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.
29. Kieron Dyer (35) took part in three matches for England at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, stepping up to the senior team after appearing at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1997. In addition, he later played at UEFA EURO 2004. The dynamic midfielder started out at Ipswich Town, before making his name at Newcastle United, with whom he performed consistently for eight seasons. Injury disrupted the latter stages of Dyer’s career, during which time he turned out for West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers and Middlesbrough, his final club.
30. Berti Vogts (67) represented West Germany at three successive World Cups, in 1970, when he finished third, in 1974, when he lifted the trophy, and in 1978. He also claimed second place at EURO 1976 with Die Nationalelf. The tenacious defender remained loyal to one club, Borussia Monchengladbach, throughout his 14-year club career, winning five Bundesliga titles, the DFB-Pokal, two UEFA Cups and two German Footballer of the Year awards. After hanging up his boots, he was appointed assistant national coach, helping Franz Beckenbauer to mastermind a famous World Cup victory in 1990. Following the Kaiser’s departure, Vogts took charge in his own right, guiding the newly unified German team to the final of EURO 1992, prior to securing the continental crown in 1996. He also oversaw two World Cup quarter-final exits, in 1994 and 1998. He subsequently coached Bayer Leverkusen, Kuwait, Scotland and Nigeria, overseeing the African side’s 2008 CAF Africa Cup of Nations campaign. The determined German then took the reins of the Azerbaijani national side, a role he still fulfils to this day.
31. Nader El-Sayed (41) is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers to have come out of Egypt, clinching the African Youth Championship with the Pharaohs before competing at the 1991 U-20 World Cup, the 1992 Olympic Football Tournament and four Africa Cup of Nations events, one of which – Burkina Faso 1998 – culminated in him hoisting the trophy. At club level, the athletic shot-stopper landed two Egyptian League titles, two CAF Champions League crowns and two African Super Cups with Zamalek, successes that sparked the interest of Club Brugge. After finding playing time hard to come by in Belgium, he moved to Egyptian side Goldi, but only stayed for one season, joining Greek club Akratitos in 2002. El-Sayed later pulled on the jerseys of El Ittihad, El Masry and Al Ahly, where he added an Egyptian Championship, Egyptian Cup, two Egyptian Super Cups, two CAF Champions League titles and an African Super Cup to his footballing CV.
1. Lilian Thuram (42) is one of the greatest right-backs to defend the colours of France in recent years. He held aloft the 1998 World Cup on home soil, participating in six matches, one of which – a tightly contested semi-final against Croatia – saw him unexpectedly score two crucial goals for Les Bleus. His fine performances at the prestigious event earned him the third-place slot in the voting for the adidas Golden Ball. Two years later, he was a key component of the French XI that emerged victorious at EURO 2000, and he followed that up by triumphing at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. Thuram also appeared at two further World Cups – Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, earning a runners-up medal at the latter competition – and at three other UEFA European Championships. The Guadeloupe-born Frenchman turned professional at Monaco, where he got his hands on the Coupe de France, prior to signing for a rapidly emerging Parma outfit, with whom he scooped the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and UEFA Cup. After Juventus came calling, more silverware ensued in the form of two Serie A titles and two more Italian Super Cups. The powerful defender saw out the remainder of his playing days at Barcelona, where he brandished the Spanish Super Cup.
2. Oleksandr Shovkovskyi (39) was a mainstay of the Ukrainian national squad for the best part of two decades. His strong displays between the sticks propelled the Ukrainians to the quarter-finals of Germany 2006, the country’s first-ever appearance at FIFA’s flagship competition. The solid goalkeeper plied his trade for Dynamo Kiev for practically his entire 21-year domestic career, capturing no fewer than 12 Ukrainian Premier League titles, eight Ukrainian Cups, five Ukrainian Super Cups and four CIS Cups during that period.
3. Perpetua Nkwocha (38) has appeared at three FIFA Women’s World Cup™ contests– USA 2003, China 2007 and Germany 2011 – with Nigeria. The attack-minded midfielder has also enjoyed success at four CAF African Women’s Championships, and participated at three Olympic Games (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). She currently plays for Swedish club Sunnana SK.
4. Miguel (34) turned out for Portugal at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, as well as at EURO 2004, where A Seleção das Quinas lost in the final, and EURO 2008. The pacey full-back came through the ranks at Estrela Amadora, where his good form earned him a transfer to Benfica, with whom he won the Portuguese League, Cup and Super Cup. Miguel then put pen to paper with Valencia, where he would become one of the first names on the teamsheet for seven campaigns. The tireless defender lifted the Copa del Rey with Los Che in 2008.