full national side in 2015.
During his spell in charge of Oranje, Blind Sr coached his son, Daley. Blind Jr spent seven seasons at Ajax before switching to Manchester United in 2014. The versatile defender stayed at United for four years where he won the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League. He returned to Ajax in 2018 and has so far made 220 appearances for the club over the course of his two spells there. Daley has already exceeded his father’s achievements at international level, winning 66 caps compared to his father’s total of 42.
Steve & Alex Bruce
Criticised for his lack of mobility, Steve Bruce more than compensated with his dogged determination and knack for scoring important goals. He led United to their first title win for 26-years in 1993 and won 11 more major trophies during his stint with The Red Devils. Alex Bruce spent three years at the Manchester United youth academy before moving onto Blackburn Rovers. He’s probably best remembered for his five-year spell at Hull City where, under his father’s management, he won two promotions to the Premier League and finished as runners-up in the 2014 FA Cup Final.
Bruce Sr is widely regarded as one of the best English defenders never to earn a call-up to the national side. He was approached by Jack Charlton to play for the Republic of Ireland (he qualified through Irish parents) but opted not to. However, his son Alex accepted the FAI’s invitation to represent them and he won two caps before switching his allegiance to Northern Ireland. As a result, Bruce Jr has the unlikely distinction of being the first player since 1950 to represent both Irish football associations.
Johan & Jordi Cruyff
Jordi Cruyff was given the unenviable task of following in his father’s immortal footsteps. He was determined to make it as a footballer on his own terms, opting to use the name Jordi on his shirt and forging a solid career lasting 18 seasons. The attacking midfielder spent two seasons in the Barcelona first team before an injury-ravaged four-year spell at Manchester United. He won nine international caps, scoring one goal. Cruyff Sr is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, scooping three Ballons d’Or during his astonishing career.
After ten trophy-laden seasons at Ajax, during which he lifted three European Cups, the winger moved to the Camp Nou where he ended the Catalan club’s 14-year wait for a league title. He led the Dutch national side to the 1974 World Cup Final and was voted ‘Player of the Tournament’ in the process. Johan was also one of the very few great players who went on to become great managers, leading former clubs Ajax and Barcelona to European glory.
Paul & Tom Ince
Paul Ince, the self-styled ‘Guv’nor’, was a like Pitbull in the middle of the park. The London-born midfielder began his career at West Ham before a controversial transfer to Man United saw him become public enemy no.1 at Upton Park (a naïve young Ince was photographed in a Manchester United kit some time before the transfer was complete). The Guv’nor fell victim to Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to cull his squad in the summer of ’95 in order to make way for a crop of gifted youth players including Paul Scholes and David Beckham. He made the bold move to Inter Milan where the tough-tackling midfielder became a cult-hero during his two seasons in Italy.
Ince returned to England with Liverpool and scored an injury time equaliser against former employers Man United which almost derailed their ‘Treble’ bid in 1999. He earned 53 caps for England between 1992-2000 and gained the notable distinction of becoming England’s first black captain during a summer tour of the US in 1993.
At 27-years-old, it’s unlikely that Tom Ince will surpass his father’s achievements. The pacey winger began his career at Liverpool but left without making an appearance. Since then he’s played over 350 games, the bulk of those coming in the Championship, although he had several brief stints in the Premier League with Palace, Hull and Huddersfield.
Ian Wright & Shaun Wright-Phillips
Ian Wright and Shaun Wright-Phillips are the only other father/son combo apart from the Schmeichels to have won a Premier League title. Both had very similar international careers in terms of its duration, caps earned and goals scored. Ian earned 33 caps over a seven-year period, scoring nine goals in the process. While his son, whose own England career lasted six years, scored six goals in 36 appearances.
Ian Wright was a goal machine who was playing non-league football for £30-a-week before signing professional terms with Crystal Palace just three months shy of his 22nd birthday. His scoring exploits led to a club-record fee £2.5m move to Arsenal where he spent the next seven years of his career. In 1997 he scored a hat trick against Bolton Wanderers to surpass Cliff Bastin’s club record of 178 goals to become Arsenal’s all-time top scorer.
Shaun Wright-Phillips began his career with Manchester City, forging a name for himself in England’s second tier as a lightning-quick winger with an eye for goal. When City cemented their place in the Premier League, Wright-Phillips’ impressive performances drew the attention of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who paid £21M for his services. Despite picking up Premier League and FA Cup winners medals at Stamford Bridge, the winger found opportunities hard to come by and returned to Man City in a cut-price £8M move three years later. With Wright-Phillips’ son, D’Margio, playing for Manchester City’s academy and England U16s, the dynasty is set to continue.
Frank Sr & Frank Jr Lampard
Frank Lampard Sr was a marauding left back who spent 20 years at West Ham United, becoming one of the most revered players in the East London club’s history. He’s second only to Billy Bonds in terms of appearances for the club, clocking up 670 games for The Hammers. During his stint with The Irons, Lampard Sr won two FA Cup medals in 1975 and 1980 as well as the old Second Division in 1981. Despite his lengthy career, the full back only managed 2 appearances for England. After hanging up his boots, he returned to West Ham in ’94 as assistant boss and spent seven years in the dugout alongside his brother-in-law Harry Redknapp before their departure in 2001.
On the other hand, Frank Lampard Jr went on to become the eighth-most capped player in England’s history. The box-to-box midfielder also became his country’s 10th highest goalscorer before his retirement from international football in 2014. Like his father, Lampard began his career at West Ham but felt his position at the club was untenable after his father’s dismissal as assistant manager. He made the move to West London rivals Chelsea for £11M where he spent 13 trophy laden years, becoming the club’s all-time top goalscorer in the process.
Brian & Nigel Clough
Brian Clough was a prolific striker in England’s second tier scoring 267 goals in 296 games before a cruciate ligament tear ended his career in 1962. Clough took his first managerial job at Hartlepool United aged just 29 and went on to be regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time. He cemented his reputation as one of England’s top coaches while at Derby County, winning the First Division title in 1972. After ill-fated spells in charge of Brighton and Leeds, Clough joined Nottingham Forest in 1975.
Under his stewardship, Forest enjoyed unprecedented success including four league titles and back-to-back European Cups (1978-80). He remained at the City Ground for 18 years until the club’s relegation in ’93. Nigel Clough played under his father at Forest, earning a reputation as a goalscoring midfielder. His impressive form and Forest’s relegation paved the way for £2.75M move to Liverpool during the summer of 1993. Despite an impressive start to his Anfield career, Clough lost his place in the side to 18-year-old prodigy Robbie Fowler.
Clough spent the next two years club-hopping before joining Burton Albion as player/manager. After finally hanging his boots up in 2008, Clough entered management full-time with Burton before being offered the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps by taking charge of Derby County. Clough was relieved of his duties at Pride Park after four years in charge, making him their longest serving boss in over a decade. After a short stint at Sheffield United, Clough returned to Burton where he currently remains.
Patrick & Justin Kluivert
Patrick Kluivert was the 18-year-old Ajax wonderkid who came off the bench in the 1995 Champions League Final to score an 85th-minute winner against Juventus. After winning every trophy available during a three-year spell at the Dutch giants, the striker moved to AC Milan at the end of an injury plagued 1996/97 season. Kluivert spent one miserable year at the San Siro that bore only six goals before moving to Barcelona for £9M. The Dutchman rediscovered his goalscoring touch at the Nou Camp, netting 122 goals in 257 appearances.
Following brief stints at Newcastle, Valencia, PSV and Lille, Kluivert called it a day in 2008. With 40 goals in 79 games, the striker was all-time leading goalscorer for the Netherlands until that record was broken by Robin van Persie in 2013.
Justin Kluivert followed in his father’s footsteps by making his Ajax debut at the age of 18. The young striker spent two seasons at the Amsterdam Arena, scoring 13 goals before making an £16M move to Roma. Kluivert Jr has so far earned two caps for the Dutch national side.
— Patrick Kluivert (@PatrickKluivert) August 10, 2019
Alf Inge & Erling Håland
And finally, Norwegian father-and-son duo, Alf Inge & Erling Håland. Håland Sr is best remembered for his 10-year stint in England’s top flight and his infamous feud with Roy Keane. The row culminated in an x-rated challenge by the former United captain which Håland later cited as the main reason behind his early retirement. The dependable midfielder also won 34 caps for Norway and represented his country at the 1994 World Cup.
Erling Braut Håland came to the world’s attention this season with prolific goalscoring exploits for Red Bull Salzburg. The 6’4 striker has netted 26 goals in just 18 games this season and became the first teenager in Champions League history to score in 4 consecutive games. His form at club level resulted in an international call-up this season with the 19-year-old winning two caps so far.