In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
Taher Abou Zeid (50) is one of the finest players to have ever defended Egypt's colours. He represented the Pharaohs at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™ and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Australia 1981, finishing among the top scorers in the latter tournament. In 1984, he participated in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament in Los Angeles, and two years later he helped his country add to their silverware collection at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. On the club scene, he forced his way into the Al Ahly first team at a young age and went on to win seven league titles, five Egyptian Cups, two CAF Champions League crowns and three CAF Cup Winners' Cups with the Cairo outfit. After retiring, he took on a role as a club official with Al Ahly, and for the last few years he has been drawing on this expertise as a television commentator.
Ibrahim Afellay (26) made three appearances as part of the superb Netherlands side that shone at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Oranje falling narrowly short of glory against Spain in the Final. Afellay also participated in UEFA EURO 2008, having originally started out in the game in the PSV Eindhoven youth ranks. The attacking midfielder clinched four Eredivisie titles, a Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup with the club, before catching the eye of Spanish giants Barcelona, and his first season at the Camp Nou brought triumph in La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011. Afellay picked up an injury at the start of the current campaign and is preparing to make his comeback with Barça in the hope of adding more winners' medals to his haul.
Oussama Darragi (25) helped Esperance ST return to the summit of the African game by winning the CAF Champions League last year, which secured them a spot at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011. With the midfielder in their ranks, the Tunis side also secured three league titles, a Tunisian Cup, a North African Cup Winners' Cup and the Arab Champions League. Darragi was likewise a key player as Tunisia won the CAF African Nations Championship in 2011, and he is now intent on trying his luck in Europe and locking down a first-team spot with the Carthage Eagles during qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Sami Khedira (25) finished third with Germany at South Africa 2010, having featured in all his country's matches. That came a year after he won the UEFA European U-21 Championship in Sweden, the young midfielder enjoying a rapid rise in the game and clinching the Bundesliga title with Stuttgart in 2006/07. After returning from South Africa, Khedira signed for Real Madrid and lifted the Copa del Rey in his maiden season. He has continued to put in many fine performances this term and hopes to collect even more silverware before the end of the season.
Timo Hildebrand (33) was the back-up goalkeeper for Germany as the host nation sealed third place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and a year earlier he made one appearance as Germany took bronze at the FIFA Confederations Cup. In the club realm, Hildebrand started out wearing the gloves for Stuttgart, where his displays between the posts helped his side win the Bundesliga title and finish runners-up in the German Cup. From there, he joined Valencia, clinching the Copa del Rey, and after a spell at Hoffenheim he packed his bags for another foreign adventure with Sporting CP. Schalke brought him back to Germany last year and he remains on the books of the Royal Blues.
Fabrice Muamba (24) will have everyone in football wishing him the best of birthdays on Friday after he lost consciousness during an FA Cup tie between his Bolton Wanderers side and Tottenham Hotspur on 17 March. Tests later revealed that he had suffered a cardiac arrest that came so close to being fatal. Born in Kinshasa, Muamba left Congo DR as a child and joined Arsenal's youth academy after arriving in England. He then made his breakthrough while at Birmingham City and completed a switch to Bolton in 2008. As a former England U-21 international, he represented his adopted country at two European U-21 Championships.
Martin Caceres (25) is one of the pillars of Uruguay's defence. An important presence as La Celeste finished fourth at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he was again influential when his country triumphed in the 2011 Copa America. Before that, he participated in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, while he started his club career with Defensor in his homeland. Villarreal brought him to Europe in 2007, but he spent the season on loan at Recreativo de Huelva and joined Barcelona in the summer, winning a La Liga crown, Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League in 2008/09. He was then loaned out to Juventus and later signed for Sevilla, before being loaned back to the Turin giants in January. Caceres clearly feels at home in the city and is keen to experience more success before returning to Andalusia.