In our regular feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
25 - Jairzinho (67) deserves his own special corner in the pantheon of Brazilian football, having contested three consecutive FIFA World Cup™ final tournaments and lifted the Trophy in 1970. He got his first taste of the tournament as a budding young talent at England 1966, where he played three games, but it was at Mexico 1970 that he truly announced his arrival. The forward struck seven times in six matches as A Seleção collected their third global title, and four years later he weighed in with two more goals to help Brazil finish third on West German soil. Jairzinho played for a number of clubs in his homeland but is best remembered for his efforts with Botafogo, where he won a long list of domestic trophies. From there, he joined French outfit Marseille, though it was not long before he was back in Brazil, and he claimed the Copa Libertadores with Cruzeiro in 1976. After hanging up his boots, he moved into the dugout and was one of the first coaches to give a chance to a gifted prodigy named Ronaldo, then aged just 14. Jairzinho also coached Gabon during the qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
26 - Souleymane Coulibaly (17) is widely recognised as one of the most exciting young players in world football thanks to his performances at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011. Despite his tender age, Coulibaly already boasts a broad range of qualities, as he proved by plundering nine goals in just four games at the global showcase. Even Côte d'Ivoire’s early exit did not prevent him from collecting the adidas Golden Boot. That impressive haul unsurprisingly caught the eye of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, and it was Tottenham Hotspur who eventually won the race to sign him from Siena. The north London side’s fans are now hoping he can repeat his Mexican feats at White Hart Lane.
27 - Roberto Bettega (61) featured in all of Italy’s games at the 1978 FIFA World Cup Argentina, notching two goals as he and his team-mates advanced to the semi-finals before losing the match for third place to Brazil. The highly rated forward then appeared set for selection ahead of the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain, but missed out with a serious injury as La Squadra Azzurra went on to secure the title. On the plus side, Bettega disputed the 1980 UEFA European Championship on home soil and racked up a vast array of silverware with Juventus, including seven Serie A crowns, two Coppa Italia wins and the UEFA Cup. He also finished top scorer in the Italian top flight in 1979/80.
28 - Khalid Boulahrouz (30) served the Netherlands’ cause at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, coming close to celebrating global glory at the latter tournament only for Spain to end Oranje hopes in the Final. The defender likewise took part in UEFA EURO 2008, and in the club arena he currently plies his trade with Stuttgart following spells with Waalwijk, Hamburg, Chelsea and Sevilla.
29 - Lakhdar Belloumi (53) made a name for himself by finding the net against West Germany at Spain 1982, his goal helping Algeria claim a deserved and memorable 2-1 victory. Belloumi also appeared at Mexico 1986 and the 1980 Olympic Football Tournament in Moscow, not to mention three consecutive CAF African Cup of Nations tournaments. Les Fennecs (Desert Foxes) finished runners-up to hosts Nigeria in 1980, then came in fourth in Libya two years later before taking third spot in Côte d'Ivoire in 1984. On a personal level, the former midfielder received a number of distinctions, including the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1981.
30 - Ali Al Habsi (30) can claim to be one of the most high-profile Arab footballers of the last ten years, having proved his worth in the supremely challenging environment of the Premier League. The gifted goalkeeper started his professional career in Oslo after moving to Norway from Omani outfit Al Nasr, and from there he was snapped up by Bolton Wanderers before joining current club Wigan Athletic. On the international stage, he is one of the first names on the team sheet for Oman and has helped the Sultanate raise their standards in recent years. With Al Habsi between the posts, they performed excellently at the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China and claimed runners-up spot at the Gulf Cup of Nations in Qatar the same year, winning the latter tournament as hosts in 2009.
31 - Sir Alex Ferguson (70) has spent the vast majority of his managerial career on the Manchester United bench, picking up practically every trophy going. The former striker has held the reins at Old Trafford for the last 25 years, moving south of the border after spells with East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen. His achievements since joining United are legendary, Sir Alex steering the Red Devils to 12 league titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, two UEFA Champions League crowns, a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, a UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ferguson also managed Scotland at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.