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back Bundesliga | 13.07.2013 10:49:05

Brothers in the Bundesliga

  • Sibling rivalry: Kevin-Prince (l.) and Jerome Boateng will be going head-to-head - very possibly as direct opponents - in the heavyweight meetings of Schalke 04 and FC Bayern this season
  • Leverkusen's Lars Bender (l.) and Dortmund's Sven Bender (r.) have played against each other five times in the Bundesliga, with three wins for Sven and two games drawn
  • Daniel Caligiuri (r.), now of Wolfsburg, has never won against his brother Marco (l.), now at Braunschweig, when they have both played, but celebrated when they last met in the DFB Cup
  • Brothers playing against one another has been seen before in Germany's top flight: Bayern's Uli Hoeneß (l.) played against his brother Dieter (r.) of Stuttgart... © Imago
  • ...while Klaus Allofs (l.) and Thomas Allofs (r.) also played lined up against one another, with both of them becoming Bundesliga top goalscorer in their careers © Imago

Munich - Siblings playing for opposing Bundesliga teams is really nothing new. Dieter Hoeneß, brother of FC Bayern Munich president Uli, lined up against his brother for many a year in the 1970s and 1980s, as did Thomas Allofs and his brother Klaus, now sporting director of VfL Wolfsburg.

More recently, though, a whole host of players hailing from the same family have found themselves lining up on either side of the centre circle. takes a look at the foremost examples of current sibling rivalry in Germany’s top flight...

Sven Bender...

Competitive hardly begins to describe Sven Bender of Borussia Dortmund and his identical twin Lars of Bayer Leverkusen. The energetic midfielders emerged as two of Germany’s hottest prospects when they were playing for TSV 1860 Munich in Bundesliga 2, and they were both brought to the Bundesliga in 2009. Sven joined Borussia Dortmund and has been part of the Yellow Blacks squad that won two Bundesliga titles and a DFB Cup crown, as well as reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013.

...and Lars Bender

Lars may have somewhat fewer medals, but his career has blossomed just as much. Twelve minutes older than his brother, he helped Bayer to a third placed finish in 2012/13 and has already made his mark at international level. He scored the goal against Denmark that secured Germany’s progression to the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2012 and has gone on to amass 14 caps so far, ten more than Sven. The two of them have met five times in the Bundesliga so far, with Sven coming out on top, winning three and drawing two.

Toni Kroos...

The elder of the Kroos brothers is already a household name. After becoming Bayern’s youngest-ever Bundesliga debutant in September 2007, he spent one and a half seasons on loan at Leverkusen between 2010 and 2011, maturing into one of Germany's most dangerous attacking midfielders. In the two seasons since, he has established himself as a first-team regular back at Bayern. His 2012/13 season was cruelly cut short by injury, meaning he had to watch from the sidelines as Bayern lifted the treble, but the 35-time Germany international is raring to go for 2013/14.

...and Felix Kroos

Somewhat less is known about Felix, whom Werder Bremen youth team coach Dieter Eilts described in 2009 as “the better Kroos”. Like his older brother, he came through the youth ranks of FC Hansa Rostock, moving to Bremen in 2010 and making his debut for the club in November of that year. In the last two seasons he has largely featured for the reserve side, but he was given a run in the first team towards the end of 2012/13, featuring in five of the last six games. He is yet to play against Toni in the league, although he was on the bench last season when Toni helped Bayern to a 2-0 win over the northerners.
© Imago


Raffael, recently signed to Borussia Mönchengladbach, is at his third Bundesliga club after four years at Hertha Berlin and a brief stint on loan at FC Schalke 04 last term. He has huge experience in Germany’s top flight, with 26 goals and 126 appearances to his name and will be looking to fire the Foals into Europe in his third spell under coach Lucien Favre (who signed him for Hertha and FC Zürich).

...and Ronny

Since Raffael’s departure from Germany’s capital in 2012, Hertha fans have had Ronny to celebrate, and how the 27-year-old has delivered. A year younger than Raffael, he was probably the single greatest determining factor that allowed the club to lift the Bundesliga 2 title in 2012/13 and return to the top flight at the first time of asking. Ronny provided twelve assists and was the Old Lady’s top scorer with 18 goals, most of them coming from his explosive left foot. Having played in just six games with his brother, this will be the first season in which they line up on opposite sides.
© Imago

Daniel Caligiuri...

Despite both of them moving on to pastures new in time for the coming campaign, both Daniel and Marco Caligiuri will be able to renew their rivalry. Daniel, a new arrival at Wolfsburg from SC Freiburg, scored five times for the Black Forest club as they sensationally finished fifth last season to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. There will be no European football for him with the Wolves this season, but with a squad looking in remarkably good shape, it will be the 25-year-old's target to help another club into the European places.

...and Marco Caligiuri

Marco Caligiuri, four years Daniel’s senior, has altogether
differing priorities. His new club Eintracht Braunschweig are preparing for their first season in the top flight for 28 years, but staying up will be the Lower Saxons only priority. Having played 80 time for previous club 1.FSV Mainz 05, Caligiuri’s experience will be invaluable in that endeavour. Marco leads the Caligiuri head-to-head count with two wins and a draw from the three games, although Daniel won their last meeting, a DFB Cup quarter-final in February 2013 in which he scored the winning goal in extra time.

Compiled by Bernie Reeves