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. Atsuto Uchida (28) made three appearances for Japan at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, but he could not prevent his side from being eliminated at the group stage. The energetic right-back also took part in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, as well as the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where the Samurai Blue emerged victorious. After starting out at Kashima Antlers, where he won three J. League titles, an Emperor’s Cup and three Japanese Super Cups, Uchida signed for current club Schalke 04, with whom he lifted the German Cup and German Super Cup in 2011.
28. Steve Bull (51) was called up to England’s squad for the 1990 World Cup while playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers, a second tier club. The clinical striker played four times at the Italy-based tournament, at which the Three Lions finished fourth. He began his career at Tipton Town and then West Bromwich Albion, prior to becoming a club legend with Wolves, where he spent 13 productive seasons. Bull subsequently enjoyed a brief swansong at Hereford United.
29. Junior Negao (52) is regarded as a beach soccer icon, having competed for Brazil in the first four FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups, finishing third in the inaugural tournament and then registering three victories in a row, in 2006, 2007 and 2008. His overall record in the competition as a player reads 21 wins and two draws, with 18 goals scored. After retiring from the sand, the Brazilian became coach of his country’s national team, steering them to third place at Tahiti 2013 and to the quarter-finals at Portugal 2015.
30. Harold Lozano (44) represented Colombia at USA 1994, where he found the net against Switzerland, as well as featuring at France 1998. The streetwise midfielder was part of the Cafeteros teams that finished third at two successive Copa America contests, in 1993 and 1999, and who also reached the quarter-finals of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. At club level, he rose to prominence at America Cali, where he clinched a Colombian League title, but he also found success abroad, securing silverware with Spanish outfit Mallorca and Mexican side Pachuca. In addition, Lozano had spells with Club America and Valladolid.
31. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (77) donned the colours of West Germany at four World Cups in a row, in 1958, where he and his team-mates finished fourth, 1962 and 1966 where they reached the Final, and 1970 where they claimed third place. The talented left-back turned professional with Cologne, landing a German Championship and a German Footballer of the Year award, before trying his luck in Italy, first with Mantova, and then with Roma, where he hoisted the Coppa Italia, and AC Milan, with whom he amassed a Serie A crown, three Italian Cups, a European Cup, two European Cup Winners’ Cups and an Intercontinental Cup. In 1962, Schnellinger finished third in the voting for the Ballon d’Or.
1. Robert Vittek (34) helped Slovakia qualify for their first World Cup in 2010. At the tournament proper in South Africa, the sprightly forward scored four goals in four matches, contributing fully to his team’s impressive march to the knockout stages. He started off at Slovan Bratislava, but experienced greater success at Nuremberg, where he won the German second division title and German Cup. The 2006 Slovakian Footballer of the Year later defended the colours of Lille, Ankaragucu, Trabzonspor and Istanbul BB, after which he retraced his steps to re-sign for Slovan, inspiring the team to a league championship in 2014.
2. Arthur Boka (33) was one of the more low-profile members of Côte d’Ivoire’s golden generation, putting in quietly effective performances at the back that helped the African nation reach their first World Cup at Germany 2006. The tireless left-back also participated at South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and four Africa Cup of Nations, earning a runners-up medal twice. He initially made his name at Beveren and then at Strasbourg, where he brandished the French League Cup. A move to Stuttgart saw the African defender add a Bundesliga title to his CV. In 2014, Boka put pen to paper with Malaga, where he is now approaching the end of his second season.