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.
17. Bernd Schneider (40) was part of the Germany side that first reached the Final of the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002™ and then secured third place on home soil four years later. In addition, the skilful midfielder appeared at the FIFA Confederations Cups of 1999 and 2005, finishing third at the latter tournament, and at UEFA EURO 2004. The set piece specialist initially played for Carl Zeiss Jena and Eintracht Frankfurt, but it was at Bayer Leverkusen that he made his name, twice claiming second-place finishes in the Bundesliga and earning a runners-up medal in the German Cup final and UEFA Champions League final, where the Werkself lost out to Real Madrid at Hampden Park.
18. Melanie Behringer (28) played a key role in Germany’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ triumph, and also participated in the following edition of the tournament in 2011. The dynamic attacking midfielder has twice emerged victorious at the UEFA Women’s EURO event, in 2009 and 2013. Earlier in her international career, she picked up bronze medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and at the 2004 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Behringer rose to prominence at Freiburg, before moving to Bayern Munich, where she narrowly missed out on the Frauen-Bundesliga title. A transfer to FFC Frankfurt saw her again finish second in the league, but she finally got her hands on domestic silverware by winning the German Cup at the end of that same season.
19. Jorge Fucile (29) has been highly involved in Uruguay’s return to the forefront of the global game. The adaptable full-back finished fourth at South Africa 2010 and, following La Celeste’s comfortable defeat of Jordan in the first leg of their intercontinental play-off, looks likely to appear at Brazil 2014 as well. He also competed at the 2007 Copa America, held in Venezuela. Fucile turned professional at Liverpool Montevideo, prior to joining Porto, first on loan and then on a permanent basis. The Uruguayan defender enjoyed five productive years in Lisbon, collecting five Portuguese League titles, three Portuguese Cups, four Portuguese Super Cups and a UEFA Europa League crown. He spent last season on loan at Santos, with whom he clinched the Sao Paulo State League.
20. Gerardo Martino (51) was recently thrust into the global media spotlight following his appointment as Barcelona coach. The Argentinian tactician began his new assignment by guiding his charges to victory in the Spanish Super Cup and to the best league start in the club’s history. While not previously well-known in Europe, Martino had built up a remarkable coaching record prior to arriving in Catalonia, steering Paraguay to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup and the 2007 Copa America, as well as to the final of the 2011 Copa America. He has also been at the helm of several club sides, such as Libertad and Cerro Porteno, winning a total of four Paraguayan Championships, and Newell's Old Boys, with whom he sealed the Argentinian League title. Martino, an attacking midfielder in his playing days, had originally started out at the Rosario-based club, scooping three league championships. He also defended the colours of Tenerife, Lanus, Barcelona Sporting Club and O'Higgins.
21. Peter Vermes (47) helped the United States to return to the World Cup stage in 1990 after a 40-year absence. The versatile American also represented his country at the 1992 Confederations Cup and the 1988 Olympic Football Tournament. At club level, Vermes pulled on the jerseys of Dutch side Volendam and Portuguese outfit Figueres, as well as US-based teams such as Tampa Bay Rowdies, New York Fever, New York/New Jersey MetroStars, Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City). He is currently the head coach of Sporting Kansas City.
22. Marouane Fellaini (26) has had a fruitful year, having recently booked a ticket for Brazil 2014 with Belgium. The combative midfielder had previously appeared for Les Diables Rouges at the Olympic Football Tournament at Beijing 2008. After spending the first three seasons of his career with Standard Liege, where he landed a Belgian League winners’ medal, Fellaini signed for Everton, reaching the FA Cup final in his first term with the Toffees. Five impressive seasons later, he put pen to paper with Manchester United, rejoining former coach David Moyes.
23. Khaled Al Muwallid (42) is a living legend of Saudi Arabian football, propelling his nation to their first-ever World Cup in 1994. At the tournament proper, the Falcons surprised many by advancing past the group stage. Four years later, the talented midfield man played in all three of his country’s matches at France 1998. He also participated in the first three Confederations Cups (1992, 1995 and 1997), the 1987 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the AFC Asian Cups of 1988 and 1996, triumphing at both and even scoring the winning penalty versus the UAE in the latter competition. Al Muwallid built his reputation at Al-Ahli, lifting the Crown Prince Cup, before committing himself to Jeddah rivals Al Ittihad. He spent two seasons with Saudi Arabia’s oldest football club, winning a league title before hanging up his boots for good.