Brothers Jonny and Corry Evans are keeping it in the family

Brothers Jonny (left) and Corry Evans during training on Friday

Brothers Jonny (left) and Corry Evans during training on Friday

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Jonny and Corry Evans are set to be the latest brothers to feature at a European Championships - a fact that has helped ease any ticket arguments among the Northern Ireland siblings’ family.

The duo never dreamed of pulling on a green and white jersey at a major tournament when they were younger, with elder brother Jonny Evans instead pretending he was Italy’s Paolo Maldini while Corry Evans adopted Brazil’s famous yellow jersey to emulate Roberto Carlos, yet they are now set to follow in the footsteps of the Koemans, Laudrups, Nevilles and De Boers.

Thirteen sets of brothers have been named in squads at previous Euros and four pairs are in France, including Taulant and Granit Xhaka, who face each other tomorrow when Albania and Switzerland meet.

Unlike the Xhaka’s family, where loyalties will be divided, those related to the Evans siblings will be firmly behind Michael O’Neill’s squad.

“The good thing is, we get to share tickets, so we’ve already talked about swapping a few around,” said West Brom’s Jonny Evans.

“Corry has sorted my mum out with a ticket and I’ll sort out my dad with a ticket. It’s great for both of us and it will be an amazing occasion.

“To be honest, I think it will be extra special for all the players’ families and anyone involved in the squad and set-up.

“It’s a massive tournament and occasion and one we can’t wait to be involved in.

“Corry was always a Brazil fan and I was an Italy fan growing up. Corry liked the Brazil kit, so he was always (Roberto) Carlos and I was (Paolo) Maldini.

“We always looked at the major teams in the tournaments and we’d play against each other, whether it was outside with an actual football, or on FIFA.”

Not only will the pride of representing his country in France be shared by Corry Evans, the younger brother’s presence in O’Neill’s 23-man squad also helps ease the demand for tickets.

“I’m very proud; it’s going to be great to be in France with Jonny and hopefully play on such a big stage in front of thousands of people,” added Corry Evans.

“We’ve definitely made our family proud representing our country together, but to do it at the European Championship is extra special.

“It’s going to be great. We have quite a few family members so I don’t know how many tickets we’ll need.”

Like the rest of their Northern Irish colleagues, the Evans brothers have only been spectators themselves during previous international finals.

And Jonny Evans had an excellent excuse to plonk himself down in front of the television four years ago when Poland and Ukraine hosted the tournament.

“I had literally just undergone an ankle operation,” he revealed. “I’d come out of surgery and I think England and France were playing each other.

“I literally had the leg propped up the whole tournament, sitting watching the games. I was in a single armchair, in front of the television, recuperating from injury.

“Euro 2012 was a great tournament and I vividly remember thinking how fantastic it would be to play on such a stage with Northern Ireland.”

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