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.
14. Thomas Vermaelen (25) is one of the best players representing Belgium at the present time. The defender joined Arsenal in 2009, and has become a figure of great importance for the Gunners. Vermaelen was named in the Premier League’s all-star XI at the end of last season.
15. Uli Stielike (56) is currently head coach at Al-Arabi in Qatar. His previous coaching positions included a spell at the Cote d’Ivoire helm. As a player, he turned out for Borussia Monchengladbach in his home country, and also spent eight seasons with Spanish giants Real Madrid. The former midfielder’s greatest honour was a European Championship winners’ medal with West Germany in 1980.
16. Hector Cuper (55) is another widely-travelled and respected coach, who has filled the hot seat at Valencia, Inter Milan and Real Betis in his time. His Aris Saloniki side are seventh in the Greek Super League at the moment.
17. Nani (24) joined Manchester United in 2007. The Portuguese international has emerged as a vital goal-getter for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, and has made a major contribution to United’s good progress in the Premier League this term.
18. Peter Schmeichel (47) knows all there is to know about Manchester United, as the former Danish international spent eight seasons at Old Trafford. A FIFA World Cup™ participant in 1998, he also kept goal in the Premier League for Aston Villa and Manchester City. In total, Schmeichel made 643 top flight appearances in Denmark, England and Portugal.
19. Laurent Blanc (45) rates as one of the pillars of the French footballing community. Currently in charge of his national team, he played for France at the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil, and made his name as a coach with Ligue 1 heavyweights Bordeaux. His clubs as a player included Marseille, Inter Milan and Manchester United.
20. Abby Erceg (21) is still a youngster, but has already appeared at four major FIFA tournaments. She and her New Zealand team-mates battled away at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups in 2006 and 2008, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2007, and the Olympic Football Tournament in 2008. At club level, Erceg switched to Barcelona outfit Espanyol in 2009. At next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 in Germany, she and the fast-improving Kiwis will once again test their progress against the best the world has to offer.