In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com brings you some of the biggest names from Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
4 Jean-Marie Pfaff (58) is a former goalkeeper with a sparkling reputation. He wore the gloves for Belgium at the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™ and was back at the global showcase in Mexico four years later as Les Diables Rouges (Red Devils) finished fourth. Had a certain Diego Maradona not conjured a pair of goals in their semi-final with Argentina, Belgium could well have reached the final, but Pfaff was destined to retire without winning a major international title. Indeed, he had already experienced heartbreak at the hands of West Germany in the 1980 UEFA European Championship showpiece, but Pfaff made up for those disappointments on the club stage. He collected a league and cup with Beveren before earning a switch to Bayern Munich, where he added three Bundesliga titles and two German Cups. From there, he returned to Belgium to represent Lierse and finally called time on his career while at Trabzonspor in Turkey.
5 Faouzi Chaouchi (27) played his part in steering Algeria through qualifying to the 2010 FIFA World Cup as Les Fennecs (Desert Foxes) returned to world football’s top table. The goalkeeper then started Algeria’s first game in South Africa before losing his place in the side to Rais M’Bolhi. A few months earlier, he impressed during the 2010 CAF African Cup of Nations as his side came tantalisingly close to reaching the final, only for Egypt to block their route. Algeria ultimately finished the tournament in fourth spot. In the professional realm, Chaouchi clinched the Algerian league title with Kabylie before moving to Setif and lifting the Algerian Cup, North African Cup of Champions, North African Cup Winners Cup and North African Super Cup.
6 Tim Cahill (32) is a national hero in Australia, having scored his country’s first goal at a FIFA World Cup finals in 2006 to help them also claim their maiden win in the competition. His late double against Japan sparked a 3-1 comeback success for the Socceroos in Germany, who had failed to notch a single effort during their previous tilt in 1974. Cahill also hit the first goal in Australia’s second ever FIFA World Cup finals win, a 2-1 defeat of Serbia at South Africa 2010. The forward likewise buried his team’s first strike at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and helped them reach the final of the 2011 edition in Qatar. Cahill took his first steps in the game with Sydney before packing his bags for England, winning the third division title with Millwall and completing a transfer to Everton in 2004.
7 John Terry (31) is an iconic player for Chelsea, the club where he has spent his entire career. The tenacious centre-back has experienced a number of different eras at Stamford Bridge while racking up an impressive trophy haul, winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and two FA Community Shields. He also came within centimetres of adding the UEFA Champions League to that list, only to slip and hit the post during the penalty shoot-out against Manchester United at the end of the 2008 final in Moscow. For England, Terry has become a key figure at the back over the years, playing in all of his national side’s games at the last two FIFA World Cups and also featuring at UEFA EURO 2004. His mastery of the defensive arts has earned him a place in the FIFA FIFPro World XI on five occasions and four inclusions in the UEFA Team of the Year, and he was voted PFA Player of the Year by his Premier League peers in 2004/05.
8 Hamit and Halil Altintop (29) are without doubt the most famous twins currently parading their skills in world football. They emerged together before more recently parting ways in the club realm, with Hamit enjoying successful spells at Schalke and Bayern Munich, collecting a healthy number of winners’ medals before being lured to Real Madrid in the summer. With Bayern, he claimed Bundesliga honours twice and lifted the German Cup twice, and finished a Champions League runner-up after losing the 2010 showpiece to Inter Milan in Madrid. Hamit also took part in Turkey’s memorable run to the semi-finals of EURO 2008, where they were finally stopped in their tracks by Germany. As for Halil, he made a name for himself during stints with Kaiserslautern and Schalke, where he opted to stay after Hamit left for Bayern. Halil eventually joined Eintracht Frankfurt before returning to Turkey to serve the Trabzonspor cause this summer.
9 Bixente Lizarazu (42) is one of the most gifted left-backs France has ever produced, having been a pillar of the side that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup on home soil before adding the EURO 2000 title, not to mention the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003. He was no less successful on the professional stage either, helping his first club Bordeaux reach the UEFA Cup final and winning the UEFA Intertoto Cup and Ligue 2 crown. After a brief stay at Athletic Bilbao, he joined Bayern Munich and went on to enjoy his most productive years in the game, claiming four Bundesliga titles, five German Cups and four German Super Cups. He also fulfilled a dream by finally lifting the Champions League trophy in 2001, erasing the aching disappointment of Bayern’s final loss to Manchester United at the Camp Nou two years previously. Lizarazu likewise won the Intercontinental Cup with Bayern and returned to the club for the last two seasons of his career after a short interlude at Marseille.
10 Gonzalo Higuain (24) is one of the brightest young talents in the Argentinian game. The Real Madrid striker was born in France but moved to his father’s homeland soon afterwards and began his career at River Plate, where his burgeoning abilities quickly became apparent. His performances for the legendary outfit convinced Madrid to bring him on board aged 20 for €13m in 2006, since when he has won consecutive Liga titles, the Spanish Super Cup and last season’s Copa del Rey, a trophy that had eluded Los Merengues for 17 years. Currently injured, he is expected back in action soon and will be hungry to add to his 90 goals in 186 appearances for the capital side. For Argentina, he had to bide his time with several established names higher up the pecking order, but he still managed to contribute to the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and booked himself a place on the flight to South Africa. Higuain promptly became only the third Argentinian player to fire a hat-trick at a FIFA World Cup finals, slotting three goals past Korea Republic, and he weighed in with another effort against Mexico. This summer, he hoped to lead La Albiceleste back to the South American summit at the Copa America, only for his side to lose out to Uruguay in the quarter-finals. He is certain to be an important player as Argentina plot a path to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.