Some football friendships go way back beyond the pitch. We all love a good bromance in football, don’t we? And when it’s between two players who go way back, it’s even sweeter to see.
10 Popular Football Friendships
Today, we want to look at relationships like that that exist in football. These are 10 football friendships that go way back.
1. Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala
Let’s begin with the current golden boys of football, Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala. These two lads go way back to their time in England’s youth teams when they were just kids. Back then, Musiala represented England while being part of Chelsea’s youth team. However, after moving to Bayern Munich in 2019, he switched his allegiance to his country of birth, Germany.
During their tenure playing for England’s under-15s, 16s, 17s, and 21s, they were inseparable. Roommates for a substantial period, they spent a lot of time together. Their deep friendship was truly evident at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony when Musiala sent Bellingham a congratulatory message after the Real Madrid man edged him in the Kopa Trophy.
2. Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero
On the topic of the Ballon d’Or, the most recent winner has a longstanding friendship. Lionel Messi and Sergio Agüero have been friends for over 20 years. Much like Musiala and Bellingham, their bond originated in the youth teams.
They clinched the 2005 Under-20 World Cup together as teenagers and also secured the Olympic gold in 2008. Subsequently, they continued representing Argentina together at the senior level for numerous years. They lived as roommates from their youth team days until Aguero’s retirement from international football due to a heart condition in 2021.
To illustrate the depth of their friendship, when Messi’s regular roommate wasn’t part of the 2022 World Cup squad, Messi opted to stay alone in a room in Qatar. However, a few days into the tournament, Aguero joined him, upholding their tradition of camaraderie despite not being in the squad. This exemplifies the epitome of a true bromance.
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3. Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué
Moving on to Messi’s former teammates, Cesc Fàbregas and Gerard Piqué. They both entered the La Masia Academy in 1997 and instantly formed an inseparable bond. Together, they spent six years in the academy before Fàbregas departed for England in 2003, with Piqué following suit the following year.
Despite residing in different cities in England, their friendship persisted. Eventually, these two best friends found themselves reunited in Barcelona when Fàbregas made his return in 2011.
4. David Luiz and Thiago Silva
Now, let’s delve into the friendship between David Luiz and Thiago Silva, which predates their football careers. These two have been best friends since their early childhood days. It’s even rumored that David Luiz’s father, a former footballer, utilized his connections to secure trials for the boys when they were quite young.
Silva and Luiz went on to represent Brazil together in various tournaments and even shared a brief stint as club teammates at PSG. Interestingly, both of them also played for Chelsea, although their paths never intersected in London
5. Mason Mount and Declan Rice
On the subject of Chelsea, it was the Cobham academy that fostered the friendship between Mason Mount and Declan Rice. It’s common knowledge that Mount is a product of Chelsea’s academy. For those unaware, Rice is as well. The defensive midfielder joined Chelsea in 2006 at the age of 7, where he crossed paths with Mount, who had enrolled the year before. The boys instantly bonded.
They played and lived together for seven years until Rice was released by Chelsea. Nonetheless, their friendship persisted. Rice staying in London likely bolstered their continued connection. Their bond grew so strong that their families even vacationed together.
During this time, Rice and Mount consistently connected during international duty, progressing from the youth teams to the senior team. Persistent rumors suggested a potential reunion, with Rice being linked to Chelsea. However, in 2023, the boys ended up farther apart than ever. Rice moved to Chelsea’s rivals, Arsenal, while Mount went to Manchester United.
6. Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho
In connection with Arsenal and Manchester United, Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho from Arsenal and United, respectively, also share a long-standing friendship. These boys, around the same age, not only hail from the same city but also lived in close proximity to each other.
It was only natural for them to become friends, residing near one another and playing together in England’s youth teams. Despite never meeting at the club level and, in fact, spending much of their time far apart, these boys have consistently upheld their friendship over the years.
7. Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie
Shifting away from England, Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie are two individuals whose friendship dates back a long way. Born just three weeks apart, these two players first crossed paths at the under-14 national camp in the US over a decade ago.
They immediately connected and continued their friendship while representing the US across various youth levels and ultimately in the senior team.
In 2015, Pulisic moved to Germany, and McKennie followed suit in 2016, maintaining their friendship despite playing for rival clubs. Their paths briefly aligned in England in 2023, and now, they both find themselves pursuing their careers in Italy. It seems that nothing can diminish their enduring friendship.
8. Kevin De Bruyne and Divock Origi
An interesting tale unfolds with Kevin De Bruyne and Divock Origi. Despite a four-year age gap, their friendship spans numerous years. When KDB was a mere 14, Origi extended invitations to him and a few other nearby boys to play in his garden, laying the foundation for their enduring bond.
Over the years, they’ve sustained this relationship, spending most of their careers in England while frequently joining forces in representing the Belgian national team.
9. Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele
Another pair of Belgium teammates whose friendship dates back quite far are Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele. These two have been friends since they were 10 years old, frequently crossing paths in the Belgium youth system.
In 2012, they both made the move to Spurs in the same transfer window, further solidifying their bond. Playing together at the club level for 7 years, they consistently represented the national team, which undoubtedly strengthened their close relationship.
10. Riyad Mahrez, Wissam Ben Yedder, and Mathias Pogba
Let’s conclude with a trio – Riyad Mahrez, Wissam Ben Yedder, and Mathias Pogba, three players of African descent who all grew up in France.
Ben Yedder and Mahrez both hailed from Sarcelles, where their friendship began. As kids, they used to play futsal and football together, with their families even acquainted with each other.
Pogba entered the scene when Mahrez joined Quimper in 2009, the same year Mathias Pogba also joined the club. During their one year together, they were roommates, igniting the spark of their friendship.
Are there any other football friendships you’re aware of that have a longstanding history? Share your insights in the comments below.