Ronaldo, Messi, Rooney, Gerrard: 10 sons who could follow in their dad's footsteps

At the weekend, we saw Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard and his four-year-old son, Lio, having a kick about at Anfield.

Gerrard was playing for Liverpool legends against Barcelona legends but, before the match, took his son onto the pitch.

Video clips soon emerged on social media of two generations of Gerrard playing football with Liverpool kits on.

We’re not going to say that Lio will definitely do what his father couldn’t do and captain Liverpool to a Premier League title but we’re also not not saying it.

But seeing Gerrard Jr. kicking a ball around got us thinking. What others sons are out there who could follow in their dad’s footsteps and become footballers?

Of course, becoming a professional footballer isn’t for everyone and it takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to make it at any level. Just because their father was quite good at football, it doesn’t mean they will be – or even want to be – a pro footballer.

Of course, there are plenty of success stories in the past.

The likes of Erling Haaland, Federico Chiesa, Daniel Maldini and Giovanni Reyna are all impressing around Europe while Premier League fans will be familiar with Kasper Schmeichel, Alex Bruce, Frank Lampard and Shaun Wright-Phillips all doing what their father did.

But we’ve identified 10 sons who have the best possible teachers in their dads if they did want to make a name for themselves in the beautiful game.

Let’s take a look:

QUIZ: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Who’s this Spurs legend?

Lio Gerrard

Lio doesn’t turn five until next month but was seen having a kick around with his dad on the Anfield turf this weekend. 

We can’t draw too many conclusions from the short video clips of him passing the ball a few yards but it’s evident that he’s left-footed – something that differentiates him from his dad.

Kai Rooney

Kai is Wayne’s eldest son and signed for Manchester United’s youth academy back in 2020.

Rooney said of the 12-year-old in the recent Prime Video documentary: “He loves being around and watching the training sessions and obviously it’s what he wants to do when he’s older.”

He also appears to be left-footed.

Romeo Beckham

By 19, David Beckham had established himself as a regular at Man United. At the same age, his second oldest child, Romeo, is playing for MLS Next Pro club Inter Miami II.

Romeo was previously at Arsenal academy at a young age but, understandably, drifted away from football due to other interests and distractions.

But it seems he wants to make a career for himself in the sport and will be looking to break into the first team, owned by his dad and managed by Phil Neville. 

Harvey Neville

Speaking of Phil Neville, his son – the same age as Romeo – is also at Inter Miami II.

Having previously been on the books at Manchester City and Valencia, Harvey has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level.

Shaqueel van Persie

With a name like Shaqueel van Persie, you just know Robin’s son will make it in the professional game.

He’s currently in Feyenoord’s youth set-up at the age of 15 – the same club where the former Arsenal and Man Utd man is currently assistant manager.

If Shaqueel is good enough to play international football, he is eligible to represent England and Morocco as well as the Netherlands.

Cristiano Ronaldo Jr

Cristiano Jr. signed for Man Utd earlier this year following his father’s return to Old Trafford.

Cristiano Snr. has previously insisted he won’t pressure him into professional football but you just know that he will push him all the way if that’s something he wanted to do.

Various clips of the 11 year old show his technique is eerily similar to that of his dad.

Thiago Messi

We couldn’t mention Cristiano Jr. without mentioning Thiago Messi, could we?

Messi has three sons – Ciro, Mateo and Thiago. Mateo and Thiago have recently signed for Paris Saint-Germain alongside his father.

Thiago, 10, has been seen playing for Barcelona’s youth sides alongside Luis Suarez’s son, Benjamin.

Benjamin Suarez

Benjamin is eight years old and, as mentioned, played with Thiago at Barcelona.

If he has half the winning mentality his father has, he won’t go far wrong.

Enzo Marcelo

Last week, we shared a video of Marcelo’s son scoring a brilliant goal against Liverpool in the LaLiga Promises Santander.

Enzo, 12, scored twice against Liverpool before celebrating like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Earlier this month, Marcelo actually spoke of his desire to play alongside his son at Real Madrid.

Marcelo told Marca: “I’m calm. This is my club. I have the idea of playing until my son grows up so that I can play with him, and I want to keep going at a high level.”

James Carragher

James, Jamie’s son, is already a professional footballer at Wigan Athletic. The defender is 19 and made his professional debut in an EFL Cup penalty shootout win over Hull earlier this season.

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