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.
Falcao (58) was a member of the Brazil team which lit up the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™ with their dazzling attacking play. Perhaps the greatest side to miss out on the global title, they exited the competition after losing 3-2 to eventual winners Italy, Falcao burying past legendary goalkeeper Dino Zoff but unable to prevent defeat. Four years later, the midfielder was called up for Mexico 1986 and featured twice during the finals. In the club game, he started out at Internacional and was twice voted player of the year in the Brazilian championship before crossing the Atlantic to join Roma. His performances quickly won over the Roma faithful and, after helping I Giallorossi win the Coppa Italia and Serie A, he was nicknamed the ‘eighth king of Rome’. Falcao departed the Italian capital to return home in 1985, ending his playing days with Sao Paulo and then opting to take up coaching. He began his new role with a short spell at the Brazil helm, and from there journeyed to Mexico to take the reins of CF America, which was followed by a stint in charge of his former club Internacional. He retired from the game for 16 years after a brief tilt at the Japan job but returned to oversee Internacional again in April.
Sergio Goycochea (48) is one of the most talented goalkeepers to have served between the posts for Argentina. He displayed the wide range of his abilities at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy, where destiny called him into action to replace injured No1 Nery Pumpido from La Albiceleste’s second match onwards. Goycochea can scarcely have imagined he would play such a central role, but he was a key figure as Argentina progressed to their second consecutive Final, saving twice in the penalty shoot-out with Italy to secure their spot in the showpiece. Defeat and disappointment lay in wait, but the goalkeeper went on to clinch the Copa America crown in 1991 and 1993, as well as the inaugural FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1992. The silverware flowed at club level too, with Goycochea winning the Argentinian title, Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup at River Plate, before helping Millonarios claim the Colombian championship. He then joined Racing Club and was named player of the year in the Argentinian league, after which he tried his luck with French side Brest. Paraguay was his next port of call and he turned out for both Cerro Porteno and Olimpia, tasting league success at the latter outfit before a second stint at River Plate and an adventure with Internacional in Brazil. Goycochea finally packed his gloves away while at Newell's Old Boys in his native Argentina, having joined from Velez Sarsfield.
Guy Roux (73) is nothing short of a legend of the global game following his record 44 years as coach of French club Auxerre. After serving the then little-known Burgundy outfit as a player, he stepped into the dugout and hauled the side from obscurity to glory and consistent success, winning a league-and-cup double and three more French Cups. He also oversaw triumph in the Trophee des Champions and steered his charges to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Before retiring, he spent a brief period in charge of Lens, but he will be long remembered for his feats at Auxerre, where he brought numerous French internationals through the club’s academy, including Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Basile Boli, Djibril Cisse and Philippe Mexes.
Emad Mohammed (29) began turning heads in Asian and Arab football from a very young age thanks to his efforts in Iraq’s victorious 2000 AFC U-19 Championship bid. The following year, he travelled to the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina and excelled again, registering four goals, including a hat-trick in a one-sided victory against Canada. The youngster did not have to wait long to become a regular with the senior side and participated in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China PR, before his superb displays helped Iraq take fourth place at the 2004 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Athens. Mohammed was not part of the squad that became Asian champions in 2007 but he was back to contest the FIFA Confederations Cup two years later. He made a similarly rapid impact in the club realm, first making the grade with Al Gharrafa in Qatar and moving to Iran for spells with Foolahad and then Sepahan, with whom he disputed an AFC Champions League final and the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup, where he notched twice as Sepahan saw off New Zealand club Waitakere United in the tournament’s opening match. The forward is currently intent on leading Iraq to a place at Brazil 2014, hoping to fulfil his dream of gracing world football’s most prestigious competition.
Dmitry Alenichev (39) was in Russia’s ranks at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan and likewise served his country’s cause at UEFA EURO 2004. The midfielder started his career at Lokomotiv Moscow and, from there, took his talents to city rivals Spartak, with whom he lifted the Russian Cup on two occasions. Roma lured him overseas and he also represented Perugia in Italy before a successful move to FC Porto, where he claimed the UEFA Champions League a year after triumphing in the UEFA Cup. Alenichev also won two league titles, two Portuguese Cups and a pair of Portuguese Super Cups with the Dragons, and saw out the remainder of his playing days with Spartak.
Nemanja Vidic (30) first made a name for himself by claiming the Yugoslav Cup with Red Star Belgrade, followed by league and cup wins in Serbia and Montenegro. The rugged centre-back continued his progress at Spartak Moscow and has hit even greater heights since signing for Manchester United, collecting four Premier League winners' medals, three League Cups, four FA Community Shields and, above all, the Champions League, after which he and United claimed the FIFA Club World Cup. With Serbia, he has disputed two FIFA World Cup final tournaments – Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 – but more recently he was unable to prevent his nation from missing out on a ticket to EURO 2012.
Doni (32) was one of the driving forces behind Brazil’s 2007 Copa America victory in Venezuela, pulling off several saves to deny Uruguay in the semi-finals. Three years later, he was selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, only to serve as back-up to Julio Cesar. In the professional arena, he won the Brazilian Cup, Rio-Sao Paulo Tournament and Sao Paulo State Championship with Corinthians, and claimed a pair of Coppa Italias and an Italian Super Cup with Roma before plumping for a role as Pepe Reina’s deputy at Liverpool.