Celtic, Spurs, Man Utd: 6 Footballers Who Weren’t As Good As Their Dads
6. Paul Dalglish
Kenny Dalglish is a revered figure at both Celtic and Liverpool. Both clubs took a chance that his son Paul had a bit of the Dalglish magic in him, only to release the young forward without him making an appearance for either team.
Paul was then signed by his father for Newcastle, where he would begin his professional career. He made 14 appearances for the Magpies, scoring two goals, though his time in the North East was interspersed with loan spells at Bury and Norwich, the latter of whom he would join on a permanent basis in 1999. Never a prolific goalscorer, Paul went on to have spells at Wigan, Blackpool, Scunthorpe, Linfield, Livingstone and Hibs, before moving to the MLS with Houston Dynamo.
It was at Houston that Paul Dalglish would arguably have his finest moment (if you don’t count The Sun’s 2002 story about him getting off with Jordan), scoring twice in the Western Conference final against the Colorado Rapids, to help Houston reach the MLS Cup. Paul’s time in America was beset with injuries and he was released by Dynamo in 2007. After more injury problems at his final club Kilmarnock, Paul Dalglish retired as a player and moved back to the USA where he works as a coach.
5. Danny Greaves
Jimmy Greaves was a legend at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring a record 266 goals in 379 matches. In an England shirt Greaves hit 44 goals in just 57 games, so it’s fair to say that there was a little bit of pressure on his son Danny - also a striker - to know where the back of the net was.
Danny Greaves started his career at Spurs but after being released by the club as a youngster, moved to Southend United. He scored 14 league goals in 49 appearances for the Shrimpers, before being signing for Cambridge United where he would make only four appearances. Danny eventually became a coach and had a spell in charge of non-league Witham Town.
4. Stephan Beckenbauer
Think of German football and you think of Franz Beckenbauer - a man who pretty much invented the role of the modern sweeper during his days playing for Bayern Munich and West Germany - winning three European cups, a European Championship and a World Cup in the process. He then went on to win another World Cup for the country as the manager of the manager of the national team. So no pressure Stephan...
Stephan Beckenbauer began his career at Bayern, but unlike his father he failed to ever play for their first team, instead turning out for their second team - Bayern Munich Amateure. He then moved on to Bayern’s local rivals 1860 Munchen and would also play for Kickers Offenbach, FC Grenchen and FC Saarbrucken, before returning to Bayern Munich Amateure at the age of 27, where he would see out his playing career. Stephan remained was a coach at the club after retirement and currently works for Bayern as a scout.
3. Jordi Cruyff
Jordi Cruyff achieved more than any other player on this list, but still never fully emerged from the huge shadow cast from his father. Like all sons of great dads, he was plagued with people making reference to his father, which might explain why he always played wearing a shirt that simply bore the name ‘Jordi’ and jettisoned the ‘Cruyff’.
The attacking midfielder spent his youth career at Ajax, before moving to Barcelona when Johan Cruyff became manager of the club. After a successful spell in Barca’s B side, Jordi graduated to the first team in 1994, where he would make 54 appearances and score 11 goals over two seasons. In 1996 Jordi made his debut for Holland and would win nine caps in total, appearing in the 1996 European Championship, scoring against Switzerland. Jordi also represented Catalonia on nine occasions between 1995 and 2004.
His performances were enough to inspire Alex Ferguson to pay £1.4m to bring Jordi to Manchester United, after his father had been sacked as Barcelona manager. Though he would win a Premier League title in his first season at the club, Jordi would only play 58 times for United, over four injury-hit seasons.
After a spell on loan at Celta Vigo, Jordi would return to Spain with Alves, before moving on to Espanyol. In 2004 he retired with a knee injury, only to make an unlikely comeback in 2006 with the Ukranian club Metalurh Donetsk as a centre-back. In 2009-10, Jordi spent his final season as a player in Malta with Valletta, where he also acted as assistant coach. He is now the Director of Football at the Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv.
2. Edson Cholbi Nascimento
Pretty much every other player on this list played in a similar position to their great father, so it’s to the credit of Edson Cholbi Nascimento (Edinho for short) that he decided it would be easier to stop goals than try to emulate Pele - a man who scored over 1000 of them.
Edinho started his career as a goalkeeper at his dad’s former team Santos in 1990 and would move on to Portuguesa Santista and Sao Caetano, before returning to the club in 1994. He would spend the next four years at Santos and was part of the side that finished as Serie A runners up in 1995.
Moving on to Ponte Preta, Edinho retired at the age of 29. He was arrested in 2005 during a police operation to catch a gang of drug traffickers, but claimed that the only thing he was guilty of was an addiction to marijuana. Edinho seemed to have gotten his life back on track with a lengthy spell as Santos’ goalkeeping coach but was imprisoned for 33 years back in March for laundering money from drug trafficking.
1. Diego Sinagra
It’s a good job that Diego Sinagra has a different surname to his father - there is after all, only room on this planet for one Diego Maradona. Sinagra is the illegitimate son that Maradona fathered during his time at Napoli. Diego Snr had refused to undergo DNA tests to prove his paternity, but eventually admitted that he was Diego Jnr’s father, during his divorce proceedings.
There wasn’t much point in Maradona trying to wriggle out of his responsibilities, as Sinagra bore a strong physical resemblance to his father and inherited a little of his football ability too. Sinagra spent seven years in Napoli’s youth setup, before moving to Genoa for a season. During this time he played for the Italian under-17 team.
It all seemed pretty promising but after being released by Genoa, Sinagra was destined to spend his career in the lower echelons of Italian football and flitted between several clubs. Along the way he became involved in beach football and signed for Napoli Beach Soccer, where just like Diego Snr, he would inspire them to a first league title. Sinagra has also represented Italy in beach soccer and scored in the 2008 World Cup final, as the Italians lost 5-3 to Brazil.