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.
2. Mauricio Pochettino (42) represented Argentina at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, but could not prevent the Albiceleste from suffering a surprise group-stage exit. The imposing centre-half also took part in the 1999 Copa America and the 1991 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Having begun his career with Newell's Old Boys, with whom he claimed two Argentinian League titles, he then joined Espanyol, where he lifted the Copa del Rey. After seven seasons with the Barcelona-based outfit, the South American defender moved to Paris Saint-Germain and then to Bordeaux. Pochettino subsequently returned to Espanyol, hoisting a second Spanish Cup before hanging up his boots and becoming the club’s coach three years later. In January 2013, he was handed the reins of English side Southampton.
3. Formiga (36) is a living legend of women’s football in Brazil, having played at five FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments, earning a runners-up medal at China 2007 and finishing third at USA 1999. In addition, the determined midfielder has appeared at every Women’s Olympic Football Tournament since 1996, claiming silver medals at Athens 2004 and at Beijing 2008. At the Pan American Games, meanwhile, the Brazilian secured two golds and a silver. At club level, Formiga has previously turned out for Sao Paolo, Portuguesa, Santa Isabel, Santos, Independente and Botucatu in Brazil, as well as Swedish side Malmo and American outfits Gold Pride and Chicago Red Stars.
4. Ariel Ortega (40) took part in three successive World Cup campaigns with Argentina, at USA 1994, France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002, as well as in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup, where La Albiceleste lost in the final. The following year, the dead-ball specialist was on the losing side of another final, at the Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta. He also participated in two Copa America competitions. Ortega began his career with River Plate, where he clinched four Argentinian League titles and a Copa Libertadores, before exporting his skills to Valencia, Sampdoria and Parma, with whom he brandished the Italian Super Cup. The talented playmaker then returned to River Plate, where he added a further Argentinian Championship to his footballing CV, prior to putting pen to paper with Fenerbahce. A spell with Newell's Old Boys was followed by a third stint with Los Millonarios, during which he got his hands on yet another league winners’ medal. He later starred for All Boys and Defensores de Belgrano, and finally retired from the game in 2012.
5. Choi In Young (50) was Korea Republic’s last line of defence at Italy 1990, USA 1994 and the 1990 Asian Games, where he won a bronze medal, and the 1981 U-20 World Cup in Australia. A loyal servant of Ulsan Hyundai for almost his entire career, the reliable custodian picked up a Korean League title and Korean Cup during his time at the club. After retiring in 1996, the Asian shot-stopper fulfilled the role of goalkeeper coach at Ulsan, the University of Kyungil and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.
6. Giorgos Karagounis (37) helped Greece to emerge victorious from UEFA EURO 2004, creating one of the biggest surprises in the continental tournament’s history. The hard-working midfield man also competed at the 2005 Confederations Cup, EURO 2008, South Africa 2010 and EURO 2012, where he captained the side. Karagounis started out at Apollon Smyrne, before spending five seasons at Panathinaikos. He then signed for Inter Milan, where he held aloft the Coppa Italia, and Benfica, prior to returning to Panathinaikos, with whom he sealed a Greek League and Cup double. He currently plays for English Premier League outfit Fulham.
7. Hatem Ben Arfa (27) rose to prominence at an early age, finishing top scorer at the UEFA European U-17 Championship in 2004. The lively French international turned professional at Lyon, where he collected four Ligue 1 Championships, a French Cup and two Trophees des champions. Four campaigns down the line, he joined Marseille, bagging further honours – a league title, Coupe de France and Trophee des champions – in 2010. The pacey winger then enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Newcastle United, during which his convincing performances persuaded the club to make the transfer permanent. After having appeared for Les Bleus at EURO 2012, Ben Arfa will be confident of being included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
8. Juan Ramirez (45) performed for Mexico at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA and at two Copa America contests: in 1993, where El Tri lost to Argentina, and in 1995. The solid centre-back also lifted the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1993. Earlier in his international career, he appeared at the 1985 FIFA U-17 World Cup in China. Ramirez initially prevailed in the Mexican League with Pumas, before going on to defend the colours of Monterrey, Toros Neza, Atlante, Chivas, Irapuato and Veracruz, his final club.