Europe's footballing twins take the spotlight

Following Piotr and Paweł Brożek's move to Trabzonspor, salutes the first twins to score in a UEFA club competition game, and looks at great footballing siblings.

Polish internationals Piotr and Paweł Brożek proved they are inseparable this week as the twin brothers joined their fourth club together. The 27-year-olds started their careers at Polonia Białogon Kielce before moving in tandem to SMS Zabrze, Wisła Kraków and now Trabzonspor.

On 22 July 2010, The Brożeks became the first twins to score a goal apiece in a UEFA club competition game as Wisła won 5-0 against Lithuania's FC Šiauliai in a UEFA Europa League second qualifying round fixture. Striker Pawel told "As schoolboys, we both played as forwards so we scored in pretty much every match. However, at senior level Piotr has played more as a defender. That's why I am so happy we managed to do this in Europe."

Piotr is five minutes older than his twin – "at least that is what our mum told us" – but they have always considered themselves equals. "As boys we sometimes fought for hours, but of course it was just kids' stuff, nothing serious," said Paweł. "We are not only brothers, we are friends." Playing together has thus never been a chore. "I can only see pluses," explained Piotr. "I know I can always rely on my brother on and off the field."

This season's UEFA Europa League saw another first, as Swiss internationals David and Philipp Degen became the first twins to go head to head in a UEFA club competition game. "It will obviously be a special match for us," said David as he prepared for BSC Young Boys taking on his brother's VfB Stuttgart side in the group stage on 1 December. "It doesn't happen every day that twins meet in European competition." David scored the opener as the Berne side won 4-2.

The Netherlands has boasted two sets of famous footballing twins, most recently Frank and Ronald de Boer, but it was René and Willy van der Kerkhof who were the pioneers. They started their careers together at FC Twente and spent a decade as team-mates at PSV Eindhoven, but they claimed their place in the history books as the first twins to feature in a FIFA World Cup final as the Netherlands lost 3-1 to hosts Argentina after extra-time in 1978.

Finally, a record from Scotland which is almost certainly a European and world first too; back on 27 April 2010, Livingston FC fielded four brothers in a 2-0 Scottish fourth-level victory against Albion Rovers FC – Keaghan Jacobs and his triplet younger brothers Sheldon, Devon and Kyle. Devon said: "Our mum was in the stand watching us and seeing all four of us on the pitch at the same time would have been a proud moment for her too."

Sheldon's decision to quit football to go to university means that there may still be a while before we have triplets playing in UEFA club competition, but in the meantime, here is what we believe to be an exhaustive list of twin brothers – and sisters – currently active in top-level European football, unless you know different...

Beslan Adzhindzhal (FC Torpedo Moskva) and Ruslan Adzhindzhal (FC Nizhny Novgorod)
Halil Altıntop (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Hamit Altıntop (FC Bayern München)
Ragna Patawary and Rannvá Andreasen (KÍ Klaksvík)
Aleksei and Vasili Berezutski (PFC CSKA Moskva)
Lars Bender (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund)
Paweł and Piotr Brożek (Trabzonspor)
Haydar and Volkan Çekirdek (FC Hansa Rostock)
Fabio and Rafael da Silva (Manchester United FC)
David Degen (BSC Young Boys) and Philipp Degen (VfB Stuttgart)
Jeroen Drost (Vitesse) and Henrico Drost (RKC Waalwijk)
Javier Flaño (CD Numancia) and Miguel Flaño (CA Osasuna)
Arnar Gunnlaugsson (Haukar) and Bjarki Gunnlaugsson (FH Hafnarfjördur)
Dimitri and Geoffrey Hairemans (De Graafschap)
Armin and Agron Ibraimi (FK Napredok)
Devon and Kyle Jacobs (Livingston FC)*
Arman and Artavazd Karamyan (no club)
Isabel and Monique Kerschowski (1. FFC Turbine Potsdam)
Dmitri and Kirill Kombarov (FC Spartak Moskva)
Veselin Minev (PFC Levski Sofia) and Yordan Minev (PFC CSKA Sofia)
Marcus Olsson (Halmstads BK) and Martin Olsson (Blackurn Rovers FC)
Flávio and Marco Paixão (Hamilton Academical FC)
Eino Puri (FC Levadia Tallinn) and Sander Puri (Larissa FC)
Ádám Simon (Szombathelyi Haladás) and András Simon (Liverpool FC)
Aldo Simoncini (Bellaria Marina Igea) and Davide Simoncini (Torconca Calcio)
Kiril and Metodija Stepanovski (FK Renova)
Demetris Stylianou (Aris Limassol FC) and Loukas Stylianou (Dighenis Akritas Morphou FC)
Marcin Żewłakow (GKS Belchatów) and Michał Żewłakow (MKE Ankaragücü)

If there are any more we have missed, contact us at

*triplets, but Sheldon has retired from football