In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
4. Raul Albiol (26) has been a regular member of Spain’s all-conquering squad of recent years, including La Selección that took the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Trophy in South Africa and claimed victory at UEFA EURO 2008, as well as appearing in their run to third place at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. The towering defender came through the ranks at Valencia, making his senior debut in the side’s UEFA Cup-winning campaign in 2003/04 and claiming the Copa del Rey in 2007/08, a feat he repeated last season for current club Real Madrid.
5. Paul Breitner's (60) name is synonymous with the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final in Munich, where his penalty kick drew the scores level before Gerd Muller netted the goal that broke Dutch hearts and saw West Germany lift the Trophy for the second time in their history. The charismatic Breitner had a second chance at FIFA World Cup glory in Spain 1982, only for West Germany to be beaten in the Final by Italy. Other national-team honours include victory at the 1972 UEFA European Championship. His club career was if anything even more impressive, winning the 1973/74 European Cup, five Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal trophies with German powerhouses Bayern Munich, before moving to Real Madrid, where he helped claim two La Liga championships and a Copa del Rey.
6. Joseph Yobo (31) has been one of Nigeria’s most successful defenders over the last ten years, featuring in two editions of the FIFA World Cup - Korea/Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010 - as well as participating in five successive CAF Africa Cup of Nations between 2002 and 2010. The 6’2 centre-back honed his defensive skills for Belgian side Standard Liege, before making his way to French giants Marseille and from there to Everton, where he played for many years. After a 2010/11 season in Turkey on loan to Fenerbahce, Yobo has returned to Goodison Park to aid the Toffees at the start of their Premier League campaign.
7. Marcel Desailly (43) is a legend of French football with a starring role in many of the national side’s most famous triumphs. Foremost among these was Les Bleus’ epic victory at the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil, in addition to success at two FIFA Confederations Cups in 2001 and 2003 and EURO 2000. The physically imposing defender or defensive midfielder also participated in the 2002 edition of the FIFA World Cup and two further EUROs – in England in 1996 and at Portugal 2004. His club career was no less stellar. Making his professional debut with French club Nantes, he was bought by Marseille, with whom he won the inaugural edition of the UEFA Champions League in 1993 before moving to Italian giants AC Milan, where he began to accumulate trophies in earnest. As well as another victory in the Champions League in 1994, courtesy of an emphatic 4-0 drubbing of Barcelona in the final, Desailly also lifted the UEFA Super Cup and two Scudettos with I Rossoneri. From Italy he came to Chelsea, adding the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield to his trophy cabinet, before bringing his career to a close in Qatar, where he claimed the league title with Al Gharrafa and signed off with a spell at Qatar SC.
8. Markus Babbel (39) experienced the highs and lows of international football in his Germany career. Victory at EURO 1996 in England was followed by his side’s shock exit from the 1998 FIFA World Cup on the back of a 3-0 thrashing by Croatia, before he brought down the curtain on his international career after appearing at EURO 2000. The defender played in his homeland for the majority of his time in club football, getting his start in the Bayern Munich youth side and graduating to the first team. After a season away at Hamburg, Babbel returned to win a number of Bundesliga titles with the Bavarian giants, before earning a move to English outfit Liverpool. His adventure with the Reds netted Babbel winners’ medals in the FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield, in addition to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup, and was followed by a short sojourn with Blackburn Rovers - from where he returned to Germany and won another Bundesliga title with Stuttgart before hanging up his boots. Babbel then moved into the world of coaching, first as an assistant coach at Stuttgart and taking on the senior role for the 2008/09 season. In 2010 he took over at current club Hertha Berlin and guided them to promotion to Germany’s top tier at the first attempt.
9. Roberto Donadoni (48) is one of the finest wingers to have graced the Italian national team, and was a key figure for the Azzurri at four successive major tournaments. His two FIFA World Cup campaigns, in Italy 1990 and USA 1994, both ended in the agony of penalty shoot-out defeat. His failure to convert from the spot contributed to Italy’s semi-final reverse against Argentina on home soil in 1990, though he was not among the penalty-takers four years later in their Final loss versus Brazil. At continental level, he also featured for Italy at the 1988 European Championship in Germany and EURO 1996. The supremely skilful Donadoni made his name at AC Milan, where he won three European Cup/Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups and two Toyota Intercontinental Cups to go with six Serie A titles and four Italian Super Cups. He ended his career at Saudi outfit Al Ittihad, where he helped the Jeddah-based club to a domestic league title and victory at the Asian Cup Winners’ Cup. Following his retirement as a player, Donadoni moved into coaching and has since taken charge at a number of clubs including Livorno, Napoli and Cagliari. He also endured a difficult stint managing Italy following their triumphant 2006 FIFA World Cup campaign, only to head for the exit door after a disappointing showing at EURO 2008.
10. Jeremy Toulalan (28) is the latest in a long line of classy and hard-working members of the French engine-room, managing to emerge with some credit despite Les Bleus’ shambolic showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The defensive midfielder came through the ranks at Nantes, where he played for a number of seasons before being snapped up by Ligue 1 superpowers Lyon. With two league titles, a French Cup and two Trophees de Champions (France’s Super Cup equivalent) to his name, Toulalan set out in search of new challenges and starts this season for Spanish La Liga outfit Malaga.