Lists

Elite Genes: 30 Legendary Sports Families

Darren - October 21, 2019
Lists

Elite Genes: 30 Legendary Sports Families

Darren - October 21, 2019

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

11. The Laudrups

These two brothers are two of Scandinavian soccer’s greatest exports. Michael is the most famous of the two, and rightfully so. He won four successive La Liga titles with Barcelona and then went on to win another with arch-rivals Real Madrid. To sum up, he was one of the most elegant and skilful players in the history of the game.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Then you had Brian, who was an excellent player in his own right. Although injuries would strike him at unfortunate times in his career, he was still a great player. Brian won two Danish league titles as well as three Scottish Championships. He was also the Danish Player of the Year a record four times.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. The Sedins

The brothers Henrik and Daniel had almost identical career paths. They signed with the Vancouver Canucks and would play there their entire careers. The only exception was during the year of the NHL lockout when they went to Sweden. During that year they played for Modo Sport, following in the footsteps of their father.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, stylistically, these two brothers played quite differently. Henrik is a centre who has over 830 assists, while Daniel is a left-wing with 393 goals. These two men have been very successful, winning an Art Ross Trophy, two All-Star selections, and Olympic gold.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter

9. The Kearneys

Rugby is one of the toughest sports on the planet but the Kearney brothers are very good at it. The Ireland internationals have achieved remarkable success at the highest level of the game. Both men play for Leinster, with whom they’ve won European Cups. Dave also played in every single game of Ireland’s 2014 Six Nations win.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter

However, elder brother Rob is definitely the more famous of the two. Rightfully so, as he’s been a mainstay for club and country for over 10 years. The Ireland star has won the Lions Series, four Heinekin Cups and four Six Nations. That’s why he’s one of the best fullbacks in the Northern Hemisphere.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. The Klitschkos

It’s fair to say that these two men are boxing’s most terrifying brothers. Wladimir and Vitaly are legendary figures in modern boxing. After the retirement of Lennox Lewis, they emerged to become the best heavyweight boxers of their era. They held every heavyweight title for over 10 years. These two hulking men were brilliant.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Nobody ever managed to knock down Vitaly. However, Wladimir was arguably the better boxer. He’d become the unified champion when his brother retired and held the WBA, WBO, IBO, IBF, Ring Magazine and lineal titles. You can’t be more undisputed than that.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

7. The Hulls

This father-and-son duo are both hockey Hall of Famers. Bobby and his son Brett both racked up more than 50 goals in a season and have more than 600 career goals. Furthermore, they’re both Stanley Cup winners. Bobby won it once, while Brett got his hands on the top prize twice.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

That’s not all, though. They both finished their careers with over 1000 points each and were Hart Memorial Trophy winners. Finally, Bobby’s brother Dennis also played in the NHL. His career wasn’t as distinguished, but he still managed 14 seasons at the top and played for six with his brother on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

6. The Staals

Somehow Henry and Linda Staal managed to produce four NHL players. That’s even crazier when you consider that the couple weren’t athletes themselves. The Canadian sod farmers still managed to inspire their children onto greatness. The eldest, Eric, currently plays for the Minnesota Wild but spent most of his career with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Second in line is Marc, who has always played for the New York Rangers, even sharing a season there with Eric. Jordan was also briefly a teammate of Eric’s with the Hurricanes. Then you have Jared who is currently playing in Scotland. So far he has only two NHL appearances to his name. They were with the Hurricanes alongside his brothers.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. The Williams

Serena and Venus are two of the most famous women in the world. Both of them are brilliant tennis players. First of all, their dad Richard decided to train them from the age of four. It definitely worked out well because they’re incredibly successful. Venus has won seven grand slam titles, while Serena has won a remarkable 23.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Not only that, but the sisters have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together, as well as four Olympic gold medals each. There’s no real sibling rivalry here except when they play each other. These two sisters have inspired a generation of young women to reach beyond themselves.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

4. The Alis

Everybody knows how good Muhammad Ali was. The legendary heavyweight champion is an icon. In short, he’s the most famous boxer of all time. Not only was he magnificent in the ring, but his cultural impact knew no bounds. But did you know that he’s not the only successful professional boxer in his family?

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

First of all, his brother Rahman Ali (born Rudy Clay) went 14-3 in his pro career. Meanwhile, Muhammad’s own daughter, Laila, went on to become one of the most successful female boxers ever. She held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA female super middleweight titles, as well as the IWBF light heavyweight titles. It runs in the family.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter

3. The Vunipolas

Imagine feeding these men. The Vunipolas are rugby royalty. First of all, the brothers Manu, Fe’Ao, Elisi represented Tonga throughout the late 80s and early 90s. Then Fe’ao’s sons broke onto the scene, choosing instead to play for England. Mako and Billy are mainstays for their chosen country and for English Premiership team Saracens.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mako was the 2018 England Player of the Year. Both he and Billy are members of England’s 2019 World Cup squad. Who would want to come up against either of these behemoths? Finally, their uncle Manu is now the Minister of Sport in Tonga. This family lives and breathes rugby.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. The Mannings

These men had phenomenal football careers. First of all, their father, Archie, played for 16 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, and Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, Super Bowl success remained elusive. He never managed to get his hands on the NFL’s most coveted prize.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, his sons have managed to achieve what he failed to. Peyton won Super Bowls with the Colts and Broncos before he retired in 2016. Then, Eli led the New York Giants to success in Super Bowl XLII and XL. To sum up, this is an incredibly talented family of elite athletes.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

1. The Mayweathers

Fans of the Alis might not like this, but the Mayweathers are boxing’s greatest family. Spanning two generations, Roger, Floyd Sr., and Jeff all had decent professional careers. The former in particular was a top fighter, becoming a two-weight world champion. Now they’re all boxing trainers.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Floyd Jr. brought the family’s name to the next level. The five-weight champion won an incredible 15 titles and retired with an unbeaten record of 50-0. In short, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the best boxers of all-time. Love them or loathe them, this family is truly something special.

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