We are all very familiar with famous footballing siblings such as the Nevilles (Gary and Phil), Militos (Diego and Gabriel), De Boers (Frank and Ronald) and Toures (Yaya and Kolo) who have left a strong mark in football fans' minds, but there are also families where siblings enjoyed varying levels of success.
For all parents, having a child playing professional football has to be considered an amazing achievement. The amount of time, effort and luck involved makes the odds against it happening nearly impossible. For another child from the same family to reach that level at the top echelons of world football defies pretty much all logic.
Let’s take a look at 6 African players who have not enjoyed the same level of success as their illustrious siblings.
#1 John Obi Mikel and Ebele Obi
John Obi Mikel, perhaps Nigeria’s most recognisable player, had a glittering career for both club and country. Mikel shot into fame at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup, when he helped Nigeria march all the way to the final before being upstaged by Argentina.
Such was his impact at FIFA U-20 World Cup, that both Chelsea and Manchester United were desperate to add the midfielder to their roster. What followed was a lengthy transfer saga between the two clubs. The legal wrangle was finally sorted out with Chelsea settling the dispute with rivals United to the tune of a £12m compensation pay-out. Mikel's move to Chelsea was certainly vindicated.
During his 11-year career with the Blues, he won just about every major honour including two Premier League crowns and the UEFA Champions League in 2012. For the country, John helped Nigeria lift the 2013 African Cup of Nations and also starred for them at Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 World Cup.
However, very few people know about John’s elder brother, Ebele Obi. Ebele, a goalkeeper by trade has not enjoyed the same level of success as his younger brother. He has played in the local league in Nigeria for Rangers International FC of Enugu, before moving to Heartland Football Club of Owerri where he helped them to a Nigeria Premier League title.