Barça and Bayern: Family ties

Barça and Bayern: Family ties

Kevin-Prince Boateng joining the same club as Rafinha has produced some remarkable coincidences involving footballing siblings, Bayern Munich and divided international loyalties.

The arrival of Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan to FC Barcelona has produced an unusual circumstance. In fact, we’re almost certain it has to be all-time first in top league football!

It’s well-known that the new Barça star has a younger half-brother, Jérôme Boateng, who also came out of the Hertha Berlin academy and since 2011 has been a regular feature of the Bayern Munich defence, helping them to six Bundesliga titles and being named German footballer of the year in 2015–16.

Bayern brothers

The remarkable coincidence brought about by Kevin-Prince coming to Barça is that he is now in the same squad as the currently injured Rafinha Alcântara, who also has a brother, Thiago Alcântara, playing for the same club, Bayern Munich!

Two sets of brothers, both with one half at one top European club and the other half at another! Surely that’s never happened before!

Divided loyalties

But the bizarre coincidences don’t end there.

Although both Boateng brothers played for Germany at various youth levels, only Jérôme went on to represent the senior side. They also qualify for Ghana through their father, and Kevin-Prince chose to take up that option.

Jérôme has since earned 76 international caps for Die Mannschaft, winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while Kevin-Prince played for the Black Stars at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, on both occasions lining up against his own brother in finals matches.

It’s a situation we find curiously mirrored by the Alcântara brothers. Born in Italy to Brazilian parents, they both rose through the ranks of the FC Barcelona academy and represented Spain at youth level.

But though Thiago has continued to play for La Roja at senior level, Rafinha switched allegiance to Brazil, for whom he has two international caps.

And there’s more…

To add to the wow factor, both Kevin-Prince Boateng and Rafinha have World Cup winning relatives. Helmut Rahn, the man who scored the winner for Germany at the 1954 World Cup, is Boateng’s great uncle on his mother’s side of the family, while Rafinha is the son of Mazinho, who featured in Brazil’s 1994 World Cup winning team.

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