More recently, however, a veritable host of sibling pairs have found themselves lining up on opposite sides of the centre circle in Germany's top flight. bundesliga.com takes a look at the foremost current fraternal rivalries...
Since arriving at FC Bayern Munich, via Manchester City, Hamburger SV and hometown club Hertha Berlin, in the summer of 2011, Jerome has rediscovered the form that had made him one of Germany's most promising defensive prospects. He was a cornerstone of the Reds' quadruple triumph last season and has long since reestablished his regular slot in the national team set-up. The return of his elder (by 18 months) brother Kevin-Prince to the Bundesliga from Serie A sets up the prospect of some tasty top-level tussles between the two.
As with his brother, Kevin-Prince's natural talent and competitive bite have never been in any doubt. Over the course of his three years with AC Milan, however, the new Schalke 04 signing has matured into a genuine onfield leader, equally capable of pulling the strings from a deep-lying or more advanced role. Like Jerome, Kevin-Prince turned out for Germany at youth level and all the way through to the U-21s, before opting to represent Ghana, his father's country of birth, at full international level.
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 both brought made the switch up to the Bundesliga in 2009. Sven joined Borussia Dortmund and has since helped the Yellow-Blacks to two Bundesliga titles and a DFB Cup win, as well as reaching the final of the 2013 UEFA Champions League.
Lars may have somewhat fewer medals, but his career has blossomed equally well. Twelve minutes older than his brother, he helped Bayer to a third-place 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 the edge over Sven in terms of national team appearances. The latter has come out on top in their five Bundesliga meetings to date, however, winning three and drawing the other two.
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. Toni's 2012/13 season was cruelly cut short by injury, leaving him watching from the sidelines as Bayern lifted the treble, but the 35-time Germany international is up and running again in 2013/14.
Somewhat less is known about Felix, whom Werder Bremen youth team coach Dieter Eilts nonetheless described in 2009 as “the better Kroos”. Like his elder 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. Largely a reserve-teamer over the past couple of seasons, he was given a run in the first XI 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.
Raffael, recently snapped up by Borussia Mönchengladbach, is at his third Bundesliga club after four years with Hertha Berlin and a brief stint on loan at FC Schalke 04 last term. He has plenty of experience in Germany’s top flight, with 130 appearances and 27 goals to his name and will be looking to help fire the Foals into Europe in his third spell under coach Lucien Favre (who signed him for Hertha and FC Zürich).
Since Raffael’s departure from the capital in 2012, Hertha fans have had Ronny to celebrate in his stead, and how the 27-year-old has delivered. A year younger than Raffael, he was the team's stand-out performer in their run to the Bundesliga 2 title in 2012/13 and return to the top flight at the first time of asking. Alongside his twelve assists, Ronny 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.
Despite both moving on to pastures new in time for the coming campaign, both Daniel and Marco Caligiuri are all set to renew their rivalry. Daniel, a new arrival at VfL 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 given their squad and ambition, the 25-year-old midfielder will be targeting another international berth this season.
Four years Daniel’s senior, Marco has a rather different agenda over the months ahead. His new club Eintracht Braunschweig are back in the top flight for the first time in 28 years, and trying to remain there is the Lower Saxons' sole priority this time around. Caligiuri’s 80 top-flight appearances for 1. FSV Mainz 05 could prove an invaluable source of experience in that endeavour. Marco leads the Caligiuri Bundesliga head-to-head count with two wins and a draw from their three meetings, although Daniel actually bagged the extra-time winner for Freiburg in their DFB Cup quarter-final encounter with Mainz in February 2013.
Compiled by Bernie Reeves