In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com brings you some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
22 Fabricio Coloccini (30) first shined for his country winning the FIFA Youth Championships 2001 in his native Argentina. Coloccini won the Olympic Football Tournament Athens 2004 and appeared at the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006™. He also featured in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the Copa America in 2004, where La Albiceleste failed to defend their title, losing to Brazil on penalties in the final. The defender first came to prominence with Boca Juniors, winning both an Apertura and a Clausura. A move to AC Milan saw him loaned away for most of his five-year stay to a succession of clubs. His first spell was at San Lorenzo, where he won an Argentinian Clausura, and was followed by one-year stints at Alaves, Atletico Madrid and Villareal. In January 2005, the charismatic centre-back completed a move to Deportivo La Coruna, where he spent three-and-a-half seasons before joining Newcastle. Still with the club from the English North-East, the Argentinian is now a regular at the back as the Magpies push for a Europa League spot.
23 Arjen Robben (28) excelled at the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010™, scoring two goals as the Netherlands finished as runners-up. His first appearance on the world stage, at Germany 2006, was less successful, as Robben scored one goal before the Netherlands were knocked out by Portugal in the Round of 16. The Dutchman’s honours list is impressive but hardly surprising given that he has turned out for league-winning sides in the Netherlands, England, Spain and currently Germany. Emerging through the ranks at Groningen, his stellar displays earned him a transfer to PSV Eindhoven where he lifted the Eredivisie and the Dutch Super Cup. His two seasons at PSV were followed by a move to Chelsea, with whom the creative wide man won two league titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and one Community Shield. Real Madrid were keen to sign him and their wishes were fulfilled in August 2007, as Robben was bought for a fee reported to be in the range of €35m. Two years in the Spanish capital brought him a La Liga title and a Spanish Super Cup. The addition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka to the Los Merengues squad in 2009 might have convinced "The Flying Dutchman" that it was time for a move as he signed for Bayern Munich. With the Bavarian giants he has won a Bundesliga title, a German Cup and a German Super Cup. He is now hoping to inspire Bayern to yet another Bundesliga title.
24 Guido Buchwald (51) was a key player for the German side that won the FIFA World Cup Italy 1990™. Playing in every game, he took the huge responsibility of man-marking Diego Maradona in the final. Buchwald also featured at USA 1994, where Die Mannschaft were eliminated in the quarter-finals, as well at three EUROs in which the Germans failed to lift a trophy. The defender made his name at Stuttgart, with whom he lifted two Bundesligas in 11 years. A move to Japan, with Urawa Red Diamonds, was followed by a return to his native country with Karlsruhe. After hanging up his boots, the German won the Japanese title, Cup and Super Cup treble as manager of his old team, which led to the award for manager of the season in 2006. Buchwald’s spell as manager of Alemannia Aachen only lasted for five months, but the former defender is now Director of Football at Stuttgart Kickers.
25 Xavi (32) is widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation. His stellar performances at South Africa 2010 led Spain to a first ever world title and victory at EURO 2008. The inventive midfielder has spent his whole career at his local club Barcelona. He came through the club’s famous academy before cementing his place in the first team. With the Blaugrana, the Spaniard has won six La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, five Spanish Super Cups, three UEFA Champions Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups. He has also won the FIFA World Youth Championships 1999, and a silver medal at the Olympic Football Tournament Sydney 2000. His exploits for club and country have earned him three FIFA Bronze Balls and he is hoping to excel at the Catalonian giants for the rest of his playing days.
26 Oscar Ruggeri (50) lifted the FIFA World Cup Mexico 1986™ with Argentina in a team that included Diego Maradona, playing in every match. Four years later, at Italy 1990, Ruggeri and Co. failed to retain their crown as Germany beat them in the final. He also participated at USA 1994. The solid defender lifted two Copa Americas as well as a FIFA Confederations Cup with the Albiceleste. Starting his career in the Argentinean capital with Boca Juniors, he won one league title before a move across Buenos Aires brought him another league title with River Plate, as well as a Copa Libertadores and an Intercontinental Cup. After a one-year spell with Logrones, the Argentinian signed for Real Madrid, where he won La Liga before moving back to his native country with Velez Sarsfield. The last few years of his career saw him play for Ancona, in Italy, CF America, in Mexico, and back in Argentina, San Lorenzo and Lanus.
27 Ahn Jung Hwan (36) delighted the South Korean supporters with superb performances on home soil at the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002™. The attacking midfielder scored two goals, including a famous golden goal against Italy in the Round of 16 as the Taeguk Warriors finished in fourth place. Although he spent most of his career in Asia, the South Korean had spells at A.C. Perugia, Metz and Duisburg. In Japan, he featured for Shimizu S-Pulse and Yokohamo F Marinos, with whom he won a Japanese league title. He also played for Dalian in China, and for Busan Daewoo Royals, Busan Icons, Suwon Bluewings and Busan l’Park in his native country.
28 Gianluigi Buffon (34) is one of the best goalkeepers of the last two decades. His performance at the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 helped the Italians to a first world title in 24 years and earned him the Lev Yashin trophy for best goalkeeper. Buffon only let in two goals: one a penalty, and the other an own goal. Gigi also featured at Korea/Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010, where he got injured in the first match and did not play again. With the Azzuri, Buffon also appeared at Euro 2004 and 2008, and won the European U-21 Championships 1996. Buffon came to prominence at Parma, with whom he lifted the UEFA Cup, the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup, before a move to Juventus. With the Old Lady, the goalkeeper has won four Serie A titles, two Italian Super Cups and a Serie B title. Named Serie A goalkeeper of the year 8 times, the veteran is still going strong for La Vecchia Signora.