Maldini, Zidane, Kluivert, Hagi, Weah - the sons of legends making their own way

Paulo Maldini and Daniel Maldini

Keen European football geeks will be thinking that things are looking a lot like a 25-season Championship Manager save right now…

That's because the sons of legends are making their way into the game.

Here are some of the most famous names.

Daniel Maldini - 17, AC Milan

Daniel Maldini
Daniel Maldini became the youngest AC Milan outfield player to start a match in International Champions Cup on his debut

Dad famous for: Paolo Maldini is an AC Milan legend and was the definition of 'one club man'. The defender played 902 games - including a record 647 times in Serie A - winning five European Cups and seven league titles for the Italian giants in a career spanning nearly a quarter of a century.

By playing for the Rossoneri, Daniel also follows in the footsteps of his grandfather, Cesare, who played more than 300 times for Milan in the 1950s and 1960s and went on to manage the club. Quite the dynasty then.

Daniel's career so far: He made his debut for AC Milan this week in a friendly against Bayern Munich.

Interesting fact: The number three shirt made famous by Paolo was retired with him but the Milan legend has given permission for the club to reissue it should either of his sons play for the club.

Justin Kluivert - 20, Roma

Dad famous for: Patrick Kluivert played for the likes of Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona during his career where he scored 205 times. In 79 appearances for the Netherlands he scored 40 goals and helped them to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998.

He won a few trophies too, including the Eredivisie twice, La Liga and the Champions League where he scored the winner against Milan when he was just 18.

Justin's career so far: He too started at Ajax and fittingly scored his first senior goal 10 years and one day after his father's last career goal. He also came away with a Europa League runners-up medal in the 16/17 campaign.

Like his dad, he moved to Italy after signing for Roma in 2018. Although still trying to cement his place in the side, he did become Roma's youngest ever Champions League scorer last season after scoring against Viktoria Plzen, his first goal for the club.

Interesting fact: He wears 34 in tribute to his former Ajax team-mate Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered a career-ending cardiac arrhythmia attack in 2017.

Timothy Weah - 19, Lille

Timothy Weah
Timothy Weah signed a five-year deal with Lille in June having struggled to get in the squad at Paris St-Germain

Dad famous for: Being the first and only African to win the Ballon d'Or. He is now the President of Liberia.

George Weah made his name in France when he was signed by Arsene Wenger for Monaco for just £12,000.

He became a world superstar in Italy at AC Milan winning two Italian titles, the Ballon d'Or and scoring a famous goal in which he ran from one end of the pitch to the other past half the Hellas Verona side.

Despite nearly 200 career goals, Weah hasn't taken it easy in retirement, becoming the President of Liberia in 2018 and turning out for an international friendly against Nigeria later that year at 51.

Timothy's career so far: Starting off in New York Red Bulls' academy, the US international followed his father's footsteps signing his first professional contract at Paris St-Germain.

It was always going to be tough living up to his surname with a front three of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, so after spending half a season on loan at Celtic it's no surprise he decided to take a move to French rivals Lille.

Interesting fact: Gianluigi Buffon made his debut for Parma in 1995, keeping a clean sheet against George Weah's AC Milan. Then, 23 years later, Buffon became a team-mate of his son at PSG.

Ianis Hagi - 20, Genk

Ianis Hagi
Ianis Hagi scored twice as Romania reached the semi-finals of the Under-21 European Championship in July

Dad famous for: Being 'the Maradona of the Carpathians' (a mountain range in Romania) Gheorghe Hagi - a creative playmaker who played for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Galatasaray - was regarded as one of the best footballers in the world in the 80s and 90s.

The attacking midfielder won 125 caps and is considered Romania's greatest player of all time. Not a lot for his son to live up to then…

Ianis' career so far: Twice nominated for the prestigious European Golden Boy Award, his talent hasn't gone unnoticed. He started his career at the academy set up by his dad, then was coached by Gheorghe at Viitorul Constanta.

Although his first move away from Romania to Italian side Fiorentina didn't quite work out, Ianis regained his confidence back at Viitorul and lit up the Under-21 Euros this summer before bagging a move to Belgium's Genk - the club that launched the careers of Kevin De Bruyne, Divock Origi and Thibaut Courtois.

Interesting fact: His dad made him captain of Viitorul Constanta, aged just 20.

Luca Zidane - 21, Racing Club Santander (on loan)

Dad famous for: Being Zinedine Zidane - one of the greatest footballers of all time, winning nearly everything as a player and a manager. And a headbutt in a World Cup final - we can't forget the headbutt.

Luca's career so far: He's made his way through the ranks at Real Madrid, graduating to the reserve team and then the first team under his dad's management. Unlike many of the other sons of legends, he hasn't followed his dad's footsteps exactly, putting on the goalkeeping gloves instead of heading midfield.

Interesting fact: He is the second of four Zidane offspring making their way through the Real Madrid academy.

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