For some time now, it is no longer so rare to see family sagas in the football elite. Sons following in their fathers’ footsteps, like the Gento-Llorente family or the Kluiverts. And it is also relatively common to see siblings playing together on the pitch. In LaLiga Santander, Nacho and Alex Fernandez (Real Madrid and Cadiz CF, respectively) stand out today. And other recent cases could be those of Thiago and Rafinha Alcantara, Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos, or Frank and Ronald de Boer.
What is not so common is to see a brother and sister shining at the same time, in the men’s and women’s first teams of the same club. And this is the case of the Minguezas, Oscar and Adriana, who also have the privilege and the responsibility of doing so at a club as demanding as FC Barcelona, a contender to win the league title in both categories. It just so happens that neither Oscar nor Adriana Mingueza have been intimidated by the opportunity of a lifetime and, this season, they have made their debuts in the Blaugrana’s first team, and they are also showing signs of making the grade under coaches Ronald Koeman and Lluis Cortes, respectively.
The first to reach the top was Oscar, the eldest, with FC Barcelona’s men’s first team. A lack of defensive options forced the Dutch coach Ronald Koeman to look to the B team and he gave the 21-year-old centre-back a chance. Oscar Mingueza joined the club at under-8 level, and he made his debut in the Champions League away win against Dynamo Kiev on November 26.
“He has shown that we can rely on him,” Koeman said at the time, and it is fair to say that he has delivered, racking up almost two dozen more appearances, many of which have been as a starter. Oscar, in turn, has lived up to expectations and even scored his first goal for FC Barcelona against SD Huesca on March 15 in LaLiga Santander.
Interestingly, just nine days before Oscar’s first goal for the first team, his sister Adriana – known in the football world as Ari – had made her debut for FC Barcelona’s women’s first team. Ari made her debut at the age of just 17 after playing all her life in the Catalan club’s youth ranks. And just as her brother had done months earlier, she also made her debut with a victory, doing so away at Santa Teresa. This season’s leap into the men’s and women’s first teams made them the first siblings in FC Barcelona’s history to be promoted to both professional squads. And certainly the first in all of Spanish football.
Other successful siblings in men’s and women’s teams
The case of Oscar and Adriana Mingueza is unusual, but it is not unique. Not so long ago, the city of Barcelona also saw Marc and Marta Torrejon make a name for themselves at RCD Espanyol. Marta became an international with the Spanish national team and even went on to join FC Barcelona, winning trophies with both Los Blanquiazules and the Blaugrana.
Today, Bayer Leverkusen can also boast two siblings who are shining in their men’s and women’s first teams, with Florian and Julianne Wirtz in their respective first-team squads. Another recent case was with Radja Nainggolan, who joined AS Roma alongside his twin sister, Riana, in 2014.
Also in Italy, Manolo and Melania Gabbiadini both became full internationals for the Azzurri, although they have not played for the same club. Similar is the case of Austrians Chiara and Louis Schaub, or Nigerians Sone and Eniola Aluko, while Germans Lisa and Lukas Klostermann have only been able to represent their country at youth level, at least for the time being. These are just a handful of examples in the long history of football, confirming that the Minguezas are a unique case in world football.