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.
27. Sidney Govou (35) was part of the French squad that emerged victorious from the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, and later played in four matches at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, where Les Bleus lost to Italy in the Final. The pacey winger was involved again four years later, making three appearances at South Africa 2010. In addition, the athletic Frenchman participated in UEFA EURO 2008. A graduate of Lyon’s youth academy, Govou went on to claim seven Ligue 1 Championships, a French Cup, a French League Cup and six Trophees des champions with Les Gones. Following a subsequent spell with Panathinaikos, he joined Evian in 2011. Earlier this year, the former international put pen to paper with fourth-tier French outfit Monts d'Or Azergues Foot.
28. Mustapha El Haddaoui (53) helped Morocco to reach the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where they lost to West Germany in the Round of 16, becoming the first African or Arab side to advance past the group stage in the process. The confident midfielder also participated in USA 1994, captaining the Atlas Lions in their first group match against Belgium. In addition, the influential Moroccan competed in the 1984 Olympic Football Tournament, and in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments of 1986 and 1988, finishing fourth on both occasions. El Haddaoui started out with Raja Casablanca, prior to pulling on the jerseys of Lausanne, Saint-Etienne, Nice, Lens and Angers.
29. Ashraf Nu'man (28) rose to continental prominence at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, where he and his Palestinian team-mates prevailed and thereby qualified for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. The dynamic attacking midfielder finished as the top scorer of the tournament, held in the Maldives, notching four goals, including one in the semi-final and final. Nu’man currently plays for Palestinian club Taraji Wadi Al-Nes, having previously represented Jordanian side Al-Faisaly.
30. Jurgen Klinsmann (50) has had an exciting year, steering the American national team out of a tough group featuring Germany and Portugal to the Round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup, where they eventually lost to Belgium in extra time. The erstwhile goal machine oversaw the Stars and Stripes’ highly successful qualifying campaign as well as their triumph in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, having formerly led Germany, the nation of his birth, to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup on home soil. Mario Martinez (25), who shares a birthday with Klinsmann, was also in Brazil this summer, making his World Cup debut with Honduras. The technically gifted midfielder starred at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament.
31. Paulo Wanchope (38) is a living legend of Costa Rican football, scoring numerous crucial goals for Los Ticos, including during their successful qualifying campaign for Korea/Japan 2002, and at the tournament itself, against the mighty Brazil. Four years later, in 2006, he put in an excellent performance in the opening match versus host nation Germany, nabbing a brace in his country’s creditable 4-2 defeat. The imposing marksman appeared at three Gold Cups, finishing second in 2002, and at the 2001 Copa America, where he bagged a remarkable five goals. As a younger man, he took part in the 1995 U-20 World Cup. Wanchope enjoyed a nomadic club career, turning out for Herediano (Costa Rica), Derby County, West Ham, Manchester City (all England), Al-Gharafa (Qatar), Rosario Central (Argentina), Malaga (Spain), FC Tokyo (Japan) and Chicago Fire (USA).
1. Bastian Schweinsteiger (30) is likely to be grinning broadly while he blows out the candles on his birthday cake this year, following Germany’s impressive World Cup victory in South America. The combative midfield man played a key role in his nation’s triumph, making six appearances at the prestigious competition. Schweinsteiger has experienced great domestic success over the past 12 months as well, capturing the UEFA Super Cup, the Bundesliga title and the German Cup with Bayern Munich.
2. Stefan Effenberg (46) defended the colours of Germany at UEFA EURO 1992, where he played in the final against Denmark, and at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. The powerful central midfielder began his career with Borussia Monchengladbach, but it was with Bayern Munich that he earned the majority of his medals, winning three Bundesliga crowns, two German Cups, a German Super Cup, three German League Cups and a UEFA Champions League title during two separate stints with the Bavarian club. A move to Fiorentina saw him clinch the Serie B Championship. Effenberg also played for Wolfsburg and Qatari outfit Al-Arabi, before hanging up his boots in 2004.