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.
17. Cho Won-Hee (27) will be celebrating his birthday in China, where the South Korean plies his trade for Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande. A reliable performer at international level for many years who represented his country at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the well-travelled defensive midfielder previously appeared for Wigan Athletic.
18. Since the day Dede (33) first ran out at the Westfalenstadion some 14 years ago, the Brazilian defender has been a fixture on the Borussia Dortmund team sheet. Highly valued at the club, the talismanic left-back has been instrumental in Dortmund’s recent domestic and European successes, including their seemingly unstoppable progress at the top of the Bundesliga this season. It is all the more surprising, therefore, that Dede donned the yellow jersey of Brazil just once in his career, for a friendly against Hungary in 2004.
19. Rivaldo (39) and his golden boots have trodden a glittering path down the years. His first international honours came with Brazil’s triumph in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, and he then went on to win the 1999 Copa America and the 2002 FIFA World Cup with the national side. At club level it was the Nou Camp that provided the stage for Rivaldo’s greatest moments. In a brilliant first season in 1997/98, his exploits in front of goal spurred Barcelona to a La Liga and Copa del Rey double, achievements that were rewarded the following year when he was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year. After a career that has taken him around the world, from Brazil to Spain, then on to Greece and Uzbekistan, this most gifted of attacking midfielders has come full circle, returning to end his career in the land of his birth.
20. Aldo Bobadilla (35) boasts a career that contains two FIFA World Cup campaigns: Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. The Paraguayan goalkeeper has been the last line of defence for some of South American football’s biggest clubs, among them Boca Juniors and Independiente in Argentina, Brazilian giants Corinthians and his current side Olimpia, in his native Paraguay.
21. Peter Van Vossen (43) went periodically unnoticed throughout his career, but it was at the 1994 FIFA World Cup that this resourceful forward had his day in the sun, playing in three of the Netherlands’ most important games, including their quarter-final against Brazil. He also featured in the side that lost to Italy in the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2000. But Van Vossen will best be remembered for playing in one of the greatest ever Ajax sides, which won the 1995 UEFA Champion’s League.
22. Kaka (29) is one of the brightest stars in the footballing firmament and has been turning heads ever since he first appeared in Brazil’s U-20 side. Having played a part in A Seleção’s triumph at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, he captained a Brazil U-23 team which reached the final of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup and featured in all five matches of their victorious 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup campaign. AC Milan were one of the clubs attracted by his prodigious skills and the midfield maestro soon became an iconic figure at the San Siro, first helping the Rossoneri to the 2004 Serie A title before crowning his Italian exploits with UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup honours in 2007. Kaka’s next port of call was Spanish giants Real Madrid. Although a knee injury sustained after the 2010 FIFA World Cup has kept him off the team sheet for much of this season, he is now fully fit and hungry for further glory.