This one’s about sons and fathers. Three days after Giovanni Simeone scored a brace to help Genoa stun defending champions Juventus in Serie A, Enzo Zidane got himself a goal 18 minutes into his Real Madrid debut. Their dads hold day jobs as football coaches in Madrid.
With 24 points from 13 games, Diego ‘El Cholo’ Simeone’s team, Atletico Madrid, is slightly off the pace in the race for the La Liga but it’s early days yet in the competition where Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid are in pole position (33 points from 13 rounds).
With a ‘Clasico’ looming at the weekend, Zidane brought on his son at half-time as Isco’s replacement in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey tie against Cultural Leonesa. And Enzo scored with his first shot. Real won 6-1, their 13-2 match aggregate sealing a pre-quarter finals’ berth.
Named after Uruguayan legend Enzo Francescoli, Zidane’s oldest son has been a regular with the Madrid reserve team, having earlier played in their different youth teams since 2004.
Enzo, 21, was appointed captain by his father when Zidane was the reserve team coach. His younger brothers Luca, Theo and Elyaz too are part of the Real Madrid age-group set-up. Luca plays in goal but the others are all midfielders like their father who played 227 matches for Real and was part of the quintet they called the ‘galacticos’.
Also 21, but some three months older, Simeone Junior’s too followed his father by going to Italy. After finishing top scorer in the 2015 South American U-20 championship, Giovanni left Argentina’s River Plate and joined Genoa this year. Like Enzo, who has chosen to play for France, Giovanni could have played for Spain but represents Argentina.
On Sunday, exactly 6084 days after his father had scored for Lazio against Juventus (it was Simeone Senior who did the maths), Giovanni scored twice against them. By 30 minutes, Genoa were leading 3-0; they would eventually win 3-1. The last time Juventus were down 0-3 in the first half in Serie A, according to The Guardian’s report on November 28, was in 2005.
“…The undoubted star of the show was Simeone, who not only kept on finding the gaps in Juventus’s defence but also showed impressive composure in front of goal,” the report in the Guardian said.
After that match, Giovanni was quoted as saying he would love to play for Atletico Madrid. It is a thought also voiced by Gianluca Simeone, Giovanni’s brother who is earning his stripes as a No. 9 at River Plate. Guilano Simeone, now 12, is part of River’s youth team set-up and scored on debut as a 10-year-old. He has been a ball boy at Atletico Madrid.
The story of these sons and their fathers may have just begun.