After Savage Jr plays for Man Utd: Ronaldo, Neville, Zidane, van der Sar sons aiming to fill dad’s big shoes
AN EMOTIONAL Robbie Savage had the rare honour of commentating over his son’s debut as Charlie Savage made his Manchester United debut.Savage Jr, then 18, came off the bench for the final five minutes in the Champions League back in December to become the latest boy wonder to follow in the footsteps of their famous father.
Charlie Savage is impressing for Manchester United’s development teamCredit: Getty
https://twitter.com/btsportfootball/status/1468702058060693512?s=20 Savage Sr was on co-commentary duty and ‘started to tear up’ as he announced his son’s arrival.
Charlie, now 20, has taken a further step forward in his career after spending the back end of this campaign at League 1 strugglers Forest Green.
Wayne Rooney’s son Kai also signed terms with United in 2020. Proud dad Wazza announced the news his then-11-year-old had penned a deal with his old club as he shared a snap of him and Coleen alongside the boy wonder.
But he won’t be the first son looking to fulfil the great expectations they were born with.
Offspring of legends like Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Kluivert are also looking to make their own way in the footballing world while dealing with the pressure of their iconic surnames. And Maxim Gullit, son of Ruud and great nephew of Johan Cruyff, is in the same boat and came off the bench for Jong AZ Alkmaar for his first taste of senior action.
Wayne Rooney’s son Kai signed for Manchester United in December 2020Credit: Instagram
Justin Kluivert, son of Patrick, is one of a group of young footballers aiming to follow in their fathers’ legendary footstepsCredit: Instagram @patrickkluivert9
Here, SunSport takes a look at the other youngsters aiming to follow in their fathers’ giant footsteps…
Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, 12
Cristiano Jr is on the books at Man Utd with dad Ronaldo
Cristiano Jr has a heavy legacy to live up to if he attempts to emulate his five-time Ballon d’Or-winning father Ronaldo. The youngster was part of Juventus’ academy and impressed in a number of youth tournaments.
But he moved the United with his dad. And Ronaldo, 37, admitted in the past he would ‘like’ to see Junior follow in his footsteps.
But the Portugal captain has insisted he will not ‘pressure’ his eldest son into a footballing career.
Joe van der Sar, 24
Joe van Der Sar is son of Man Utd legend Edwin
Joe van der Sar is the son of legendary father Edwin. Joe began his career at Man Utd, where his dad starred for six years, and then moved on to Noordwijk before signing for Ajax in 2013 where Edwin is CEO.
These are giant gloves to fill and the expectations are high. He was back at Noordwijk aiming to work his way to the top but is now with the Pittsburgh Panthers in the USA.
Maxim Gullit, 21
Maxim Gullit, left, is son of Chelsea icon Ruud, right, and great-nephew of Johann Cruyff
Son of Ruud and great-nephew of Johan Cruyff, Maxim Gullit could hardly hope for better footballing genes. Maxim, a defender and son of Estelle Cruyff, predominantly played for AZ’s Under-19 side in 2018-19 – but was handed an Easter treat – being called up a level.
The talented teen came on for the final 19 minutes of the AZ second team’s clash with champions Twente in the Netherlands’ second tier and helped his side keep a clean sheet. He went on to become a regular for their Under-21 side, while he made his debut for the first team in the 4-1 Europa League win over HNK Rijeka in the Europa League in October 2020.
He now plays for Eredivisie side Cambuur and has a few appearances for the Dutch international underage groups under his belt.
Zidane (Luca, Enzo & Theo)
Zinedine Zidane has three footballer sons but Luca, left, was handed a Real Madrid debut by his dad in March last year
All three of Zinedine Zidane’s sons are aiming to follow in his giant footsteps. Midfielder Enzo, 27, is currently at Spanish side Fuenlabrada, and 20-year-old Theo is looking to develop in Real Madrid’s academy.
Goalkeeper Luca, 24, made two appearances for Los Blancos, but he left in search of game time. He is now at Segunda Division outfit Eibar after two years with Rayo Vallecano.
Gudjohnsen (Andri Lucas, Sveinn Aron & Daniel Tristan)
Eidur Gudjohnsen has three sons aiming to make it in football including Andri Lucas, left, at Real Madrid
Former Chelsea, Tottenham and Barcelona striker Eidur Gudjohnsen had one son at Real Madrid, one son at Barca and another in Italy at one stage.
Sveinn, 24, and the spitting image of his father, plays for Swedish side Elfsborg while younger brother Andri Lucas was in the big time at the Bernabeu but has now joined Norrkoping in Sweden.
The London-born 20-year-old, who is starring for Iceland, joined Real’s La Fabrica academy in Valdebas in 2018 while 16-year-old Daniel Tristan is at Malmo having previously played for Barcelona and Real Madrid’s youth teams.
Eidur famously came on for his father, Arnor, while playing for Iceland, in 1996.
Tyrese Campbell, 23
Stoke’s Tyrese Campbell, left, is son of former Arsenal, Everton and West Brom striker Kevin
Stoke’s young star Tyrese Campbell made a huge breakthrough in 2019-20 – appearing 33 times in the Championship for the Potters.
The forward, who joined Stoke from Man City’s academy in 2016, is son of former Arsenal, Everton and West Brom striker Kevin Campbell.
Tyrese scored his first goals for Stoke in the FA Cup in 2018-19 before being loaned out to League One Shrewsbury for the remainder of the campaign. In his most recent at Stoke, he has scored nine and assisted five from 41 games.
Harvey Neville, 20
Harvey Neville, left, has good family genes with father Phil, right, and uncle Gary both ex-Man Utd players
With TWO Manchester United Treble winners as father (Phil) and uncle (Gary), plus England’s netball head coach for an aunt (Tracey), there was little chance of Harvey going into auditing.
Harvey, who started in midfield or on the wing but now plays at full-back, began his career at United before moving to rivals City where he won the Premier League International Tournament as an Under-13.
He moved to Valencia when his father and uncle took charge of the first-team before returning to Old Trafford in 2018.
And earlier this year he followed dad Phil to the USA – joining Fort Lauderdale CF just up the road from his old man’s digs in Miami. Then in October, Phil brought his son Harvey off the bench to make his MLS debut for Inter Miami.
Maurizio Pochettino, 22
Watford’s Maurizio Pochettino, left, was (almost) named after his father Spurs boss Mauricio
Maurizio is the offspring of former Spurs boss and incoming Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino.
And the Argentine youngster, described as a wide player with an eye for goal, continued to play for the Lilywhites in 2019-20 despite his dad getting the sack in November that season.
He even signed a new contract with the club, but quit to join Watford on a free in January 2021. The Barcelona-born star was released after making just one appearance and now is contracted to third-tier side Gimnastic de Tarragona in Catalonia.
Justin Kluivert, 24
Justin Kluivert, left, is already showing the talents of his father Patrick who was a Barcelona striker
The name may have got him noticed but it is Justin Kluivert’s talent that has seen him thrive at such a young age. Son of Patrick, left winger Justin was nurtured by the Ajax academy and starred in Serie A for Italian side Roma after signing in 2018 for £14.9million.
Manchester United were also believed to be after the youngster – who bagged five goals and two assists in 2019-20.
He spent the last two seasons enjoying loan spells with RB Leipzig, where he has enjoyed a return to top form, and Nice before a third temporary switch, this time to Valencia.
Daniel Maldini, 21
Daniel Maldini, left, is following in the footsteps of father Paolo, right, and grandfather Cesare at AC Milan
The Maldini dynasty continues, with Daniel following in father Paolo and grandfather Cesare’s footsteps in Milan. Daniel operates at the opposite end of the pitch to his father and has displayed his talents as a second striker.
The talented youngster made his first-team debut against Hellas Verona in Serie A in 2019-20 – becoming the third generation of Maldinis to play for AC Milan. He has since played 24 matches for the San Siro side but joined Spezia on loan in the summer.
Giovanni Simeone, 27
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone’s son Giovanni, left, is a winger on loan at Hellas Verona from Italian side Fiorentina
Son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego, Giovanni is one of the few in this group to have already established themselves. Usually deployed as a second striker, Giovanni has broken into the Argentina team where he has been capped on five occasions – scoring once.
He joined Cagliari in the summer of 2020 after a successful loan spell where he has scored five goals in six Serie A matches. But he is now on loan at high-flying Napoli from Hellas Verona.
Erling Haaland, 22
Former Man City man Alf-Inge Haaland, right, has a son Erling, left, who is starring at Dortmund
Erling Haaland, son of Man City’s Alf-Inge whose career was ended after a horror tackle from United legend Roy Keane, is one of the best players in world football right now.
The 22-year-old was mentored by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde, before smashing in the goals for RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund.
Manchester City came calling in the summer to land the hulking centre-forward amid interest from United and Real Madrid.
And what a signing it has proven to be already with Haaland breaking the Premier League scoring record with a handful of games to spare in his debut season.
Sydney van Hooijdonk, 23
Sydney van Hooijdonk, left, could be on the move to a British side in January
Son of former Nottingham Forest striker Pierre, the 22-year-old had been in fine form for NAC Breda in the Dutch second tier in recent seasons.
The towering centre-forward has chipped in with 23 goals in 70 games since his 2019-20 debut.
His hot form has seen him linked with Forest, Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday in England. But he instead moved to Serie A side Bologna and is now on loan at Heerenveen, smashing in 12 goals in 25 Eredivisie games. More