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.
13. Anderson (26) had a successful start to his international career, winning the South American U-17 Championship and reaching the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with Brazil. At the latter tournament, the versatile midfielder was awarded the adidas Golden Ball for his fine performances. After being promoted to the Brazilian senior team, he lifted the 2007 Copa America, and was also an important member of A Seleção’s Olympic squad at Beijing 2008. The Porto Alegre-born international came through the ranks at Gremio, where he secured the Brazilian second division title, before signing for Porto, with whom he claimed two Portuguese League crowns, a Portuguese Cup and a Portuguese Super Cup. Two seasons later, he joined Manchester United, where he added four English Premier League titles, two English League Cups, a UEFA Champions League title, a FIFA Club World Cup and two FA Community Shields to his footballing CV. Anderson was loaned out to Fiorentina in the recent January transfer window.
14. Kim Shin Wook (26) took part in Korea Republic’s successful qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ and will be hopeful of being included in his country’s final squad. The robust striker previously participated in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where the South Koreans finished third. At club level, he has been a loyal servant of Ulsan Hyundai for the entirety of his career, the highlight of which was an AFC Champions League triumph in 2012, a success that enabled the K League side to compete at the FIFA Club World Cup later that year.
15. Albert Riera (32) was part of the Spain XI that finished third at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. He started out at Mallorca, where he lifted the Copa del Rey, prior to enjoying spells with Bordeaux and Espanyol, with whom he again held aloft the Spanish Cup and reached the final of the UEFA Cup. Following a short loan stint at Manchester City, the left-sided Spaniard moved to Liverpool and then Olympiacos, where he earned a Greek League winners’ medal. A subsequent transfer to Galatasaray saw him clinch two Turkish Championships and two Turkish Cups. Riera recently put pen to paper with Udinese, who promptly loaned him out to English promotion chasers Watford until the end of the season.
16. Aaron Lennon (27) represented England at two successive World Cups, at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, and contributed to the Three Lions’ qualification for Brazil 2014. The speedy winger turned professional at Leeds United, where his impressive displays attracted the attention of Tottenham Hotspur, who acquired his services in 2005. Over the past nine seasons, Lennon has developed into one of the Londoners’ key players, helping the club to capture the English League Cup in 2008.
17. Mehdi Benatia (27) has, via his performances at Roma this campaign, established himself as one of the top defenders plying his trade in Europe. Not content to make opposing forwards’ lives a misery, the commanding centre-back has also shown he possesses an eye for goal, notching five crucial strikes that have kept I Giallorossi in the hunt for the Serie A title. On occasion, in the absence of Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti, the Moroccan defender has even had the captain’s armband bestowed upon him. He began his career with Marseille, who loaned him to Tours and Lorient for first-team experience. After two years at Clermont, he signed for Udinese in 2010. On the international stage, Benatia appeared for Morocco at the last two CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments (2012 and 2013), suffering a first-round elimination each time.
18. Lukasz Fabianski (29) was a member of Poland’s squad at Germany 2006, but did not make it onto the pitch at any point. The reliable shot-stopper later played in three qualifying matches for South Africa 2010. Fabianski has pulled on the jerseys of just two clubs in his career, Legia Warsaw, where he sealed the Polish Championship, and Arsenal, where he has fulfilled the role of back-up goalkeeper since 2007. He was the hero in the 2013/14 FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic, saving two penalties to see his side through to the final.
19. Gabriel Heinze (36) has enjoyed an exceptional career, excelling at club and international level. With Argentina, he appeared at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as at the 2005 Confederations Cup, where his nation reached the final. In addition, the composed defender starred at the 2004 Olympic Football Tournament, from which La Albiceleste emerged victorious for the first time, and the 2004 and 2007 Copa America competitions, where they finished as runners-up on both occasions. The South American centre-half spent one season at Newell's Old Boys before exporting his skills to Europe, where he defended the colours of Real Valladolid, Sporting Lisbon and Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he lifted the French Cup. After helping Manchester United to win a Premier League crown and League Cup, he moved to Real Madrid, where he triumphed in La Liga and the Spanish Supercup. Heinze’s next port of call was Marseille, with whom he landed yet another national league title and two French League Cups. A season with Roma was followed by a return home for the experienced Argentinian, who re-signed for Newell's Old Boys, inspiring his new team-mates to Torneo Final glory in 2013.