To play in a World Cup is a privilege granted to few people. Only the best from each country can do so every four years. Some, however, have managed to share the dream with their family.
During the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, LFP.es reviews some of the most illustrious cases of fathers and sons that have played in at least one World Cup.
'Periko' and Xabi Alonso, two outstanding players in the centre of the park
Football is in the Alonso family’s blood. Miguel Ángel, known as 'Periko', played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona long before his sons Mikel and Xabi decided to follow his footsteps into the world of football. Both he and Xabi have represented their country on the biggest stage of all.
Periko Alonso played in the 1982 World Cup, held in Spain. The former central midfielder played five games for José Emilio Santamaría’s side, until they were knocked out in the second phase.
His son, Xabi, has enjoyed a much longer career with the national side. Aged 32, the central midfielder is taking part in his third World Cup having played in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, where Vicente Del Bosque’s side were crowned champions, with Alonso playing a key role in the side.
In 2006 he played twice; two group stage games against Ukraine and Tunisia, and one in the last 16 against France. In the 2010 edition he played every game: three in the group stage against Switzerland, Honduras and Chile; the last 16 against Portugal; quarters against Paraguay; semi-final against Germany and the final against Holland.
He has 111 caps to his name, only missing two games. In Brazil, the Alonso family will once again be in the spotlight, and Xabi will be looking to do so in the grandest form possible: retaining the World Cup with his country.