In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
24. Daniele De Rossi (28) reached the summit of the global game with Italy at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, playing a frontline role as his side overcame France in the competition decider in Berlin. The midfielder was back four years later as La Squadra Azzurra attempted to defend their title in South Africa, but this time he was packing his bags after the group stage. De Rossi also represented his country at UEFA EURO 2008, when he was unable to repeat the continental success he enjoyed at U-21 level in 2004. In the club game, he has been a loyal servant to Roma, with last season his tenth at the capital outfit. During that time, he has won the Coppa Italia twice and the Italian Super Cup once, while helping the club run Inter Milan close numerous times during I Nerrazurri’s recent spell of Serie A dominance.
25. Cha Du-Ri (31) was a key figure as Korea Republic made their historic run to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and he was present once again when the Asian contenders reached the last 16 in the 2010 edition. Born in Germany, he has spent most of his professional career in the German game, turning out for Arminia Bielefeld, Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz and Freiburg. Following his fine displays at the last FIFA World Cup, Cha joined Scottish giants Celtic and lifted the Scottish Cup in his maiden campaign.
26. Maicon (30) is a talented and powerful defender who emerged as the long-term successor to Cafu after Brazil’s veteran right-back withdrew from the international scene. He helped claim the 2004 Copa America title shortly after his debut and was still first choice when A Seleçao repeated their success in 2007, likewise contributing as Brazil won the FIFA Confederations Cup in both 2005 and 2009. The Novo Hamburgo native has been a stalwart for Inter since signing in 2006 and has amassed an enviable list of honours during his time with the San Siro side, not least the historic quintet of titles secured in 2010 as Inter prevailed in the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, Serie A, Coppa Italia and Italian Super Cup.
27. Jose Luis Chilavert (46) is a monument of the modern game, an excellent former goalkeeper not just gifted between the posts but also a menace in front of goal. A master at free-kicks and penalties, Chila struck 62 times in total and reigned as the most prolific goalscoring keeper of all time until the recent exploits of Brazilian custodian Rogerio Ceni. He featured in a pair of FIFA World Cups – France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 – and his abilities at both ends of the pitch earned him recognition as Argentinian and South American Player of the Year in 1996. On the club stage, Chilavert represented several sides, beginning his career at Sportivo Luqueno ahead of subsequent stints with Argentintian team San Lorenzo, Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza and Velez Sarsfeld back in Argentina. With Velez, he collected four Argentinian championship winner’s medals and clinched both the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup in 1994. From there, he exported his skills to Strasbourg, tasting French Cup glory, before returning across the Atlantic to Penarol in Uruguay and ending his playing days back at Velez.
28. Michael Carrick (30) is an elegant holding midfielder best known for his diligent mopping-up work as opposed to an eye for goal. Since 2006, he has been showcasing his qualities at Manchester United, helping the Red Devils win the 2008 Champions League final against Chelsea in addition to clinching a quartet of Premier League titles. The No16 has long since earned the faith of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and looks set for another run in the first team next season. For England, meanwhile, he contested one game at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, playing the full 90 minutes as he and his compatriots defeated Ecuador 1-0 in the Round of 16.
29. Marian Hristov (38) was a member of the last Bulgaria squad to take part in a FIFA World Cup finals. A midfielder, he participated in two matches as his side exited France 1998 after the group stage, and two before that he featured in all three of Bulgaria’s EURO 94 outings. In the club sphere, he snared the Bulgarian league crown with Levski Sofia, after which he left for Germany and claimed Bundesliga honours with Kaiserslautern. Hristov’s next port of call was Wolfsburg, where he spent three seasons, and in all he registered 26 efforts in Germany’s top flight.
30. Jurgen Klinsmann (47) is nothing less than a legend of the German game, having racked up goals for both club and country on a devastatingly prolific basis. He lifted the most coveted trophy of all when Germany reached the summit of global football at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and returned to dispute the competition in 1994 and 1998, plundering 11 strikes in his 17 finals matches. He celebrated victory at EURO 1996 as well, thus capping the third of his European Championship campaigns in the best possible fashion. Klinsmann also experienced plenty of success in the club arena, topping the Bundesliga scoring charts with Stuttgart before later winning the German title and UEFA Cup at Bayern Munich, while being named UEFA Cup Player of the Year the same season Bayern prevailed. The clinical finisher enjoyed similarly rewarding spells abroad, forming part of Inter’s famous trio of German internationals alongside Lothar Matthaus and Andreas Brehme and claiming the Italian Super Cup in 1989 – I Nerazzuri’s last domestic trophy until their renaissance in the last few years. He also got his hands on the UEFA Cup during his San Siro stay, before setting sail for Monaco in Ligue 1 and, after that, English outfit Tottenham Hotspur. Klinsmann added no further trophies during his time in London but still managed to be voted Premier League Player of the Year. His playing career drew to a close while he was defending the colours of Orange County Blue Star in the USA, and he promptly turned his hand to coaching, leading his country to third spot at the 2006 FIFA World Cup on home soil. He then oversaw Bayern for close to a year and is currently on the lookout for another coaching opportunity.