Gonzalo Higuain had the chance to play for France at the international level because he was born there when his father was playing professionally. However, he opted to play for Argentina but several other current stars went the other way and played for a country different from the one their father played for.
#5. Divock Origi (Belgium) and Mike Origi (Kenya)
Liverpool’s Divock Origi is the son of former Kenyan international Mike Origi who played 120 games for the African country scoring 28 goals.
Mike spent a significant period of his professional career in Belgium, notably playing for Oostende and Genk. His son, Divock, was born in Belgium when Mike was playing for Oostende.
Divock had already represented Belgium at the Under-15, Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level when the Kenyan football federation showed interest in him. However, he was included in the Belgium team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup due to injuries to other senior forwards.
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he came on as a substitute for Romelu Lukaku in a group stage game against Russia and scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute. In so doing, at 19 years, 2 months and 4 days, he became Belgium’s youngest goalscorer at the World Cup.
#4. Leroy Sane (Germany) and Souleyman Sané (Senegal)
Leroy Sane is the son of Regina Weber, a bronze medalist at the 1984 Olympics for Germany in rhythmic gymnastics and former football player and Senegalese international Souleyman Sane.
Souleyman was born in Senegal, raised in France and notably played professionally for German clubs Freiburg, Nürnberg and Wattenscheid. He was one of the first African players to play in the Bundesliga.
Souleyman’s son, Leroy, was born in Germany and came through the Academy of Schalke. Interestingly, Souleyman named his son in honour of his former head coach Claude Le Roy who currently manages the Togo national team.
Leroy could have played for Germany, France or Senegal but he opted to play for the country of his birth and made his senior debut in 2015. The Manchester City forward is renowned for his explosive pace and his father was also known for the same trait. Leroy’s father was able to run 100 metres in 10.7 seconds!
#3. Romelu and Jordan Lukaku (Belgium) and Roger Lukaku (Zaire)
Romelu Lukaku and his younger brother Jordan Lukaku who play for Manchester United and Lazio respectively are Belgium internationals. Their father, Roger Lukaku, was playing professionally for Belgian clubs at the time of birth of both players.
Roger was born in Zaire and notably played for clubs in Belgium. He represented Zaire at the international level and played for them at the 1994 and 1996 African Cup of Nations.
Romelu is Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer with 45 goals in just 78 games and won the Bronze Boot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, Jordan hasn’t enjoyed the same level of success as his brother. In fact, he has only played seven times for Belgium. He also rejected the chance to play for DR Congo (formerly known as Zaire) at the international level in favour of Belgium.
#2. Timothy Weah (United States) and George Weah (Liberia)
George Weah is the only African player to win the Ballon d’Or till date and also the president of Liberia. It goes without saying that there is a lot of pressure on his son Timothy.
Timothy was born in the United States and received his footballing education there. The 18-year-old represented the US at the Under-14, Under 15 and Under 17 level before making his senior debut in 2018 and thus becoming the first player born in the 2000s to represent the country. He also scored his debut goal for the US in May against Bolivia.
The PSG forward was also eligible to represent France, Jamaica and Liberia through his residency and parents’ citizenship. He reportedly turned down the chance to play for France at the youth level as he had his mind set on playing for the US.
#1. Thiago Alcantara (Spain) and Mazinho (Brazil)
Thiago Alcantara comes from a family with a rich football history. The Bayern Munich midfielder is the son of former Brazilian international Mazinho who played 35 times for the Selecao winning the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1989 Copa America.
Thiago was born in Italy in 1991 when his father was playing for Italian club Lecce and this made him eligible to play for Italy. He was eligible to play for Brazil through his father and for Spain because of his residency as he spent the final part of his formative years at La Masia.
The 27-year-old won the Euro at the U-21 level twice and also once at the U-17 level with Spain. He has 31 caps for La Furia Roja and is now an integral member of their midfield.
Thiago’s younger brother, Rafinha, was born in Brazil and he plays at the international level for Brazil despite representing Spain’s youth teams. Rafinha won the Olympics Gold Medal with Brazil in 2016 but has only played twice for the senior team.