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.
25. Roberto Mussi (50) was part of the Italian squad that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™, where La Nazionale lost in the final against Brazil, and in UEFA EURO 1996. After starting out at Massese, the centre-back moved to Parma. A subsequent transfer to AC Milan saw him enjoy success in the Italian League and Cup, as well as in the European Cup. After signing for Torino, he won the Serie B Championship, lifted the Coppa Italia and reached the UEFA Cup final, losing the two-legged encounter with Ajax. A return to Parma resulted in Mussi adding another Italian Cup and two UEFA Cups to his footballing CV.
26. Tanya Dennis (28) inspired Canada to the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003™, before competing at China 2007. Earlier in her career, she attained the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Away from the international spotlight, Dennis played for Ontario province and the Nebraska Huskers university team.
27. Rene Higuita (47) was one of the most high-profile and recognisable goalkeepers the game has ever known, a status he earned via acrobatic saves and adventurous sorties outside the box. As Colombia No1, he appeared at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and at four Copa America tournaments, finishing third on two occasions. The charismatic custodian turned professional with Millonarios, prior to joining Atletico Nacional, where he clinched two Colombian League titles, a Copa Libertadores, a Copa Interamericana and an Intercontinental Cup. Higuita went on to defend the colours of Real Valladolid, Veracruz, Independiente Medellin, Atletico Junior, Deportivo Pereira, Aucas and Guaros, among others. After hanging up his gloves, he put his skills to good use as a goalkeeping coach.
28. Cesar Azpilicueta (24) has recently broken into Spanish senior set-up, playing in the final of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, and will be hopeful of retaining his place in the world champions’ defence as they attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The tireless right-back had previously starred for his country at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the UEFA European U-21 Championship and the Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012. Azpilicueta came through the ranks at Osasuna, where he attracted the attention of Marseille, with whom he lifted two French League Cups and two Trophées des champions. He then put pen to paper with Chelsea, with whom he lost the FIFA Club World Cup final to Corinthians, but later triumphed in the Europa League.
29. Vincent Enyeama (31) played a key role in the Nigerian sides that appeared at the 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, as well as at the last four CAF Africa Cup of Nations contests, finishing third the first three times before finally clinching a winners’ medal and a place at the FIFA Confederations Cup earlier this year. The reliable goalkeeper claimed three Nigerian Championships and two CAF Champions League titles with Enyimba, before pulling on the jerseys of Israeli outfits Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Tel-Aviv, with whom he landed two league crowns and a national cup. After committing himself to Lille, he was then loaned out to Maccabi Tel-Aviv, winning a further Israeli title later that season.
30. Simone Pepe (30) had the honour of representing Italy at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. A product of Roma’s youth academy, the pacey winger enjoyed loan spells at Lecco and Teramo before signing for Palermo. After another, more successful loan stint with Piacenza, Pepe moved to Udinese, where he would eventually become a first team regular, but not before he was loaned out again, this time to Cagliari. Upon his return, three solid seasons in Udine piqued the interest of Juventus, with whom the skilful wide man has since scooped two Serie A titles and two Italian Super Cups.
31. Pepe Reina (31) has established himself as one of the safest pairs of hands in the business over the past few years. As a member of the Spanish national squad, the consistent goalkeeper emerged victorious from the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championships of 2008 and 2012. In addition, he took part in the last two FIFA Confederations Cups with La Roja, finishing third in 2009 and second in 2013. As a younger man, he turned out at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup and won the UEFA European U-17 Championship. Having found first-team football hard to come by at Barcelona, the Spaniard tried his luck with Villareal, where he won two Intertoto Cups, before exporting his shot-stopping skills to Liverpool. In England, he hoisted an FA Cup, an English League Cup, a Community Shield and a UEFA Super Cup. At the start of this current season, he joined Napoli on loan.