In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
13. Vampeta (37) not only played for A Seleção, he also helped them win the greatest Trophy of them all. Marcos Andre Batista Santos, to give him his full name, was part of the squad which earned Brazil a fifth star on their jersey at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™.
14. Mark Fish (37) was one of the driving forces behind the Bafana Bafana team which made a triumphant return to the forefront of African football when they won the 1996 CAF African Cup of Nations. With the crowd going wild every time the elegant defender touched the ball, Fish and his team-mates almost made it two in a row, only to lose to Egypt in the 1998 final. The Cape Town native also took part in that year’s FIFA World Cup, as well as plying his trade in Serie A and the Premier League.
15. Fernando de Napoli (47) can look back on a career that featured appearances at two FIFA World Cups, in 1986 and 1990 (finishing third at the latter), as well as representing the Nazionale at UEFA EURO 1988. He also played a crucial role alongside Diego Maradona in bringing glory to Napoli, winning two Scudetto titles and a UEFA Cup before going on to bag a UEFA Champions League medal with AC Milan.
16. Carlos Bilardo (72) is a veritable monument of Argentinian football, having coached La Albiceleste to two consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals, beating Germany FR in the 1986 showpiece and losing to the same opponents four years later. Bilardo began his coaching career with Colombian side Deportivo Cali in 1977 and retired just over two-and-a-half decades later after a spell in charge of his beloved Estudiantes La Plata. He nevertheless returned to work alongside Maradona in a consultancy role for a number of South Africa 2010 qualifying encounters.
17. Mia Hamm (39) is an emblematic figure in women’s football, having helped the then fledgling sport to carve out a valuable niche. Her career record speaks for itself: two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ winners’ medals (1991 and 1999), two third places at the same competition (1995 and 2003), a gold medal from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and bronze from Athens eight years later. Mariel Margaret Hamm, to give her full name, was also the first ever FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year in 2001, and retained her crown in 2002.
18. Willy Sagnol (34) was recently forced into premature retirement after a succession of injuries, but the right-back can nevertheless look back on a highly successful career. He helped Les Bleus win the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003 and reach the Final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. His main club success came with Bayern Munich, where he won the Champions League, five Bundesliga titles, four German Cups and the Toyota Intercontinental Cup.
19. Alessandro Nesta (35) appears to have finally overcome his injury problems and reclaim his spot as "Minister of Defence" at the heart of the AC Milan backline. Widely considered as one of the best defenders in the world over the past decade, he came within minutes of winning EURO 2000 with Italy against France. The Azzurri went on to exact their revenge on Les Bleus at Germany 2006, though Nesta missed most of that campaign through injury. His medal tally from his two clubs Lazio and Milan is also highly impressive, having won two Italian league titles, three Italian Cups, two Champions Leagues and the 2007 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup. And given the Rossoneri are currently leading this season’s Serie A standings, there is perhaps more silverware to come.