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.
26. Erwin Vandenbergh (55) took part in four major competitions with Belgium during the 1980s: the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™, during which he made five appearances and scored the winning goal against Argentina; Mexico 1986, where Les Diables Rouges finished fourth; UEFA EURO 1980, where they lost in the final to West Germany, and EURO 1984. After starting out at Lierse and winning the Belgian Footballer of the Year award, the free-scoring striker was transferred to Anderlecht, with whom he won two Belgian League titles, two Belgian Super Cups and a UEFA Cup. He then spent four seasons at French side Lille, before returning home to turn out for Gent and Molenbeek, his final club. Vandenbergh finished top scorer in the Belgian Championship six times during his long and successful career.
27. Gregoire M'Bida (59) was part of the Cameroon side that secured a maiden qualification for the World Cup, in 1982. At the tournament proper, he notched a memorable equaliser versus Italy, but he could not prevent the unbeaten Lions Indomptables from suffering a first-round exit. The dynamic midfielder also played at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, holding the trophy aloft in 1984 and finishing second in 1986. M’bida began his career in his homeland with Canon de Yaounde, where he claimed four league crowns, three national cups, two CAF Champions League titles and an African Cup Winners’ Cup. The Cameroon international subsequently exported his skills to France, pulling on the jerseys of several clubs, including Bastia and Sedan.
28. Yasuhito Endo (34) represented Japan at South Africa 2010, and played a key role in the Samurai Blue’s successful qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014. In addition, the creative midfielder participated in three FIFA Confederations Cups (in 2003, 2005 and 2013) and lifted two AFC Asian Cups (in 2004 and 2011). As a younger man, he reached the final of the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The set-piece specialist turned professional at Yokohama Flugels, where he hoisted the Emperor’s Cup. Following a spell at Kyoto Purple Sanga, he joined Gamba Osaka, who remain his employers to this day. Endo has enjoyed great success with the Suita-based outfit, landing the J. League Division 1 and 2 titles, two Emperor’s Cups, a J. League Cup, a Japanese Super Cup and an AFC Champions League title. That continental success qualified Gamba for the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, where the Asian champions earned a creditable third place.
29. Lori Chalupny (30) played a key role in the American XI that finished third at the FIFA Women’s World Cup China 2007™ and clinched a gold medal at the 2008 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing. The influential midfielder had previously brandished the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in 2002. After starring for North Carolina University, Chalupny went on to defend the colours of Saint Louis Athletica, Chicago Red Stars, and Atlanta Beat.
30. Arda Turan (27) inspired Turkey to reach the semi-finals of EURO 2008, notching a fine winning goal against Switzerland and triggering a remarkable comeback versus the Czech Republic. The incisive winger came through the ranks at Galatasaray, where he scooped the Turkish League title, the Turkish Cup and Turkish Super Cup, and was named Super Lig Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009. Turan’s consistent displays attracted the interest of Atletico Madrid, with whom he later triumphed in the Copa del Rey, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup.
31. Stefan Majewski (58) starred for Poland at two World Cups: Spain 1982, where his side finished third and he found the net against France, and Mexico 1986, where he played four times before losing to Brazil in the Round of 16. The imposing defender earned two Polish Cup winners’ medals with Legia Warsaw, prior to joining Kaiserslautern and then Arminia Bielefeld. A stint at Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol followed, but he returned to Germany to see out the remainder of his career with modest Frieburger FC. After moving into coaching, Majewski took the reins of, among others, Polonia Warsaw, Kaiserslautern’s reserve side, Amica Wronki, whom he guided to two Polish Cups and a Polish Super Cup, KS Cracovia and Poland’s U-23 team.
1. Zlatko Zahovic (43) helped Slovenia to qualify for their first-ever World Cup, at Korea/Japan 2002, although he made just one appearance at the actual tournament. Two years before, he had been one of the outstanding players of EURO 2000, during which he scored three goals. The talented attacking midfielder won a national championship with Partizan Belgrade early in his career, but it was in Portugal that he made his name, first at Vitoria Guimaraes and then at Porto, where he racked up three Portuguese League titles, a Portuguese Cup and two Portuguese Super Cups. The skilful Slovenian then signed for Olympiakos, adding a Greek League crown to his footballing CV later that same season. A spell at Valencia saw Zahovic end up on the losing side in the 2001 UEFA Champions League final, but he bounced back at Benfica, sealing another Portuguese League title and Portuguese Cup as his playing days drew to a close.