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.
12. Andrea Carnevale (53) was part of the Italian squad that finished third on home soil at the FIFA World Cup™ in 1990, his only appearance on football’s greatest stage. Two years prior to that, the imposing striker had reached the semi-finals of the Olympic Football Tournament at Seoul 1988. Carnevale rose to prominence with a Diego Maradona-inspired Napoli side, winning two Serie A titles, an Italian Cup and a UEFA Cup in three seasons. The international forward also turned out for Pescara, Udinese, Roma, Catania, Cagliari, Reggiana, Avellino and Latina.
13. Carles Rexach (67) is a name intrinsically linked with Barcelona, where he spent the majority of his career. After starting out at Condal, the dynamic winger signed for the Catalan giants, with whom he secured a Liga title, four Spanish Cups, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups over a 14-year period. His skills were rewarded with several caps for Spain, culminating in a World Cup appearance in 1978. Post-retirement, he coached the youth sides of Catalonia and Barcelona, as well as Barça’s reserve team. A promotion to assistant senior coach saw him help Johan Cruyff guide the club to their first-ever European Cup in 1992. When the Dutch legend was forced to take time off through illness, Rexach took over in a caretaker role and duly steered his charges to the league championship. In 2001, he was finally handed the reins in his own right. In the meantime, the wily Spaniard had brought Lionel Messi to Catalonia, having unearthed the talented Argentinian while working as a scout.
14. Yohan Cabaye (28) recently helped France to qualify for Brazil 2014, and will be hopeful of retaining his place in the national squad in the run-up to FIFA’s flagship tournament. The box-to-box midfielder is no stranger to major competitions, having scored against host nation Ukraine at UEFA EURO 2012 and enjoyed success at the UEFA European U-19 Championship in 2005. A product of Lille’s youth academy, the skilful Frenchman clinched a Ligue 1-Coupe de France double with Les Dogues before putting pen to paper with Newcastle United. Three seasons down the line, Cabaye has established himself as one of the most exciting players in the English Premier League.
15. Hugo Viana (31) starred for Portugal at Germany 2006, where A Seleção das Quinas finished fourth. He had previously appeared at the 2004 Olympic Football Tournament and the UEFA European U-21 Championship. The central midfielder came through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon, with whom he landed a Portuguese League and Cup double. A spell at Newcastle was followed by a fruitful return to Os Leões on loan, during which time the club reached the UEFA Cup final. After stints at Valencia and Osasuna, Viana moved to Braga, subsequently lifting the Portuguese League Cup and reaching the UEFA Europa League final. The Portuguese international joined Emirati heavyweights Al Ahli at the start of this present campaign.
16. Nicklas Bendtner (26) represented and scored for Denmark at South Africa 2010 and at EURO 2012. After turning professional at Arsenal, he was sent out on loan to Birmingham City by Arsene Wenger to gain match practice. Upon his return to London, the powerful front man spent four seasons with the Gunners, before embarking on further loan stints with Sunderland and Juventus, where he earned an Italian league winners’ medal. Bendtner, the 2007 Danish U-17 Player of the Year and 2009 Danish Footballer of the Year, is now back with Arsenal, and eager to re-establish himself in the first team.
17. Patrick Suffo (36) played a key role in Cameroon’s impressive triumph at the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney. The robust striker also appeared for Les Lions Indomptables at the 1993 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2002 World Cup and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments of 1998 and 2002, where he lifted the continental trophy. Suffo came through Nantes’ famed youth system, but was initially loaned out to Barcelona’s reserve side. Upon returning to France and gaining a place in Les Canaris’ starting XI, he lifted the French Cup and Trophee des champions. The African forward would go on to defend the colours of an assortment of clubs in Europe and Asia, including, among others, Sheffield United, Numancia, Al Hilal, Coventry City, Odd Grenland and Wrexham.
18. Makoto Hasebe (30) participated in the 2010 World Cup with Japan, and was instrumental in his country’s successful qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014. The combative defensive midfielder captained the Samurai Blue at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, two years after holding aloft the AFC Asian Cup. The Fujieda native began his career with Urawa Red Diamonds, with whom he scooped two national championships, an Emperor’s Cup, a Japanese League Cup and a Japanese Super Cup, as well as an AFC Champions League title, which provided the club with a ticket to the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup, where they finished third. He then exported his ball-winning skills to Wolfsburg, where he added a Bundesliga crown to his footballing CV. After five and a half campaigns with Die Wölfe, Hasebe committed himself to Nurnberg at the start of this current season.