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.
27. Glenn Hoddle (56) left a significant imprint on the history of English football by taking part in two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments in a row, in 1982 and 1986, and two UEFA European Championships, in 1980 and 1988. A decade later, he managed the Three Lions at France 1998. The elegant midfielder spent the first twelve years of his career with Tottenham Hotspur, lifting two FA Cups, a Community Shield and a UEFA Cup. A move to Monaco saw him secure the French League title and French Cup. He then returned to his homeland to become player-manager of Swindon Town, guiding the modest Wiltshire side to the promised land of the Premier League. After fulfilling the same role with Chelsea for two campaigns, Hoddle finally hung up his boots for good. The iconic Englishman would later take charge at Southampton, Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
28. Obafemi Martins (29) helped Nigeria to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he played in two matches, but could not prevent the Super Eagles from suffering a first round exit. The explosive striker also participated in three CAF Africa Cup of Nations contests, finishing third in 2006 and 2010. The pacey Nigerian rose to prominence at Inter Milan, where he won a Serie A title, two Italian Cups and two Italian Super Cups, before signing for Newcastle United, with whom he claimed the Intertoto Cup. Spells at Wolfsburg and Rubin Kazan – where he hoisted the Russian Cup and Super Cup – followed, as did a loan stint at Birmingham City, which culminated in an English League Cup triumph. After half a season with Levante, he committed himself to MLS outfit Seattle Sounders earlier this year.
29. Phillip Cocu (43) is one of the most respected Dutch players of recent times, having represented the Netherlands at France 1998, where he finished fourth, and at Germany 2006. He also played at three consecutive EUROs, in 1996, 2000 and 2004. The versatile midfielder started out at AZ Alkmaar, before becoming a fans’ favourite at Vitesse Arnhem and PSV Eindhoven, where he clinched a Dutch Championship, Dutch Cup and two Dutch Super Cups. The composed international’s performances attracted the attention of Barcelona, with whom he would land a Liga crown in his first season. Cocu then retraced his steps, returning to PSV and adding three further national titles and a national cup to his footballing CV, prior to seeing out the remainder of his career in the UAE with Al Jazira. As coach of PSV, he led his charges to success in the Dutch Cup last year.
30. Fredi Bobic (42) appeared at EURO 1996, where he lifted the continental trophy with Germany, and at EURO 2004. At club level, the bustling striker began his career with Ditzingen, before starring for Stuttgart Kickers and VfB Stuttgart, where he got his hands on the German Cup, reached the final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and finished top scorer in the Bundesliga. After three seasons with Borussia Dortmund, Bobic was loaned out to Bolton Wanderers. Returning to Germany, he represented Hannover and Hertha Berlin, before enjoying one final adventure with Croatian outfit Rijeka.
31. Simao (34) rapidly established himself in the Portuguese national team, his dribbling skills down the wing making him one of the first names on the teamsheet for a decade. He was part of the side that attained the semi-finals of Germany 2006, and also competed in South Africa four years later, where A Seleçcão das Quinas lost to Spain in the Round of 16. In addition, the Vila Real-born international played in the final of EURO 2004 and reached the quarter-finals of EURO 2008. As a younger man, he emerged victorious at the UEFA European U-16 Championship and took part in the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup. A product of Sporting Lisbon’s youth system, Simao turned out for the club’s senior team prior to pulling on the jerseys of Barcelona and Benfica, with whom he scooped the Portuguese title, Portuguese Cup and Portuguese Super Cup, and finished top scorer in the league. A transfer to Atletico Madrid led to him earning winners’ medals in the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup. Istanbul, where he won the Turkish Cup with Besiktas, was the Iberian winger’s next port of call. He joined Espanyol in the run-up to last season. In terms of individual accolades, he was voted Primeira Liga Player of the Year in 2007.
1. Mark Hughes (50) enjoys legendary status among Wales and Manchester United fans. The athletic attacker spent the majority of his career in England, but also defended the colours of a pair of continental European giants. He started off at Manchester United, where his displays earned him a high profile transfer to Barcelona. After a loan move to Bayern Munich, the dynamic Welshman re-signed for the Red Devils, going on to collect two English League titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup, three Community Shields, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and a European Super Cup. Hughes would later play for Chelsea, where he triumphed in the FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup, Southampton, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers, where he won the final trophy of his productive playing career, the 2002 League Cup. Since retiring and moving into management, he has taken the reins of the Welsh national team, as well as at Blackburn, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City.
2. Haidar Abdul-Amir (31) was part of the Iraqi squad that sealed their first-ever AFC Asian Cup, in 2007, a success that qualified them for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. The poised defender appeared at the 2001 U-20 World Cup and the 2004 Olympic Football Tournament, where the Lions of Mesopotamia finished fourth. He also took part in the 2004 Asian Cup in China and the 2005 West Asian Games, where Iraq claimed the gold medal. Abdul-Amir has represented numerous clubs in his homeland, including Al Zawraa (his current employers), Arbil and Al Talaba. He also spent several seasons in Jordan, with Shabab Al Ordon and Al Faisaly, with whom he won the Jordanian FA Cup, FA Shield and Super Cup.