Savage and Ronaldo among young stars aiming to emulate famous fathers

Charlie Savage followed in his dad Robbie’s footsteps when he got his first taste of action for Man United… but from Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr to Maxim Gullit, who are the other father and son duos we could see in future?

  • Charlie Savage, 18, made his Manchester United debut against Young Boys
  • His father Robbie was on the books at United before enjoying a career elsewhere
  • Sportsmail looks at other father-and-son combinations to look out for in future 

Manchester United had already assured themselves of Champions League qualification into the last-16 stages but there was a heart-warming moment during their final Group F encounter against Young Boys.

In the dying moments of the match, the Red Devils’ newly-appointed interim boss Ralf Rangnick brought on Charlie Savage for his debut.

Savage, son of former Derby County and Wales captain Robbie Savage, has come through the club’s ranks and will now hope to emulate the professional career his father – who was doing commentary for BT Sport at Old Trafford – had.

Charlie Savage made his Man United debut against Young Boys in the Champions League

The 18-year-old – son of Robbie Savage – replaced club veteran Juan Mata against Young Boys

‘Coming on for Manchester United, Charlie Savage for Juan Mata. Wow. I never believed I’d ever say those words here at Manchester United,’ said Savage senior.

‘What a proud day for my boy. For all the hard work – what a day for me, his mother, his nanna, his grandparents and most importantly for that boy there, Charlie Savage.

‘I’m so proud of him. It’s just an amazing moment for him. Coming on for a World Cup winner!’

As a result, Sportsmail looks at some other young footballers looking to emulate their fathers.

Savage Snr was on commentary duty for the game and was unable to contain his pride


Starting with Savage, the 18-year-old midfielder can now state he has played the English giants – a feat his father did not achieve, having also come through the club’s academy.

Charlie Jnr, who plays in the same central midfield position as his dad, signed his first professional contract with United in April.

After making his debut, he tweeted: ‘Delighted to have made my first-team debut for Manchester United in the Champions League.

‘I would like to thank all the academy staff for their support over the last 14 years and the manager for putting his trust in me tonight.’

Savage Snr began his career at United – initially as a striker – and was a member of their famous FA Youth Cup-winning side in 1992. He never got to make a professional appearance for the club though and joined Crewe Alexandra in 1994.

Savage Jnr, a central midfielder, signed his first professional contract with United in April

Savage took to Twitter to thank the club’s academy staff and Ralf Rangnick for the opportunity

Savage Snr played 39 times for Wales over a nine-year international career, scoring twice


Carrying the surname of a famous father can be daunting enough but both the forename and surname can only invite extra pressure.

However, by all accounts in his formative years Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr has inherited his father skills on a football pitch.

Over the years several clips have emerged of the 11-year-old shining at Real Madrid and Juventus, the clubs his dad played for before, while he is also presently impressing at Manchester United.

Speaking about her grandson in September, Ronaldo’s mother said of Junior: ‘At his age, he plays better than Ronaldo. At the time, Ronaldo didn’t have a coach, but today Ronaldo is his son’s teacher.’

To have a five-time Ballon d’Or winner on hand every day is a great education.

Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr (left) is looking to emulate his legendary father one day in the future


At AC Milan the Maldini name is royalty. First there was Cesare Maldini and then his son Paolo came on the scene: both becoming legends of the game.

Now following in their footsteps is Paolo’s son, Daniel. However, unlike his father and grandfather he is not a defender and is in fact an attacking midfielder.

The 20-year-old made his debut for the Italian giants as a late substitute in their 1-1 Serie A home draw against Hellas Verona on February 2, 2020. He made his Champions League bow in September as a substitute during AC’s 3-2 defeat at Liverpool.

On September 25, Maldini started his first match for Milan in Serie A and scored the first goal in a 2–1 away win against Spezia.

In his fledging career so far he has made 18 appearances, scoring once.

Daniel Maldini (right) scored his first goal for AC Milan earlier this season in a 2-1 win at Spezia

His dad Paolo won 25 trophies with Milan – including five European Cups (pictured in 1994)


Eidur Gudjohnsen shone at Bolton Wanderers, Chelsea and Barcelona. Now he has three sons hoping to emulate him.

His oldest, Sveinn Aron is a 23-year-old Iceland international who currently plays up front for Swedish outfit IF Elfsborg.

However, Gudjohnsen’s two other boys Andri and Daniel Tristan arguably have the greater upside – considering both are currently on the books at Real Madrid.

Like his older sibling, Andri is also a striker and has played for Iceland. Aged 19 he currently plays for Real’s Castilla side but was named as part of Real Madrid’s squad for the Champions League this season.

But according to reports Daniel Tristan is the most talented of the trio. Also now at Real, the 15-year-old forward used to be on the books of their eternal rivals Barcelona.

He’s proven his pedigree at age-level football too as in 2017 he was voted player of the tournament at the Cordial Cup – which he helped Barca’s Under 11s win.

Andri Gudjohnsen (left) and his younger brother Daniel Tristan are on the books at Real Madrid 

Eidur Gudjohnsen remains a fan favourite among Chelsea fans – where he won two league titles


We’ve already had one AC Milan legend mentioned in this feature and we conclude it with another. Ruud Gullit won three Serie A titles and two European Cups with Milan and also captained Holland to their Euro 1988 success.

Now his offspring Maxim is forging his own path in the beautiful game.

After coming through the ranks at AZ Alkmaar, and playing for their reserve outfit Jong AZ, the 20-year-old defender only made one appearance for the first-team. That was a 90th-minute substitute for ex-Stoke City defender Bruno Martins Indi in a 4–1 victory over Rijeka in the Europa League last season.

This summer he joined newly-promoted Eredivisie side Cambuur on a two-year deal with the option of a third.

Gullit, who can play at left back or centre back, has made six appearances so far the club – having spent the majority of the campaign as an unused substitute.

Maxim Gullit joined newly-promoted Eredivisie side Cambuur on a two-year deal this summer

Ruud Gullit captained Holland to Euro 1988 success during a stellar club and country career

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