A love and passion for football is often in the blood. There are many well known cases of players who decided to follow in the footsteps of their parents in the footballing world or sometimes even the path of their brothers. This fraternal passion, however, is not always accompanied by the same colours or interests.
LFP.es presents some of the most famous cases of brothers playing in the Spanish league, whether for the same club or fighting for different causes.
Unity is strength
"When two brothers play together, mountains turn to gold". This famous Chinese proverb is the best possible way to explain what it means to share a shirt and playing field with a sibling.
This is the case of Giovani and Jonathan dos Santos, two brothers who came through the FC Barcelona youth ranks and who, after several years apart, are together again at Villarreal CF. There they are entering a new season full of new challenges for the Yellows, like their involvement in the UEFA Europa League after a three-year absence from European competition.
Las Palmas have two sets of brothers: the Castellanos and Figueroas
In the Liga Adelante, two more brothers are reunited this season. Twins Miguel and Javier Flaño will play together again at CA Osasuna after Javier left the Navarrese club in 2009. Together they will try to help the Rojillos achieve their main objective this season: to return to the Liga BBVA.
UD Las Palmas has two sets of brothers: Dani and Javi Castellano and Héctor and Momo Figueroa. The four players came very close to achieving their club’s coveted promotion to the Liga BBVA last season, reaching the final of the Liga Adelante play-off. Now, with renewed hopes, they will try to go a step further and take the islanders to the top.
A healthy rivalry
However, not everyone has the privilege of wearing the same colours and fighting for the same cause as his brother. Sometimes, they must take different paths and become rivals on the field of play. Brothers Saúl and Aarón Ñíguez are a clear example of this. While Saúl is fighting in Club Atlético de Madrid’s corner, Aarón is playing for Elche CF. The two brothers inherited their passion for football from their father José Antonio Ñíguez 'Boria', a former Elche player in the 1980s.
Saúl and Aaron Ñíguez, Nacho and Álex Fernández, and Fran and Bernardo Cruz fight for different causes
Another curious case of rivalry between brothers arises in the ranks of Real Madrid CF and RCD Espanyol. Though both are products of the Whites’ academy, Nacho and Álex Fernández went their separate ways last summer, when Álex was signed by the Blanquiazules.
Finally, in the Liga Adelante, the brothers Fran and Bernardo Cruz will be opponents for the first time in their professional careers this season after wearing the same colours at Córdoba CF. After coming through the youth ranks, the two players contributed to the club's glorious promotion to the Liga BBVA, which the Blanquiverdes achieved last season. In the 2014/15 campaign, the two brothers will continue to gain experience on loan to AD Alcorcón and Real Racing Club, respectively. Their reunion and first confrontation will have to wait until matchday 15 of the Liga Adelante.