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.
3. Zico (60) is regarded as one of the greatest players ever to play the game, in part due to some magnificent performances for the Brazilian national team. He played in three FIFA World Cup™ competitions in a row with A Seleção, finishing third at Argentina 1978 and suffering second-round and quarter-final exits at Spain 1982 and Mexico 1986 respectively. In Spain, as part of a Brazil XI widely considered to be the best team never to have won FIFA’s flagship tournament, the gifted playmaker netted four times in five encounters. Zico was a loyal servant to Flamengo for the majority of his productive domestic career, during which he secured four Brazilian league titles, seven Rio State Championships, the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup. He also had spells with two foreign clubs, Udinese in Italy, and Kashima Antlers in Japan, with whom he won the national league title. The skilful midfielder earned numerous individual awards over the years, including Brazilian Footballer of the Year (twice) and South American Footballer of the Year (three times), and twice topped the scoring charts in his homeland. A move into coaching saw him guide Japan to AFC Asian Cup glory in 2004, a victory that qualified the Samurai Blue for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. He also led the Japanese to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, after which he enjoyed brief stints at the helm of Fenerbahce, Uzbeki outfit Bunyodkor, CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos. The Brazil legend subsequently took charge of the Iraqi national side, but left during the qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
4. Landon Donovan (31) is one of United States’ most capped players, having participated in the last three FIFA World Cups, Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, scoring a total of five goals in 12 matches. The incisive forward appeared at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003 and 2009, where USA came close to pulling off a shock against Brazil in the final. He also hoisted three CONCACAF Gold Cups, finishing joint top scorer at the continental event on two occasions. In his youth, he turned out at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 1999, the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament and the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2001. Donovan turned professional at Bayer Leverkusen, before being loaned out to San Jose Earthquakes, where he landed the MLS Cup twice. A move to current club Los Angeles Galaxy has seen him earn three further championship winners’ medals and hold aloft the US Open Cup. During his time with the Californian outfit, he has enjoyed loan spells at Bayern Munich and Everton (twice). The American attacker has previously been named US Soccer Athlete of the Year four times, and he won the MLS Golden Boot in 2008.
5. Mahmoud Abdel Razek (27), better known as Shikabala, is one the Egyptian League’s most talented players. He rose to prominence over ten years ago at Cairo giants Zamalek, where he claimed two league championships, a CAF Champions League title, a CAF Super Cup and an Arab Cup of Champions Clubs. After spending two seasons with PAOK in Greece, he returned to the White Knights, whom he inspired to an Egyptian Cup triumph in 2008. At the beginning of the 2012/13 season, he was sent out on loan to UAE heavyweights Al Wasl, but has since returned to the Egyptian capital. The attacking midfielder has also collected silverware on the international stage, lifting the World Military Cup in 2007 and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2010. Prior to achieving those feats, he played at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2005.
6. Kevin-Prince Boateng (26) played an integral part in Ghana’s tremendous South Africa 2010 campaign, which ended at the quarter-final stage following a narrow loss to Uruguay. Born in Germany, the powerful midfielder came through the ranks at Hertha Berlin, where he established himself in the first team. He was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur, with whom he won the English League Cup, before signing for Borussia Dortmund, and then Portsmouth, winning the FA Cup with the southern outfit a few months later. After moving to AC Milan by way of Genoa, he helped I Rossoneri to secure the Serie A title and the Italian Super Cup.
7. Mathieu Flamini (29) is a well-respected defensive midfielder, having represented big-name clubs in three different countries. He initially demonstrated his potential at Marseille by propelling the French side to the UEFA Cup final. Having put pen to paper with Arsenal, he went on to emerge victorious in the FA Cup final and the Community Shield, but could not prevent his team-mates from losing the UEFA Champions League final to Barcelona. After four seasons in London, the tireless Frenchman committed himself to AC Milan, where he has since added Italian league and Super Cup triumphs to his footballing CV.
8. Rafik Djebbour (29) helped Algeria to make just their third-ever FIFA World Cup appearance at South Africa 2010, where the North Africans exited at the group stage. A product of Auxerre’s renowned youth set-up, the free-scoring striker has spent his entire club career to date in Europe. His former employers include Belgian outfit La Louviere, as well as Greek sides Atromitos, Panionios, and AEK Athens, with whom he reached the national cup final. Djebbour has had better luck at his current club, Olympiacos, having won two Greek league crowns and a Greek Cup with the Kokkini.
9. Youri Djorkaeff (45) was a key component of the French side that captured the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil, the 2000 UEFA European Championships and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2001. In addition, he played at UEFA EURO 1996 and at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan with Les Bleus. An attacking midfielder with an eye for goal, he started off at Grenoble, prior to starring for Strasbourg and Monaco, where he lifted the French Cup. After moving north to don the shirt of Paris St Germain, he attained the Trophee des Champions and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. The adroit Frenchman’s form piqued the interest of Inter Milan, with whom he would go on to win the UEFA Cup. Djorkaeff subsequently played in Germany, for Kaiserslautern, and in England, for Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers. He brought down the curtain on an impressive career while on the books of New York MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls).