Should Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain step out in two years' time at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil as an England international – and yes, there is a long road ahead and many potential pitfalls on the way – then it will complete a nice family story that began 30 years earlier.
That was when his father Mark Chamberlain won the fifth of his eight England caps at the Maracana Stadium in a friendly won 2-0 against the most successful football nation on earth and in their own backyard. It is justifiably remembered for John Barnes' brilliant goal. As Barnes turns away from goal having scored, Mark Hateley is the first to congratulate him and then comes Chamberlain wearing the No 8 shirt.
Oxlade-Chamberlain said yesterday that, having watched the footage, all he could remember of his father's performance in the game was the celebration with Barnes.
He was joking, of course, but then for a 19-year-old that match must feel like it belongs to a different age. The Arsenal midfielder was, however, struck by the suggestion that he could continue a family tradition by playing at the Maracana.
"I hadn't thought of it like that. I've got to make sure I do well then. It would be really good to do that. The only thing I have ever seen from that game was the John Barnes goal and my dad celebrating. I never actually saw him touch the ball in that game! Obviously if I can make make it to the World Cup that would be another massive step in my career. As my dad played in Brazil like that, it would be a good one for the memory book."Reuse content