Goalkeeper Maurice Gomez completed a rare family feat by joining his older brother in participating in the African Nations Cup, but with two different teams.
Gomez was chosen in Guinea-Bissau’s 24-man squad for the tournament in Cameroon, while his brother Alfred will defend the colors of Senegal.
Their older brother, Les Gomez, was a reserve goalkeeper for Senegal at the 2015 finals.
Les, 32, and Alfred, 28, were born in Ziguinchor, Senegal, near the border with Guinea-Bissau, and Maurice was born in Cuneo, northern Italy, where their father worked as a road paver.
The three began their career in the Turin club academy.
Alfred was called up for the Italy under-20 team, but he did not play to transfer allegiance to Senegal and participate in the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he was the main goalkeeper after Edouard Mendy was injured, and helped his country reach the final.
While the injury ended Lis’ career after a single appearance in the Italian Serie A, Alfred played in the top flight in Italy and France, and is currently playing with Stade Rennes, France.
Morris, 24, grabbed the limelight at the Turin academy, but played in the third division in Italy before moving to clubs in Albania and Cyprus.
He obtained the citizenship of his mother’s country of Guinea-Bissau and was called up for the first time in the World Cup qualifiers in September.
This is the first time that two brothers for two different teams have played in the same edition of the African Nations Cup.
But the appearance of siblings with two different national teams in the world is not new, as two brothers of World Cup winner Paul Pogba play with France in the Guinea national team. His older brother Florentine was named to the Guinea squad for the finals in Cameroon but eventually withdrew due to injury.
In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, half-brothers Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng met when Ghana played against Germany.