In its now-customary Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents some of the famous names from planet football who will be celebrating their birthdays in the week ahead.
5. Ruben de la Red (26) had a brush with death on 30 October 2008, when a heart condition caused him to collapse during a game with Real Madrid. De la Red started his career with Los Merengues but moved across the city to Getafe due to a lack of first-team football. Quickly making his mark with the team from the suburbs, he helped them to a Copa del Rey final against Valencia and played an instrumental part in a UEFA Europa League campaign that ended with a desperately unlucky quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich. His performances with Los Azulones were rewarded with a place in the Spain squad for UEFA EURO 2008 and a return to Real Madrid, where he is now the club’s youth team coach, having retired from the game due to his heart complaint.
6. Fernando Redondo (42) reinvented the role of the holding midfielder, combining his defensive duties with frequent sorties further upfield. Redondo was a distinguished member of the Argentina side that won the inaugural FIFA Confederations Cup, held in Saudi Arabia in 1992. The following year he formed part of the Albiceleste team that won the Copa America, their last major international trophy, and was on duty for his country at the FIFA World Cup USA 1994™. It came as no surprise when he then joined Real Madrid from Tenerife, going on to win a string of titles with the Spanish giants: two league championships, a Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Champions League titles and an Intercontinental Cup. On leaving Madrid for AC Milan Redondo suffered a series of troubling injuries, though he did add another continental title to his CV when I Rossoneri beat Juventus to win the Champions League. Unable to overcome his injury woes, he finally retired in 2004.
7. Cafu (41) enjoyed no shortage of success in a trophy-laden career. The cultured full-back announced himself to the world when stepping in for Jorginho at USA 1994, and made up for the disappointment of defeat in the Final at France 1998 by lifting the FIFA World Cup Trophy at Korea/Japan 2002. A two-time winner of the Copa America with A Seleçao, Cafu also won everything there is to win at club level. While at Sao Paulo he tasted glory in the Brazilian championship and also won the Copa Libertadores twice and two Intercontinental Cups. Making the switch to Europe, he collected winners’ medals in the league and Italian Super Cup with Roma, before signing for AC Milan, where further Serie A, Coppa Italia and Super Cup triumphs followed. The high point of his club career came in 2007, when Milan prevailed in the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA European Super Cup. His feats on the pitch and vast experience made him an obvious choice as a member of FIFA’s Task Force Football 2014.
8. Javier Mascherano (27) did not take long to confirm his status as a star of world football. A fixture in the Argentina squads at the 2004 and 2007 Copa Americas, he was handed the captain’s armband by former national coach Diego Maradona at the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, becoming one of the youngest skippers in the history of La Albiceleste. At club level the defensive midfielder has made equally rapid progress, winning a Clausura title with River Plate before moving to Brazilian side Corinthians and then pitching up in England with West Ham United. Switching to Liverpool, he proved influential in their run to the 2007 UEFA Champions League final, eventually leaving Anfield to sign for Barcelona, where he showed his versatility by skilfully slotting into the centre of defence in the second half of the newly concluded season. The Argentinian was faultless again at centre half as Barça overcame Manchester United in last weekend’s Champions League final, and seems set to enjoy yet more glory with the Catalans in the future.
9. Miroslav Klose (33) is one of the game’s born goalscorers, having amassed 14 goals in three separate FIFA World Cup finals, just one short of Ronaldo’s competition record of 15. Klose was one of the architects of Die Mannschaft’s resurgence on the global scene, making a sterling contribution as they finished runners-up at Korea/Japan 2002 and also doing his bit in their runs to third place at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, not to mention another runners-up slot at UEFA EURO 2008. The prolific striker won a German league and cup double with Werder Bremen and also collected a league cup winners’ medal with them before completing a move to Bayern Munich. Two more league and cup doubles have since followed as well as a German Super Cup. Klose also made off with the adidas Golden Shoe at Germany 2006 and was German Footballer of the Season and top scorer in the Bundesliga that same year.
10. David Platt (45) scored one of the finest goals in the history of the FIFA World Cup, hooking the ball past Belgium’s Michel Preud’homme in injury time of a Round-of-16 match at Italy 1990. The midfielder was an integral part of the England side that went on to reach the semis for the first time in many years, and was also on duty for his country at UEFA EURO 1992 and 1996. His equally impressive club career featured spells with Manchester United, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Juventus and Sampdoria. His stay with the Gunners featured a notable League, FA Cup and League Cup treble and he also won the UEFA Cup with Juve. After ending his playing days as player-manager at Nottingham Forest, he then took up the reins of the England U-21 team and is currently on the coaching staff at Manchester City.
11. Hugo Sanchez (52) caused many a headache for opposing goalkeepers, especially in the Spanish league, where he won the illustrious Pichichi (leading scorer) title on five occasions – once with Atletico Madrid and four times with Real Madrid. His stay at the Bernabeu brought him five league winners’ medals as well as a Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup title. His goalscoring record of 38 goals in the 1989/90 season has only just been broken by Cristiano Ronaldo this last season. The Mexican legend appeared in the three FIFA World Cup finals in three different decades (Argentina 1978, Mexico 1986 and USA 1994), though strangely for such a seasoned finisher, he managed just the one goal in those three competitions, which came in front of his own fans at the Estadio Azteca against Belgium. Having appeared for a number of clubs during his career, he signed off with FC Dallas in the USA before moving into coaching. Aside from taking charge of Mexican clubs Pumas UNAM and Necaxa, he was also at the Mexico helm at the 2007 Copa America and CONCACAF Gold Cup. His most recent coaching position came in Spain, where he enjoyed a one-year tenure at Almeria.