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.
3. Gary Medel (27) picked up a bronze medal with Chile at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, before earning a promotion to the senior national side and competing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. The solid centre-back subsequently developed into one of the lynchpins of the team, participating in the 2011 Copa America and in Brazil 2014, where La Roja were eliminated by the host nation in the Round of 16. Medel began his career with Universidad Catolica, where he was named Chilean Footballer of the Year in 2008, before turning out for Boca Juniors, Sevilla and Cardiff City.
4. Mark Milligan (29) made his World Cup debut for Australia at Brazil 2014, having already contributed significantly to the Socceroos’ successful qualifying campaign. The versatile midfielder had previously appeared at the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The tough-tackling Australian won the A-League title and the OFC Champions League with Sydney FC, thereby securing a berth at the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup, where they finished fifth. Milligan has also pulled on the jerseys of Australian outfits Northern Spirit, Blacktown City, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory, as well as Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and Japanese side JEF United Chiba.
5. Frankie Hejduk (40) represented USA at France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002, bowing out of the latter tournament at the quarter-final stage. In addition, he appeared at two FIFA Confederations Cups, finishing third at Mexico 1999, and at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Football Tournaments, as well as at five CONCACAF Gold Cups, lifting the trophy on three occasions. After starting out at Tampa Bay Mutiny, the influential full-back went on to defend the colours of Bayer Leverkusen, St. Gallen and Columbus Crew, with whom he lifted an MLS Cup and three MLS Supporters' Shields. Hejduk moved to Los Angeles Galaxy in 2011, later adding another MLS Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield to his footballing CV.
6. Abdel-Kader Keita (33) took part in Côte d'Ivoire’s first-ever World Cup venture, at Germany 2006, and helped his team-mates to qualify for a second time four years later. The incisive winger also played in four CAF Africa Cup of Nations competitions with Les Elephants, finishing second in 2012. He started out at Africa Sports, prior to signing for Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) and then Al-Ain (UAE), where he clinched the national league title and Gulf Club Champions Cup. A spell with Al-Sadd saw the attack-minded Ivoirian scoop a Qatari Championship, a Qatar Crown Prince Cup and two Emir of Qatar Cups, but the lure of European football proved too strong, and he moved to Lille in 2005. Keita’s performances with Les Dogues attracted the attention of Lyon, who acquired his services in 2007, and won the French League and Cup double with his help later that season. Following a solitary season with Galatasaray, the Abidjan native re-joined Al-Sadd, with whom he claimed the AFC Champions League title, a triumph that opened the doors to the 2011 Club World Cup, where the Qataris finished third. He currently plies his trade for Budapest-based Honved.
7. Juan Pablo Rodriguez (35) starred for Mexico at the 1999 U-20 World Cup, the 2001 and 2005 Confederations Cups, the 2001 Copa America, where El Tri lost to Colombia in the final, and the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he and his team-mates emerged victorious. The composed midfielder turned professional at Atlas, where his confident displays earned him a move to Estudiantes Tecos. A brief stint with Chivas Guadalajara followed, as did a Mexican League winners’ medal. In 2007, he put pen to paper with current club Santos Laguna, with whom he has since enjoyed two further league triumphs.
8. Abel Hernandez (24) was part of Uruguay’s squad at Brazil 2014, having previously taken part in the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2009 U-20 World Cup and the 2009 South American Youth Championship, where he finished joint top scorer. The pacey forward was also involved in the 2011 Copa America, where La Celeste were crowned continental champions. A product of Penarol’s youth set-up, Hernandez now plays for newly promoted Serie A outfit Palermo.
9. Willian (26) played for the host nation at Brazil 2014, but was unable to prevent their comprehensive semi-final defeat at the hands of eventual champions Germany. The elegant midfielder was already familiar with the pressures of major international contests, having formerly appeared at the U-20 World Cup in 2007. He came through the ranks at Corinthians, where his strong form piqued the interest of Shakhtar. It was with the Donetsk giants that the sharp-witted South American rose to wider prominence, as he bagged four Ukrainian Championships, three Ukrainian Cups, three Ukrainian Super Cups and a UEFA Cup during his time with the club. After a six-month spell with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, Willian became a Chelsea player in August 2013.