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.
14. Angel Di Maria (28) took part in two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments with Argentina, at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, where La Albiceleste reached the Final. The all-action winger also lifted the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and competed at the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, where he earned a silver medal. At club level, the skilful South American started out at Rosario Central, prior to packing his bags for Benfica, where he claimed a Portuguese League title and two Portuguese League Cups. Following a move to Real Madrid, where he claimed one La Liga title, two Spanish Cups, a Spanish Super Cup and a UEFA Champions League crown, the 2014 Argentinian Footballer of the Year tried his luck at Manchester United. In 2015, Di Maria signed for Paris Saint-Germain, his current club.
15. Sara Dabritz (21) won the 2012 UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship with Germany, a victory that secured a spot at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012. The incisive midfielder subsequently triumphed at the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship and 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, where she finished third in the scoring charts. The following year, she returned to North America for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™, scoring two goals and playing in all of her country’s matches. Dabritz initially spent three and a half years at Freiburg, but signed for Bayern Munich at the start of the current season.
16. Anis Ayari (34) held aloft the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 with Tunisia, the first time the Eagles of Carthage had captured the continental trophy. After starring at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, the defender helped his nation to qualify for Germany 2006, for which he was selected for the final squad. Ayari also played at the 2004 Olympic Football Tournament and the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations. The centre-back made his professional début for Stade Tunisien in 2001, and later pulled on the jerseys of Samsunspor (Turkey), Lorient (France) and present club Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia).
17. Carlos Gamarra (45) appeared at three successive FIFA World Cups with Paraguay, France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, as well as at four Copa America tournaments. The influential centre-half also participated in the 1992 and 2004 Olympic Games, picking up a silver medal at the latter competition in Athens. After turning professional at Cerro Porteno, where he clinched the Paraguayan League title, he spent a season with Brazilian outfit Independiente, before moving back to Cerro Porteno and netting another national championship. In 1995, he moved back to Brazil, emerging victorious from the Campeonato Gaucho with Internacional and earning a transfer to Portuguese giants Benfica. After a subsequent spell with Corinthians, with whom he bagged a Brazilian League crown and a Sao Paulo State Championship, the robust defender enjoyed stints with Atletico Madrid and Flamengo, where he landed a Rio de Janeiro State Championship and a Copa dos Campeoes. Gamarra later turned out for AEK Athens, where he claimed the Greek Cup, and Inter Milan, where he hoisted the Coppa Italia. The two-time Paraguayan player of the year then saw out the rest of his career with Asuncion-based Olimpia.
18. Josip Simunic (38) was a key player for Croatia for well over a decade, marshalling their defence at Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, as well as at the UEFA European Championships of 2004 and 2008. The Australian-born centre-back began his career with Melbourne Knights, where he earned a league winners’ medal, and then Carlton, prior to turning out for Hamburg, Hertha Berlin, and Hoffenheim. A move to Dinamo Zagreb saw him add three Croatian League titles, a Croatian Cup and a Croatian Super Cup to his CV. After hanging up his boots, Simunic fulfilled the role of assistant coach of the Croatian national team.
19. Christoph Kramer (25) played three times for Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including the Final, as they claimed their fourth world title in Brazil. The showpiece match against Argentina was not the most pleasant experience for the defensive midfielder, however, as he suffered a concussion and had to be substituted. A product of Bayer Leverkusen’s youth system, Kramer was initially loaned out to Bochum and then to Borussia Monchengladbach, but returned to Bayer at the start of the season to compete for a first-team slot.
20. Sinisa Mihajlovic (47) helped Yugoslavia qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, where he scored the winning goal of their opening group match against Iran. He was unable to prevent his team from bowing out at the Round-of-16 stage, however, following a defeat at the hands of the Netherlands. The composed defender also reached the final of the 1990 UEFA European U-21 Championship and showcased his skills at UEFA EURO 2000. He started off at Vojvodina, winning the Yugoslav First League, and built on that success at Red Star Belgrade, where he amassed two league crowns, a European Cup and an Intercontinental Cup, thereby piquing the interest of Roma, who secured his signature in 1992. The dead-ball specialist moved to Sampdoria, and then to Lazio, where he was greatly involved in the club’s renaissance, helping them obtain the Serie A title, two Italian Cups, two Italian Super Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. After committing himself to Inter Milan, Mihajlovic got his hands on additional silverware in the shape of a league title, two Italian Cups and an Italian Super Cup. Once his playing days had come to an end, the strong-willed Serbian first worked as an assistant coach at Inter, but later took charge of a number of teams in his own right, including Bologna, Catania, Fiorentina, the Serbian national team, Sampdoria and AC Milan.