Sibling Rivalry! Premier League stars with lesser-spotted brothers

O Brother Where Are Thou? Playing in the French third tier, that's where...

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In case you weren’t aware, it turned out after his arrival at Newcastle that the man being described in the media as “Romelu Lukaku’s brother Jordan Lukaku” is, in fact, the brother of Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku.

I know, right, what a bolt from the blue.

Aside from having a slightly more famous and – at this point – more successful sibling, Jordan has played in a European Championships and made 50 appearances in Serie A. Relatively speaking, he is an excellent footballer.

Sadly, though, unless things go very well for him at Newcastle (and very badly for Romelu in Manchester), the younger Lukaku is probably destined to spend the rest of his career being known as “Jordan Lukaku, brother of Romelu Lukaku.”

This is a pretty common occurrence in families with one supremely gifted child and another supremely-but-not-quite-as supremely gifted child. The reality is that players like Jordan Lukaku are better at football than 99.9% of people, yet for some observers will always be “the crap brother”.

Clearly, this is horribly unfair, but who is Paddy Power to pass up an opportunity for some family-related humour-based #content? Nobody, that’s who.

So without further ado, here’s a lovely list of current Premier League stars with less well-known – but still very very talented – siblings.

Paul Pogba – Florentin & Mathias Pogba

What, you didn’t know Paul Pogba had two brothers who are also professional footballers? You must have missed the 5,000 other articles detailing this fact.

Florentin and Mathias are actually twins. Both are Guinea internationals, and Mathias spent a not-insignificant part of his career playing in the UK. He was at Wrexham, Crewe, Crawley and Partick Thistle for a total of seven years, but plies his trade at present with Tours in the French third tier.

Florentin played in France with Sedan and Saint-Étienne for most of his career, including an appearance against Paul in the 2017-18 Europa League, a match at which Mathias and their mother wore half-and-half shirts.

Still, all three have had their hands on the World Cup:

Gonzalo Higuaín – Federico Higuaín

The new Chelsea forward is known for his goalscoring, but so is his brother Federico.

Kind of. Federico has 50-odd goals for Columbus Crew in MLS, which is an impressive feat albeit not quite on the level of Gonzalo’s record-breaking 2017-18 Serie A capocannoniere season.

Before that, to be honest, Federico wasn’t up to much. He flitted around the Argentinian leagues for a while, but wasn’t much cop. Luckily for him, however, defences in MLS are absolutely sh*te.

Ashley Young – Lewis Young

Ashley Young has 39 England caps and has won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Europa League and the League Cup. His brother, Lewis, has not.

Still, Lewis Young has carved out a very decent career in lower league football, something of which most of us can only dream.

Like his older brother, he now often plays as a fullback having started out as a primarily attacking player at Watford, and has been a regular at Crawley Town (where he played alongside Mathias Pogba) since 2014.

Sadly, as far as we’re aware a bird has never sh*t in his mouth during a match, so Ashley’s got the edge there.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Catilina & Willy Aubameyang

All three Aubameyang brothers were on the books at AC Milan during the 2000s. Catilina, perhaps most famous for the wine mixer named in his honour, started out there in 2002, followed by Willy in 2004 and Pierre-Emerick in 2007.

Catilina played once in the league for Milan, before going on a series of loans and gradually playing out his career in France and Italy. Willy managed a Coppa Italia appearance for the Rossoneri, but like Catilina subsequently spent a while on the loan scene.

Kilmarnock fans may remember Willy for a pretty bleak 2011 spell at the club, which sadly was probably about as good as it got for him in the second half of his career.

To be fair to Catilina and Willy, they can’t have been that bad, as they were both Gabon internationals. Unfortunately, their combined 24 international caps and one goal doesn’t quite compare to Pierre-Emerick’s 58 caps and 24 goals.

Eden Hazard – Kylian & Thorgan Hazard

Here’s the thing: Thorgan Hazard is really good at football.

And not even in relative terms compared to us mere mortals. He’s actually just quite a good player, and was part of the Belgian squad that beat England twice on the way to third-place in the 2018 World Cup. Two weeks ago, he scored this goal:

There’s ongoing talk that he could still turn out to be a bit of a star in his own right.

As for Kylian, well, we’re not so sure. Yeah, he’s at Chelsea but that may have as much to do with the fact that so is Eden as it is with his footballing ability. Prior to pitching up at Stamford Bridge, he wasn’t exactly a superstar at Újpest or Zulte Waregem, and is (shocker) currently on loan at Cercle Brugge.

To be fair, he’s only 23. So there’s still time.

Christian Benteke – Jonathan Benteke

What, another set of Belgian brothers? Must be something in the water over there. Or perhaps the beer.

Jonathan is nominally a forward, although it’s hard to see why considering he’s managed four goals in his 50 league appearances so far.

He’s currently on the books at Oldham, but is perhaps better-known for his 2016-17 spell at Crystal Palace, where – completely coincidentally – his older brother Christian happened to play.

Nemanja Matic – Uros Matic

The Matic brothers’ careers have gone in fairly starkly different directions since they were both part of the furniture at Slovakian giants Kosice in 2009.

In the intervening decade, Nemanja has won two Premier League titles, as well as an FA Cup, a League Cup, a Portuguese league and appearing in a World Cup. In 2014-15, he was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

Uros’ biggest achievement so far has been winning the Danish Superliga in 2016-17. Which, again, it has be said is a pretty major honour – it just happens to pale in comparison to what his brother has done.

Granit Xhaka – Taulant Xhaka

Okay, okay, it’s probably pushing it a bit to describe Granit Xhaka as a Premier League “star” – but did you know he was recently voted the “most powerful sports personality in Switzerland for 2018”.

Taulant Xhaka was not.

More like Lacking-in-Taulant Xhaka, am I right?

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