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.
8. Christian Wilhelmsson (34) took part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and in three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) with Sweden. The pacey winger came through the ranks at Mjallby before leaving his homeland to join Norwegian side Stabaek. A move to Belgium saw him claim two league crowns with Anderlecht, after which he chose to cross the French border to sign for Nantes. The Scandinavian wide man subsequently enjoyed a series of loan spells, first at Roma, where he lifted the Italian Cup, and then at Bolton Wanderers and Deportivo La Coruna. Wilhelmsson was then transferred to Saudi giants Al Hilal, where he won two league championships and three Crown Prince Cups. Following a further loan stint with Qatari team Al Ahli, he tried his luck with Los Angeles Galaxy, with whom he held aloft the MLS Cup. In 2013, the Swedish international committed himself to Emirati club Baniyas, where he has since landed the GCC Champions League title.
9. Victor Aristizabal (42) was one of the best attackers to emerge from Colombia in the past twenty years. At USA 1994, he remained on the bench throughout the tournament, but he made up for that disappointment at France 1998, playing in all of his country’s matches. The sprightly striker participated in three Copa America events, in 1995, 1997 and 2001, where he finished top scorer as Los Cafeteros emerged victorious, and in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, finishing in fourth place. Earlier in his international career, he competed at the 1992 Olympic Football Tournament. At club level, Aristizabal started out at Atletico Nacional, clinching six Colombian League titles, two Copa Interamericana competitions and a Copa Merconorte during four separate spells with the Medellin-based side. He also played for Valencia, Sao Paolo, Deportivo Cali, Vitoria, Cruzeiro, where he scooped the Brazilian League, Brazilian Cup and the Campeonato Mineiro, and Coritiba, with whom he earned a winners’ medal in the Parana State League.
10. Josip Skoko (38) helped Australia to return to the World Cup stage at Germany 2006, after a long absence. The skilful central midfielder also appeared for the Socceroos at the 1997 and 2001 Confederations Cups, reaching the final against Brazil at the former and finishing third at the latter. In addition, he played at the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament and the 2004 OFC Nations Cup. Skoko pulled on the jerseys of Australian outfits North Geelong Warriors and Melbourne Heart, as well as Hajduk Split, with whom he sealed a Croatian League title and two Croatian Cups, Genk, Genclerbirligi, Wigan Athletic and Stoke City. After hanging up his boots, he coached North Geelong Warriors and Melbourne Heart.
11. Mohamed Zidan (32) is regarded as one of Africa’s top forwards, having propelled Egypt to victory at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2008 and 2010, and been part of the side that featured at the 2009 Confederations Cup. The dangerous attacker began his career with Danish clubs AB and Midtjylland, where his fine form attracted the attention of Werder Bremen. Zidan would go on to play for several other Bundesliga teams, including Mainz, Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund, where he picked up a league winners’ medal. In 2012, he put pen to paper with Abu Dhabi-based Baniyas.
12. Victor Moses (23) is likely to celebrate his birthday in style this year, having lifted the CAF Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in February and performing a key role in helping the Super Eagles’ successfully qualify for Brazil 2014 later in the year. The talented winger is no stranger to international success, capturing the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007. After turning professional at Crystal Palace, Moses spent two seasons with Wigan, before joining Chelsea, where he reached the final of the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup and added the UEFA Europa League title to his footballing CV. The Nigerian international was sent out on loan to Liverpool at the beginning of the 2013/14 season.
13. Emre Asik (40) represented Turkey at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where his nation secured an unexpected third-place finish. Six years later, he inspired the Crescent Stars to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2008. Earlier in his career, the tough-tackling defender appeared at the 1993 U-20 World Cup. Asik won the Turkish League and Cup with Fenerbahce, and collected two league crowns, a national cup and a UEFA Super Cup with Galatasaray a decade later. The imposing centre-back also defended the colours of numerous other Turkish outfits, including Besiktas and Ankaraspor.
14. Chris Waddle (53) was one of the greatest wingers England have produced in modern times, starring at Mexico 1986 and Italy 1990, where the Three Lions finished fourth, as well as at EURO 1988. After rising to prominence at Newcastle United, he signed for Tottenham Hotspur, winning the FA Cup final in his second season at White Hart Lane. His skills piqued the interest of Marseille, with whom he would go on to win three French Championships and reach the European Cup final. A return to England saw the gifted performer help spur Sheffield Wednesday on to the FA Cup final and League Cup final in 1993, laudable feats that led to him receiving the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award. Waddle subsequently turned out for Scottish side Falkirk, as well as English teams Bradford City, Sunderland, Burnley and Torquay United. Following his retirement from the game, he managed Burnley for one season.