Star billing for sibling trios
© AFP

It might be common for brothers to live or work together but for a pair of siblings to appear on a football pitch is fairly unusual. To then find three brothers playing at the highest level is indeed a rarity.

English fans can claim Bobby and Jack Charlton, who starred in England's winning side at the 1966 FIFA World Cup™, while the Netherlands can boast the likes of Frank and Ronald de Boer, plus Ronald and Erwin Koeman. Denmark were a sparkling side when Michael and Brian Laudrup were in their prime, while Portugal's Pinto brothers also made a massive contribution to their national team.

Less famous are sibling trios who have made their family name synonymous for footballing prowess. Join FIFA.com as we take a look at some of these notable threesomes.

Asian trios
The world's most populous continent raised quite a few eyebrows recently, with two such trios making waves in the AFC Champions League competition.

In the third round of the Asian showpiece on 8 April, three Uzbek brothers named Tadjiyev travelled to Iran representing Pakhtakor for their away game against Saba Battery. With Komoliddin warming the bench, the other two siblings took to the field and made a significant contribution to an important victory.

In a rare family double-act, eldest brother Zaynitdin opened the scoring before Farhod scored to seal the 2-0 win. The Tadjiyev brothers are also national team representatives with the youngest, Farhod, the most notable following his hat-trick in Uzbekistan's 4-0 win over Qatar in a FIFA World Cup qualifier last month.

An even more fascinating scene was played out in this year's AFC Champions League round when three Griffiths brothers met on opposing sides as hosts Beijing Guoan saw off Newcastle Jets 2-0. Australian fans might have mixed feelings as Joel and Ryan helped to steer Beijing to victory, while Newcastle's Adam will undoubtedly be looking to the return leg in order to exact footballing revenge.

Adding further to the intrigue was the fact that Joel, on loan from Newcastle to Beijing, set-up the clinching goal, with Ryan grabbing the opener. Like the Tadjiyev brothers, the Griffiths have also each represented their country.

Pioneering brothers
One of the oldest examples of this sibling feat were the Irish Gordon brothers, who played international football in the final years of the 19th century. Tommy, the eldest, had his swansong with the national team in a game against England in 1895, while brother Hugh made his international debut in the same game. Willie, the youngest brother, also received a call-up to the national team shortly afterwards.

More recently in the German Bundesliga, three Tauber brothers all played with the top clubs such as Schalke 04 and Nuremberg during the 1980s. Jurgen, an industrious defender, and the oldest of the three, was first on the scene, followed by striker Klaus and creative midfielder Stephen.

In Argentina, a trio of Maradonas led a substantial batch of famous family threesomes. While Diego's status as the one of the all-time greats needs no introduction, younger brothers Hugo and Raul also achieved success with varying degrees. The former won gold at the 1985 South America U-16 Championship with Argentina, while the latter played for Boca Juniors in 1986 before plying his trade with a number of American clubs.

In Africa, Zambia's Bwalya family had the distinction of appearing in a continental final together at the 1994 CAF African Cup of Nations. Kalusha, Joel and Johnson represented their country in the tournament showpiece, only to finish up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline against Nigeria.

France's Mandanda family could yet fashion the most remarkable claim to sibling fame, having already produced two internationals goalkeepers and with another two young prodigies hinting at greatness.The oldest Steve is also the most famous, having established a regular goalkeeping place in the Marseille line-up, as well as representing France on a number of occasions.

Eighteen-year-old Parfait, formerly with Bordeaux, is now at third division Beauvais having already represented Congo DR. Riffi, only 15, has displayed his shot-stopping talents with the youth sides of Caen and France, while nine-year-old Ever has already pulled on the gloves for Paris-based Lusitanos Saint-Maur.