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Top 12 Footballing Brothers Who Decided To Play For Different Countries

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There are a lot of footballing brothers who have played together for their country of birth, and a few of those who excellently represented their country of birth are players like the Neville brothers -Gary and Phil Neville, the Laudrap siblings -Brian and Micheal Laudrup, the De Boer brothers -Frank and Ronald De Boer, and more recently the Hazard brothers -Eden and Thorgan Hazard.

However, there have been many other brothers who unfortunately, had to represent different countries probably because of FIFA eligibility criteria, talent, or simply because they felt more comfortable and attached to a different country.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the most popular footballing brothers who showcased their skills for different countries. Some were fortunate to play against each other, while others could not. Enjoy!

The XHAKA brothers

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Granit Xhaka, the Arsenal FC midfielder, has a brother, Taulant Xhaka who also plays as a midfielder for Swiss football club Basel. Both players were born in Switzerland but are of Albanian descent.

While the Arsenal man, the younger Xhaka, represents Switzerland, the elder brother chose to play for Albania.

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TAULANT XHAKA (ALBANIA)

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GRANIT XHAKA (SWITZERLAND)

Although Taulant Xhaka played for Switzerland in his youth, he later switched to Albania to make his senior debut. He was in the Albania squad for Euro 2016 and even faced his junior brother Granit Xhaka in the tournament, becoming the first brothers to ever face each other in the history of the Euro.

The MANDANDA brothers

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Steve Mandanda, the Olympique Marseilles goalkeeper was born in Congo, but later moved to France as a two-year old. His younger brother Parfait Mandanda, was born in Nevers in France.

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PARFAIT MANDANDA (CONGO)

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STEVE MANDANDA (FRANCE)

Both Mandanda brothers are goalkeepers, but the elder one represented France while the younger chose to play for Congo.

They have never faced each other on the pitch, sadly missing out on the opportunity to do that once when France faced Congo in a friendly game. The elder brother played the first half for France, while the younger one only came on in the second half for Congo.

The POGBA brothers

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The Pogba brothers, Paul Pogba, Florentin Pogba, and Mathias Pogba, were all born in France, but are of Guinean descent.

Paul Pogba opted to represent his country of birth France, while his two elder brothers Florentin and Mathias Pogba both chose to play for Guinea.

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Paul Pogba vs Florentin Pogba (Manchester United vs Saint-Etienne, Europa League Match, 2017)

While both Florentin and Mathias Pogba did not make it as big as their younger brother, Paul Pogba who was initially picked up by Manchester United before moving to Juventus and then switched back to the English side again, went on to win the World Cup with France in 2018.

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FLORENTIN POGBA (GUINEA)

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MATHIAS POGBA (GUINEA)

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PAUL POGBA (FRANCE)

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Both Mathias and Florentin have represented Guinea instead of France, and have both made about 5 and 21 appearances respectively for their country.

The ALCANTARA brothers

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PSG Player, Rafinha Alcantara and Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool were born to Brazilian parents, with the former born in Brazil while the latter was given birth to in Italy.

Despite both of them coming through the Barcelona youth system, they have gone separate ways both in club as well as in international football careers.

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RAFINHA ALCANTARA (BRAZIL)

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THIAGO ALCANTARA (SPAIN)

The younger Alcantara, Rafinha chose to play for Brazil while his elder brother Thiago Alcantara chose to represent Spain. The siblings have not played against each other yet, but with the status of the countries they both represent, it is not unlikely that they would not play against each other on the international stage.

The BOATENG brothers

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Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng were born in Germany but are of Ghanaian descent. While Jerome Boateng chose to play for Germany, the elder Kevin-Prince chose to represent Ghana, saying he felt more Ghanian than German.

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KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (GHANA)

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JEROME BOATENG (GERMANY)

The two brothers played against each other twice in World Cups, the first in 2010, when Germany defeated Ghana 1-0, the second in 2014, when both teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

The GOODALL brothers

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According to the history, the Goodall brothers were the first footballing brothers to represent different countries in the late 19th Century, with each one choosing to play for the countries of their birth.

John Goodall was born in London and played 14 times for England, scoring 12 goals, while Archie Goodall was born in Belfast, making 10 appearances for Northern Ireland and scoring 2 goals.

The VIERI brothers

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Just like The Goodalls, the Vieri brothers also chose to represent the countries in which they were born. Christian Vieri was born in Italy before moving with his family to Australia, the country where Massimiliano (Max) was born.

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CHRISTIAN VIERI (ITALY)

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MAX VIERI (AUSTRALIA)

Of the two, Christian Vieri is certainly the more prolific and holds the joint record of scoring the highest goals ever for Italy at the World Cup, scoring 9 goals in 9 matches in the 1998 and 2002 tournaments.

The former Inter Milan of Italy forward played 49 times for Italy, scoring 23 goals, while his brother only earned 6 caps for Australia in 2004 and 2005.

The DE GUZMAN brothers

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Despite both of them being born and raised in Canada, OFI of Greece midfielder Jonathan De Guzman pledged his allegiance to the Netherlands in 2008, while his elder brother Julian De Guzman holds the record as the all-time most capped player of Canada.

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JONATHAN DE GUZMAN (NETHERLANDS)

Julian De Guzman went on to become the only Canadian player to play in the LaLiga when he signed for Deportve La Coruna in 2005. He is currently serving as the president and co-owner of 1812 FC Barrie.

The CAHILL brothers

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Australia’s greatest goalscorer Tim Cahill had the honour of becoming his country's, and he is not the only member of the Cahill family to enjoy such privilege. The older brother, Chris Cahill wore the captain’s armband for Samoa, scoring 2 goals in 3 appearances.

The MALOUDA brothers

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Florent Malouda played 80 times for France, while his brother Lesly Malouda made just 1 appearance for French Guiana in 2012.

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LESLY MALOUDA (FRENCH GUIANA)

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FLORENT MALOUDA (FRANCE)

Technically the brothers can be said to have represented the same country after Florent Malouda, controversially switched allegiances and played for French Guiana, a non-FIFA association country, after staying away for five years from Les Bleus.

The DRENTHE brothers

The Drenthe brothers are Surinam-born. While Royston Drenthe, the former Real Madrid, Everton and QPR player chose to represent the Netherlands, Giovanni Drenthe chose Surinam and he currently plays as a striker for SV Excelsior, a Dutch club.

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GIOVANNI DRENTHE (SURINAM)

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ROYSTON DRENTHE (NETHERLANDS)

Giovanni Drenthe also played for the youth teams of the Surinam, and the attacker's elder brother Royston Drenthe, now plays for Dutch amateur club Kozakken Boys.

The ALUKO brother and sister

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Omatsone Folarin Aluko (Sone Aluko) plays as a forward or winger for EFL side Reading, and chose to represent the Nigeria national team. His sister, Eniola Aluko has however opted to represent the female team of England.

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SONE ALUKO (NIGERIA)

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ENIOLA ALUKO (ENGLAND)

Eniola is currently the director of women's football at Aston Villa. Before retiring from professional football in January 2020, she last played as a forward for Juventus' women team.

Hope this article was fun as well as educative?

Please do well to LIKE, SHARE, and FOLLOW me for more interesting and informative sports articles like this.

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