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.
10. Roberto Carlos (38) can pride himself on having revolutionised the role of left-back, from where his attacking play and frequent goals thrilled the Real Madrid faithful following a brief spell at Inter Milan. The Brazilian international amassed a magnificent array of titles during his ten years with Los Merengues and has also kept busy since leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, winning a Turkish Super Cup with Fenerbahce before returning to Brazil and Corinthians in 2009. Seemingly set to retire on home soil, the foraging full-back then embarked on a new adventure this year, signing for Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala. With A Seleção, he clinched the 2002 FIFA World Cup™, the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and a Copa America crown. His most memorable moment in the green and gold arguably came at the 1997 Tournoi de France, however, his magical free-kick from distance stunning the hosts and becoming an instant classic.
11. Omar Al Ghamdi (32) played a full part as Saudi Arabia earned their fourth FIFA World Cup finals berth at Germany 2006, while also helping his country reach two AFC Asian Cup showpieces. A talented midfielder, he has long impressed for Al Hilal and has contributed to the Riyadh outfit’s growing trophy haul.
12. Sylvinho (37) never laid claim to an automatic first-team berth for Brazil, but the left-back nonetheless enjoyed a remarkable career, particularly in Europe. He won a collection of medals with Arsenal before hitting even greater heights at Barcelona, where he was part of the side that amassed a record six titles in 2008/09. After his stint in Spain, Sylvinho returned to England and Manchester City, where he hung up his boots last year.
13. Rudi Voller (51) ought to need no introduction after his exploits in a Germany shirt, the striker having participated in three FIFA World Cups and tasted triumph at Italy 1990, four years after the anguish of losing the Mexico 1986 decider. An archetypal ‘fox in the box’, he also led the line for Die Mannschaft at four consecutive UEFA European Championships. Voller likewise terrorised defences across Germany, Italy and France during his club career, in addition to reaching the continental summit when his Marseille side won the UEFA Champions League in 1992/93. A career in coaching beckoned after retirement, and Voller steered Germany to the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final, as well as taking the reins at Bayer Leverkusen and Roma. He currently serves Leverkusen in an administrative role while he waits for another opportunity to lead a club from the dugout.
14. Roberto Ayala (38) is one of the most venerated names in recent Argentinian football history. A long-serving Albiceleste captain, he represented his country at three FIFA World Cups, three FIFA Confederations Cups and four Copa America tournaments. In Europe, he turned out for prestigious outfits Napoli, AC Milan and Valencia, experiencing his greatest successes with the latter club, including a Spanish Liga title. After a spell representing Real Zaragoza, he returned to Argentina in 2010, briefly plying his trade with Racing Club before calling time on his playing days.
15. Andres D'Alessandro (30) is another bright talent from the Argentinian school. Although he has never represented his country at a FIFA World Cup, the attacking midfielder was a key element when Argentina triumphed at the 2004 Olympic Games and, before that, took part in a FIFA Under-20 World Cup. More recently, he has been impressing with Internacional in Brazil, helping the club to Copa Libertadores glory in 2010 to earn himself the title of South American Player of the Year.
16. Martin Dahlin (43) is often associated with his old partner-in-crime Tomas Brolin after the duo wreaked havoc together for Sweden at UEFA EURO ’92. Two years later, the pair excelled again as the Scandinavian side achieved third place at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA. In the club arena, the gifted forward spent many years with Borussia Monchengladbach, where he lifted the German Cup, and it was in the Bundesliga with Hamburg that he ended his career following a spell at Blackburn Rovers in England.