In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
23. Vicente Del Bosque (62) cemented his reputation as one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game by first guiding Spain to a maiden FIFA World Cup™ triumph at South Africa 2010, and then following that up with an historic victory at UEFA EURO 2012. As a Real Madrid player, he won five league titles and four national cups, and was part of La Roja’s squad for EURO 1980. Four years later, the Spaniard hung up his boots and embarked on a remarkable coaching career. After starting off with Real Madrid’s reserve side, he took command of the senior team, securing two Liga championships, the Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Champions League titles, the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup. A brief period in charge of Besiktas and a subsequent three-year sabbatical from football ensued, before Del Bosque was appointed coach of the Spanish national side in 2008.
24. Marcelo Salas (38) is a Chilean football legend, having propelled his nation to France 1998, their first appearance at FIFA’s flagship competition for 16 years. His four goals in as many games at the tournament helped the South Americans reach the knockout stages. The explosive forward also took part in the Copa America and three FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaigns. Salas started his career with Universidad de Chile, where he earned two league winners’ medals, before moving to Argentinian giants River Plate, with whom he won three league championships and the Supercopa Sudamericana. He was also named Player of the Year in Argentina as well as in South America in 1997. His success led to a transfer to Lazio, where he collected a host of honours, including an Italian League and Cup double, two Italian Super Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. The Chilean striker claimed two further Serie A titles and another Italian Super Cup during a subsequent spell with Juventus, prior to bringing his career to a close with second stints at River Plate and Universidad de Chile.
25. Nabil Maaloul (50) is a prominent Tunisian coach and former player. He participated in the Olympic Football Tournament at Seoul 1988 with the Eagles of Carthage, but an injury prevented him from appearing at the 1994 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. The midfield man enjoyed two separate spells with Esperance in his homeland over eleven seasons, during which time the team obtained five national championships and two Tunisian Cups. He also turned out for Hannover, Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ahli, and Tunisian side CA Bizertin, with whom he attained the league title and the CAF Cup Winners’ Cup. After retiring from the game, he tried his hand at coaching, initially overseeing matters at Olympique du Kef before becoming Roger Lemerre’s right-hand man in the Tunisian national set-up, and helping the Frenchman to mastermind a memorable victory at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. Maaloul then returned to club football, taking sole charge at Club Africain and CA Bizertin. Following a hiatus in which he worked as a television commentator, he was handed the reins of the team closest to his heart, Esperance. Drawing on his years of experience, the Tunisian led the capital club to three league crowns, including a league, cup and CAF Champions League treble in 2011. In addition, the latter triumph qualified the club for their first-ever appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, a competition for which they were close to securing a second successive qualification, until defeat by Egyptian heavyweights Al-Ahly in the recent 2012 Champions League final put paid to those aspirations.
26. Hugo Lloris (26) has established himself as his country’s first-choice goalkeeper, playing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and EURO 2012 as France No1. Named captain of Les Bleus, he is currently involved in a closely contested qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014. A product of Nice’s youth academy, Lloris made his name with the coastal club’s senior side, before going on to join Lyon, where he lifted the Coupe de France and the Trophee des champions. At the beginning of this current season, the Frenchman made the move to Tottenham Hotspur.
27. Melissa Tancredi (31) is unlikely to forget 2012 in a hurry, having won a bronze medal with Canada at the Olympic Women’s Football Tournament in London. In what was her second appearance at the prestigious event, she managed to find the back of the net on four occasions. The powerful striker has also competed at the last two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments. At club level, Tancredi pulled on the jerseys of several American teams, including Detroit Jaguars, Atlanta Silverbacks and Saint Louis Athletica. After a season with Vancouver Whitecaps, she moved to Sweden to play for Pitea, before joining Dalsjofors earlier this year.
28. Sergi (41) proved, during an impressive career, that the role of full-back did not have to be limited to stopping opposition attacks. The tireless left-sided defender represented Spain at two FIFA World Cups™, at USA 1994 and France 1998, as well as at EURO 1996 and EURO 2000, which was his last major international competition. His promotion from Barcelona’s reserve side to the senior XI saw him emerge victorious in three Liga campaigns, two Spanish Cups, two Spanish Super Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. Sergi then spent three terms at Atletico Madrid, before announcing his retirement. A few months ago, he was installed at the helm of Spanish outfit Recreativo Huelva.
29. Enrico Chiesa (42) will be remembered by Italian football fans for his innate sense of timing and his clinical finishing, as well as for his contributions to Italy’s EURO 1996 and France 1998 campaigns. The prolific striker rose to prominence at Sampdoria, and also played for big-name clubs such as Fiorentina and Lazio. Winner of the Italian Footballer of the Year award in 1996, Chiesa held aloft the UEFA Cup – a competition in which he finished top scorer – with Parma in 1999.