The greatest Premier League sibling duos
It’s an achievement in itself for just one footballer to reach a top professional league. So it’s even more astounding when pairs of siblings feature in a professional league – yet alone one that has the profile of the English Premier League. That has certainly been the case though down the years as dozens of footballing brothers have made appearances in the English top flight. It’s hardly an all-English affair though as there have also been plenty of international sibling duos that have also joined this unique club. With that in mind, who are some of the greatest sibling duos in Premier League history?
Rio & Anton Ferdinand
The Ferdinand family name is one that is easily recognisable to the Premier League. Whilst Les Ferdinand became a prolific striker for much of the 1990s, it would be his cousins that would later carry the name forward. The most recognisable of them would be Rio Ferdinand. The commanding centre-back is rightly one of the greatest defenders in English modern history due to his excellent all-round game. Rio Ferdinand’s time with Manchester United saw him become one of the most decorated defenders of his generation winning 6 Premier League titles in a career that saw him inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2016. Rio’s success put a lot of pressure on younger brother Anton to succeed too. Despite not reaching the lofty heights of his older brother, Anton Ferdinand still featured in 218 Premier League games for the likes of West Ham, Sunderland and QPR. A proper football family indeed.
Andy & David Linighan
Despite not being a high profile name, the Linighan brothers were one of the first family names to appear in the Premier League. Most of the success came through the older of the Linighan brothers, Andrew. Andy Linighan’s success came with Arsenal who he joined from Norwich in 1990. As a powerful defender, Andy Linighan often helped The Gunners in the backlines working with iconic names like Tony Adams and Steve Bould. Linighan’s shining moment came in the 1993 League Cup Final where he scored the winner in the Final against Sheffield Wednesday. The younger of the two brothers was David Linighan who featured in the early Premier League seasons with Ipswich Town. Also a centre back, David Linighan was with The Tractor Boys for their entire first Premier League run until they were relegated in 1995 where he joined Blackpool.
Rafael & Fabio Da Silva
It’s rare enough for brothers to shine in the same league however twins can be even rarer. However, that eventuality happened through the emergence of Brazilian defenders Rafael & Fabio Da Silva. Both deployed as quick full-backs, Rafael & Fabio came through the ranks at Manchester United during the mid-2000s. It would be Rafael that became the bigger star of the two becoming a regular site at right-back for United in the early 2010s. Making over 100 league appearances for United, Rafael won 3 Premier League titles before leaving to join Lyon in 2015. Fabio enjoyed some success with United making several appearances in the 2010/11 title winning season. However, he was deemed surplus to requirements and spent time with the likes of QPR & Cardiff before leaving English football for good in 2018. With both players having won the Premier League and been capped by Brazil, it’s safe to say there was some twin magic in their blood.
Carl Cort & Ruben Loftus-Cheek
They may have separate names and even starred in different eras yet Carl Cort & Ruben Loftus-Cheek are still siblings. Half-brothers through their father, Carl Cort starred in the 1990s as a quick and lively forward. Having enjoyed spells with both Wimbledon and Newcastle, Cort could always be counted on to find the net. He even earned an international call-up even if he came with his ancestral home of Guyana. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been the more prominent brother starring for Chelsea in the late 2010s using his technical abilities to shine at Stamford Bridge. Loftus-Cheek has perhaps exceeded his older brother’s profile by starring in a top-tier side as well as earning 10 caps for England during his career.
Andre & Jordan Ayew
Born and raised in France, the Ayew brothers have criss-crossed their way through teams both sides of the channel. The Ghana internationals both are quick wingers that graduated from Marseille’s academy in the late 2000s. The sons of legendary African footballer Abedi Pele both moved to England in 2015 with Jordan joining Aston Villa and Andre signing for Swansea City. Andre made the bigger impact with The Swans scoring 12 goals in his debut season and winning a Premier League Player of the Month Award in August 2015. Jordan would move to Swansea a couple of seasons later joining Andre there for the 2018-19 season. They would split again in 2019 with Jordan moving to Crystal Palace where he shone at Selhurst Park being named their Player of the Year in 2020. With a solid record in the English top flight, it’s safe to say both brothers have lived up to the reputation set by their father.
Kolo & Yaya Toure
It’s amazing to think just how much two brothers from the Ivory Coast achieved during their storied career. Born and raised in the city of Bouake, Kolo and Yaya Toure took their chances after joining the ASEC Abidjan academy. This saw them earn opportunities in Europe with Kolo immediately moving to Arsenal in 2001. Whilst Yaya moved to the Ukraine and ended up at Barcelona, Kolo became a regular for The Gunners even being a part of The Invincibles team that won the 2003/04 Premier League season. Whilst Kolo remained a star for Arsenal, Yaya moved to England in 2010 joining Manchester City. At City, Yaya Toure became a dominant midfield dynamo as he won no less than 3 League titles in Manchester. Between the two Toure brothers, they have amassed numerous titles across English football and have both been nominated in several Premier League Team of the Seasons. A true fairy-tale story indeed.
Gary & Phil Neville
When it comes to famous brothers in the Premier League, no duo is more famous than Gary & Phil Neville. Both coming through the ranks at Manchester United, they could be seen charging up the flanks as full-back during the late 1990s. Gary Neville is still arguably considered the best right-back in Premier League history winning 8 Premier League titles with United who he stayed with for his entire career. His place in football history is already secured which is immortalized by his induction into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Phil Neville was a top left-back for his entire career and he rolled the dice leaving United to join Everton in 2005. Whilst at Goodison Park, Neville served as a long-term club captain for The Toffees and made over 250 appearances for them over 8 seasons. No matter what direction they went in, the Neville brothers were beloved and important part of any side they played in during the Premier League careers.