Being the son of a famous footballer can heap pressure and unnecessary expectation onto a young players shoulders. The belief is that if your father displayed immense technical ability then it runs in the family and you will have it too. Some have shown this to be true like Mattheus, son of Brazilian legend Bebeto who is creating a name for himself as a player but is showing similar skills and traits that his father displayed some 20 years ago. Others have struggled to shake the high expectations set by fans and entire countries as they embark on their careers. Andreas and Mads Laudrup can be forgiven for not yet reaching the levels that their father Michael did during his playing days. The duo, like their cousin Nicolai (son of Brian Laudrup) are being watched carefully by the whole of Denmark in the hope that they will follow in their famous fathers footsteps and lead Denmark to international glory again. Even Thiago (Lionel Messi’s son) and Cristiano Jr (Cristiano Ronaldo’s three-year old) are facing speculation about how good they could become, before they have even taken their first steps.
For Enzo Fernández, better known as the youngster is looking to escape his father’s considerable shadow by leaving Real Madrid’s reserve side Real Madrid Castilla for pastures new, in an attempt to make his own name in the game his father loved. Zinedine Zidane achieved much as a player, winning the World Cup and European Championship with France as well as a variety of league and European cups with Juventus and Real Madrid. He also picked up the FIFA world player of the year three times, the Ballon D’or and is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever players to grace the game. His natural ability, skill and flair gained him praise from across the globe, from a variety of the games greatest players such as Pele, Beckenbauer and Platini, most of which was capture in the 2009 documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
As Zinedine’s oldest child, Enzo is the first to have the limelight thrust upon him and is reacting well, focusing on becoming his own player rather than trying to emulate the legend that is his father. He adopted his mothers maiden name Fernández in an attempt to remove the focus on his career and the comparisons to his father but has been unsuccessful so far. A move away from the Bernabeu makes sense for the youngster, with Liverpool keen to offer him a two month trial. It will be difficult for Enzo to leave Real as he has been at the club since he was nine years old and also employs his two brothers, Luca (a goalkeeper) and Theo (a striker) and his father as Sporting Director.
Enzo has shown he does possess his fathers talents and showcased them in a match recently for Real Madrid’s youth team against local rivals Atletico. With dad Zinedine watching on from the sidelines, Enzo muscled an opposition player off the ball some 40 yards out before unleashing an incredible 30 yard screamer that beat the goalkeeper with ease. It capped a fine performance by the youngster as he helped his side to an impressive 5-2 victory. The player has being playing well in the youth team, so much so that he was awarded with a call up to France’s Under 19’s, much to the frustration of the Spanish Football Association. Enzo, who has dual nationality thanks to his parents, can play for either Spain or France but at this time is focusing purely on his club football. His father is surprisingly not pushy when it comes to which country he will end up playing for:
“I do not like talking about it, but when one of the national teams calls him, we will decide which one to play for. If Spain comes calling, fine, and if France calls, the same. The important thing now is that he enjoys playing for Real Madrid”
Before his full international career can begin, Enzo knows he needs first team action. A move to the Premiership and to a club like Liverpool whose policy is to nurture young talent and give them exposure to the first team, could be exactly what the 17-year-old Enzo needs. If he can adapt to life in England and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers gives him a chance in the first team, the young Zidane could make quite the impact and finally show the world if he is destined to follow in the same footsteps as his father.
To see Enzo’s 30 yard screamer, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZN_UeZE0Wc