In our regular Sunday feature, we bring you the names of some of the best-known figures on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
Czech Republic Football Association President and national coach Ivan Hasek will be 46 on Sunday. The Czechs are currently engaged in a desperate struggle for a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. Denmark international Soren Larsen and his team-mates look better-placed in terms of next year's finals right now, as the team coached by Morten Olsen comfortably lead their group. Former Schalke striker Larsen celebrates his 28th birthday on Sunday.
No fewer than four big-name footballers past and present will be unwrapping presents on Monday. Turkey schemer Emre Belozoglu (29), French icon Marcel Desailly (41), much-travelled coach Bora Milutinovic (65) and Schalke's Brazilian full-back Rafinha (24) all mark a special day today.
Markus Babbel is 37 on Tuesday. The Stuttgart coach, a member of the Germany team which triumphed at UEFA EURO 1996, is currently acquiring his elite coaching qualification, but still found time to steer his VfB side into the UEFA Champions League group stages. Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio (26) will be appearing in the same competition with Wolfsburg. The keeper made a vital contribution last season as the Wolves marched to a surprise Bundesliga title triumph.
Former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni, who currently occupies the managerial hot seat in Naples, will be 46 today. As a player, Donadoni represented the Squadra Azzurra at two FIFA World Cups, and enjoyed his greatest successes at club level with AC Milan in the 80s and 90s.
Yesterday it was his boss's turn, today it is celebration time for German Denis himself. The Argentinian international, who plays his club football for Serie A side Napoli, will be 28. Denis's overriding aim with the Albiceleste is to seal a berth at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals. Scottish talent Stephen McManus, of Glasgow giants Celtic, shares a birthday with Denis but is a year younger.
Our most famous birthday boy of the week is Franz Beckenbauer. The man who won the FIFA World Cup as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990 will be 64 today. Friday is also a special day for Croatia national coach Slaven Bilic. The former Premier League and Bundesliga player was born 41 years ago today.
After many years in the German top flight, Roda Antar switched to China PR in the summer, where he has proved an instant hit with Shandong Luneng. The Lebanese goal-getter is 29 today.