After 10 trophy filled years at Manchester United, Gary and Phil Neville have been reunited at Valencia. The siblings were a crucial part of a golden era at Old Trafford before Phil left United for Everton in 2005, and both have made names for themselves as respected pundits since hanging up their boots. Now trying their hands at coaching, the pair are working together in La Liga as Valencia seek to re-establish their position as a force to be reckoned with alongside the likes of Barcelona, Real, and Atletico Madrid.
But where do the Nevilles rank in terms of football’s greatest brothers? Here are some of the other contenders for the crown from recent and past eras:
Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure
Between them, the Toures have 4 Premier League titles, 2 La Ligas, and a Champions League trophy. Kolo’s success as part of the Invincible Arsenal team in 2003/04 has been somewhat superseded by his brother’s achievements with Barcelona and Manchester City (where the brothers teamed up to win the Premier League in 2012). They have also enjoyed international success, both reaching the 100-cap mark for the Ivory Coast, and triumphing in the 2015 African Cup of Nations. Whilst Kolo now sits on the bench more often than he plays for Liverpool, Yaya is still a powerhouse in the Manchester City midfield, reaching a double figure goal tally in each of the past two seasons. No doubt that once they hang their boots up, the Toures will be considered the best siblings that African football has ever produced.
Ronald de Boer and Frank de Boer
The Dutch twins were not only the perennial international nearly-men of the nineties and early noughties, but teamed up together at no fewer than three major European clubs during their careers. Though Frank is the more celebrated of the pair – he is still the record holder for most capped Dutchman – Ronald’s goal scoring record from the right wing is not to be ignored, scoring over 120 career goals in 523 matches. Having served Ajax loyally through the 90s – where they won the Champions League in 1995 – the twins moved to Barcelona just before the turn of the millennium, triumphing over Real Madrid to secure the La Liga in 1999. Ronald then won the Scottish domestic treble with Rangers in 2003 before being joined by Frank in the 2003/04 season, but this was short lived as the latter moved into the Qatari league the following year (where he – of course – was eventually joined by Ronald). An inseparable family affair.
Sir Bobby Charlton and Jack Charlton
Though their playing careers came to an end a long time ago, no list of footballing brothers would be complete without this World Cup winning pair. Both made over 600 appearances at their respective Uniteds (Jack at Leeds and Bobby at Manchester), with Bobby still holding the goal scoring record at Old Trafford with 249 goals in all competitions. 4 league titles, 2 FA Cups and a European title represent domestic success, but the World Cup in 1966 was the Charlton brother’s crowning glory. Both played all 120 minutes in England’s only success on football’s greatest stage, and Bobby’s 2 goals en route to glory contributed towards the 49 times he hit the back of the net for England – a record that stood for over 40 years. Both tried their hands at management with varying degrees of success – Jack notably led the Republic of Ireland to the quarter finals of Italia ’90 – but it is their playing achievements that make the Charlton's hard to beat when it come to football’s greatest brothers.