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. Joao Moutinho (27) has become a mainstay of the Portuguese national team over the last few years, having performed creditably at the UEFA European Championship in 2008 and in 2012, where his nation reached the semi-finals. The central midfielder is currently heavily involved in the qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. In his younger days, he appeared at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the UEFA European U-21 Championship (twice) and its U-17 equivalent, lifting the trophy in 2003. Moutinho came through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon, with whom he landed two Portuguese Cups and two Portuguese Super Cups, and reached the UEFA Cup final. The Portimao-born playmaker subsequently signed for Porto, where he won three Portuguese League titles, a Portuguese Cup, three Portuguese Super Cups and the UEFA Europa League. He joined Monaco over the summer, and will be keen to add French silverware to his footballing CV this season.
9. Luka Modric (28) rose to global prominence while playing for Croatia during the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, at UEFA EURO 2008, where he was included in the Team of the Tournament, and UEFA EURO 2012. He has recently played a key role in his country’s quest to reach Brazil 2014. The talented midfield man started out with Dinamo Zagreb, who twice sent him out on loan before promoting him to their first team, with whom he secured three Croatian League Championships, two Croatian Cups and a Croatian Super Cup. Modric then moved to Tottenham Hotspur, where he was named Player of the Year by the club’s supporters in 2011, prior to committing himself to Real Madrid last season. Since arriving in the Spanish capital, the dynamic three-time Croatian Footballer of the Year has enjoyed success in the Spanish Super Cup and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
10. Andreas Herzog (45) was part of the Austria sides that performed at Italy 1990 and France 1998, his country’s last appearance at FIFA’s flagship tournament to date. The attacking midfielder turned professional at Rapid Vienna, later inspiring his team-mates to two Austrian Championships. Nine productive campaigns with Werder Bremen followed, during which time he claimed a Bundesliga title and two German Cups. In the middle of his stint at the Weserstadion, he spent one season with Bayern Munich, lifting the UEFA Cup in May 1996. The dead-ball specialist then returned to Rapid, before bringing the curtain down on his impressive career with Los Angeles Galaxy. Herzog was named Austrian Footballer of the Year in 1992. After hanging up his boots, he joined the Austrian national set-up, fulfilling the roles of assistant coach of the senior XI and head coach of the U-21 team. Since 2011, he has worked as Jurgen Klinsmann’s right-hand man with the United States national side.
11. Franz Beckenbauer (68) is a living legend of German football. With West Germany, Der Kaiser reached the Final of the FIFA World Cup in 1966, finished third in 1970 and finally held aloft the prestigious trophy in 1974. In addition, he helped his team to a maiden UEFA European Championship triumph in 1972 and a runners-up spot in 1976. The composed sweeper collected numerous honours as a Bayern Munich player, including four German League titles, four German Cups, three European Cups, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and an Intercontinental Cup. He represented two other clubs during his career, Hamburg and New York Cosmos, sewing up the Bundesliga title with the former and three NASL crowns with the latter. A four-time German Player of the Year, Beckenbauer was also twice voted European Footballer of the Year. A move into coaching saw him guide West Germany to two successive FIFA World Cup Finals, in 1986, when they lost 3-2 to Argentina, and 1990, when his charges defeated the Albiceleste 1-0 to become world champions, as well as to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 1988. The iconic German would go on to take the reins at Marseille, where he won the French title, and at Bayern, winning the Bundesliga and the UEFA Cup.
12. Yuto Nagatomo (27) can look back on a fruitful year while celebrating his birthday, having recently helped Japan to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and put in some eye-catching displays at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The tireless full-back was also part of the Japanese teams that competed at the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, from which the Samurai Blue emerged victorious. Nagatomo began his career with FC Tokyo, where he clinched the J.League Cup, before exporting his skills to Italian outfit Cesena. His performances with I Cavallucci Marini piqued the interest of Inter Milan, with whom he has since won the Coppa Italia.
13. Daniel Fonseca (44) was one of the most gifted Uruguayan footballers to ply his trade in the 1990s. He made two appearances at Italy 1990, scoring an important winning goal against Korea Republic, and was a crucial component in the Uruguay side that bagged the 1995 Copa America. The skilful forward started off at Nacional, where he earned winners’ medals in the Uruguayan League, the Copa Libertadores, the Intercontinental Cup and the Copa Interamericana. He then packed his bags for Italy, where he wore the jerseys of Cagliari, Napoli, Roma and Juventus, triumphing in Serie A, the Italian Super Cup and the Intertoto Cup with the Turin giants. The Uruguayan attacker also reached the UEFA Champions League final in 1998 with La Vecchia Signora. Fonseca then put pen to paper with Argentinian heavyweights River Plate, before returning to Nacional, although it was with Italian side Como that he ended his career.
14. Sunday Oliseh (39) helped Nigeria to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the very first time, at USA 1994. After suffering an unlucky second-round exit, the Super Eagles returned to the world stage four years later at France 1998, where the defensive midfielder scored a memorable goal during his nation’s shock defeat of Spain. Oliseh scooped the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994, prior to finishing second in 2000 and third in 2002. He also played in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup and won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta. The physically imposing Nigerian made his name at Ajax, where he sealed a Dutch League title and two Dutch Cups. A short stint at Juventus was followed by a transfer to Borussia Dortmund that brought further success in the shape of a Bundesliga crown and a UEFA Cup runners-up medal. After enjoying a loan spell at Bochum, he briefly represented Belgian outfit Genk before retiring in 2006.