In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com brings you the names of some of the best-known figures on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
Two coaching veterans celebrate their special day on Sunday. Rudi Gutendorf, a holder of the German Federal Cross of Merit, turns 83 today. He rates as the most-travelled coach in the world with more than 50 assignments outside his home country, including stints in Australia, Bolivia, Fiji and Nepal. The second boss with a birthday is Dragoslav Stepanovic. The 61-year-old's former clubs include Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen, AEK Athens and Zamalek Cairo. One of the all-time great players also blows out the candles today. Midfielder Pavel Nedved, who will be 37, recently announced his retirement from the professional game.
Another big-name coach with a birthday this week is Holger Osiek. A member of the coaching staff when Germany won the 1990 FIFA World Cup™, Osiek guided Canada to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2001. Among the players celebrating today are Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina (27), former AC Milan, Leeds United and Bayer Leverkusen defender Roque Junior (33), and former Greece international Konstantinos Konstantinidis (37).
Today's birthday boys were top-class strikers in their day. Dutch ace Ruud Gullit (47), nicknamed the Black Tulip for his inimitable jet-black mane of hair, rates as one of the Netherlands' all-time great players. Hakan Sukur (38) enjoys equally elevated status in Turkey, where he is known as the King - or alternatively as the Bull - of the Bosporus.
The second of September appears to be a special date in the world of football, as a long list of top stars came into the world on this day. AC Milan starlet Alexandre Pato is already a regular for Brazil at the tender age of just 20. Columbia legend Carlos ‘El Pibe' Valderrama, another great with a memorable hairstyle (lemon yellow in this case) turns 48 today. Savo Milosevic of Serbia is 36, and German 1990 FIFA World Cup™ winner Andreas Moller is 42.
Former England defender Gareth Southgate, who is 39 today, is unlikely ever to forget the 26th of June 1996. That was the day he missed the crucial penalty in the UEFA EURO 1996 semi-final against Germany, sending the host nation tumbling out of the tournament. Southgate coaches Middlesbrough these days, but was unable to prevent his side's relegation from the Premier League last season. Concerns about second-tier football are not something worrying Gerard Houllier (62) any more. The former Liverpool and Olympique Lyon boss works for the French FA nowadays.
Staying at association level for a moment, Turkey national coach Fatih Terim will be unwrapping presents today. Terim celebrates his 56th birthday today - and could receive the best gift of them all a day later if his side beat Estonia in FIFA World Cup qualifying. In the women's game, Kerstin Garefrekes passes a milestone on her 30th birthday. The two-time FIFA Women's World Cup™ winner is currently hoping to collect a second continental crown at the UEFA Women's EURO.
Congratulations are due to a famous German duo today. World and European champion Paul Breitner, whose former clubs include Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and who currently works as a scout and advisor for Germany's biggest club, turns 58. German FA Director of Sport Matthias Sammer celebrates his 42nd birthday. It is also the birthday of Brazilian boss Leonardo, two years younger than Sammer, who took the helm at top Italian club AC Milan in the summer.