Welcome to Last Word on Football’s ‘Families in Football’ series. Over the next few weeks, we take a look at siblings, cousins and even parents and children that have played the beautiful game. Some have played cup finals together while others have been on opposing sides. Today, we focus on Italian brothers, Filippo and Simone Inzaghi.
Families in Football: Filippo and Simone Inzaghi
Italian striker Filippo Inzaghi will go down as one of Serie A’s most prolific forwards. A career that spanned 21 years, ‘Pippo’ netted an incredible 156 goals from 370 top-flight appearances.
Despite his rise to stardom, he began his career with his hometown club, Piacenza. Loan spells with Serie C1 side AlbinoLeffe and Verona of Serie B followed before returning to I Biancorossi where his tally of 15 Serie B goals helped the club clinch the title and win promotion to the top flight.
Filippo would make his Serie A debut but it wouldn’t be with Piacenza. Instead, the impressive striker joined a Parma side that was littered with talent, but he managed just two goals (one of which came against his hometown club) from 15 league outings.
After just one season, Inzaghi switched to Atalanta and his return improved massively with an incredible 25 goals from just 34 appearances in all competitions. He finished the season as the Capocannoniere and managed to score against every team in the division. He was also named the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year.
This rise led to the big clubs keeping tabs on the youngster and after just one season in Bergamo, he was on the move again. This time, Filippo would join the reigning Serie A and Champions League runners up, Juventus.
Filippo spent four seasons at the Stadio delle Alpi, scoring 89 times from 165 appearances. The striker formed formidable partnerships with Alessandro Del Piero and Zinedine Zidane and became the first player to score more than one Champions League hattricks.
Despite his prolific goalscoring form with the Turin club, he only managed three trophies in his four seasons.
After rumours of a fallout and the arrival of David Trezeguet, Filippo found himself on the move again, this time to AC Milan.
The first few seasons at the San Siro were hugely successful. Filippo picked up the 2002/03 Champions League with victory over Juventus before winning the Coppa Italia in the same season. The following campaign brought more success, including the Supercoppa Italiana and the Serie A title, but the Champions League eluded the Rossoneri with defeat in the final against Liverpool.
Two years later, Milan and Liverpool met once again in the Champions League final with Filippo netting twice in a 2-1 victory for the Italian club. Milan would also clinch the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2007.
When Milan faced Torino in 2009, Filippo netted a record tenth Serie A hat-trick, ahead of the likes of Hernán Crespo Roberto Baggio, Marco van Basten, Gabriel Batistuta, Vincenzo Montella and more.
Inzaghi retired in 2012, scoring on his 300th and final Milan appearance. For Italy, the strikers’ goal tally was impeccable with 25 from 57 outings. He was also a key part of the Azzuri side that won the 2006 World Cup.
Having ended his playing career with the Rossoneri, Filippo moved into coaching with the capital club. He started off in charge of AC Milan Primavera before taking the role of the senior side in 2014. However, Inzaghi would only remain at the San Siro for one season before being replaced by Siniša Mihajlović.
He moved to Venice and his time at Venezia was hugely successful, winning promotion to Serie B as champions before claiming the Coppa Italia Lega Pro in the same season.
The following campaign saw Inzaghi guide Venezia to a fifth-place finish but he was unable to navigate them to the top flight with defeat in the playoffs.
He also guided Benevento to promotion to Serie A for just the second time in the club’s history but he was unable to keep them there and left following their relegation back to the second tier. He is now in charge of Brescia.
A younger brother to Filippo, Simone Inzaghi also enjoyed a successful career in Serie A. Like his older sibling, Simone came through the ranks at hometown club, Piacenza. However, he would spend time on loan at four different lower league clubs before making his breakthrough in the 1998/99 season, when he scored 15 goals in 30 Serie A matches.
This led to Italian heavyweights Lazio signing the young forward but despite spending ten seasons at the Stadio Olympico, he failed to better his tally than in that season with Piacenza.
Twenty-six appearances on loan at Sampdoria and Atalanta failed to produce a goal but he returned to I Biancocelesti and became a key player. During his time in Rome, he won one Scudetto, three Coppa Italia titles, two Supercoppa Italiana trophies and one UEFA Super Cup.
Unlike his brother, Simone only managed three appearances for the Italian national team and he failed to find the back of the net. However, like Filippo, he too went into management.
Where Filippo ended his playing career at AC Milan and began his management career at the same club, Simone followed a similar path. Having retired from playing football with Lazio in 2010, Inzaghi became manager of the club’s youth teams. However, in 2016, he took charge of the senior side permanently.
He would remain as manager of Lazio for five years, winning 134 of his 251 games in charge. He also brought further success to the Rome club, winning the Supercoppa Italiana either side of a Coppa Italia.
Despite the success, Simone left in the summer to join Serie A holders Inter Milan following Antonio Conte’s departure. I Nerazzurri are currently top of the division ahead of rivals AC Milan.
Games Played Together and Against
Filippo and Simone Inzaghi were only on the same side once during their playing careers and it came at international level. The brothers played 11 minutes together for the Azzuri in a 1-0 friendly win over England.
They actually found themselves on opposing sides more. The siblings faced off against each other eight times throughout their playing careers with Filippo winning three and Simone winning twice.
Games Managed Against
The brothers have faced off against each other three times as opposing managers. Simone’s Lazio won 2-0 against Filippo’s Bologna in 2018 before picking up four points against Benevento last season.
With 70 Champions League goals, Filippo Inzaghi is the sixth-highest scorer in European club competitions, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Raúl and Karim Benzema.
The first time the brothers were on opposing sides as players came when Juventus hosted hometown club, Piacenza. Filippo netted the only goal in a 1-0 victory for the Old Lady.