When you have football in your blood, half of the job in becoming a professional footballer is done, as Union Berlin's Rani Khedira and his siblings have shown.
Like other famous footballing brothers – Roberto and Eddy Baggio and Filippo and Simone Inzaghi in Italy, Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng, Thorgan and Eden Hazard, Phil and Gary Neville – both have forged successful careers in the game, with former VfB Stuttgart midfielder Sami lifting the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid and the FIFA World Cup with Germany.
Like him, Rani also learned his trade in Stuttgart and, after a spell with RB Leipzig and Augsburg, is now putting in regular top-drawer performances at Union Berlin, helping the capital club make history by qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.
Yet the Khedira blood is infused with even stronger footballing genes, as a third member of the family is proving. While Sami and Rani have excelled with the ball at their feet, Denny has used his footballing brain to greater effect as he embarks on a career in sport management, having graduated from the Hohenheim University in 2017 with the best grade in his year group in Sport Management.
What the trio also have in common, however, is a determination to succeed, instilled in them from an early age by their father. "He listened to his heart and showed courage," said Denny, who has put his knowledge to good use by helping manage his brothers' affairs, of their father who arrived in Germany from Tunisia over 30 years ago and did not speak a word of German. "He didn't have the opportunity to learn German at school; he just went out onto the street and made it happen."
That determination to succeed served as inspiration to the Khedira brothers. "Our parents would drive us to training and our father helped out at Stuttgart in the youth academy," said Sami. "If we do anything, we do it right. We never do anything half-heartedly, and in order to do things right, you need to be hard working, ambitious and determined."
Those characteristics have certainly not been lacking in the Khedira household, where not just two but three siblings have found, in football, a source of success. "Football was always a priority for us," Rani told Bayerische Rundfunk. "That's the biggest passion all three of us have." A passion which has made the Khediras one of the most famous footballing families.
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