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.
5. Juan Sorin (37) is recognised as one of the greatest defenders to be capped for Argentina over the past 20 years. He tasted victory on the global stage very early on in his career, helping his nation to capture the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1995. Stepping up to the senior side, the energetic left-back participated in two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, in 2002 and 2006, as well as in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, where La Albiceleste finished second. In addition, he appeared at the Copa America on two occasions, picking up another runners-up medal in 2004. At club level, Sorin turned professional at Argentinos Juniors, and after a brief spell at Juventus in Italy, he returned home to defend the colours of River Plate, with whom he collected four league titles, two Copa Libertadores crowns and a Recopa Sudamericana. He was subsequently transferred to Cruzeiro, where he won the Brazilian Cup, before giving European football a second try, first at Lazio, and then at Barcelona and Paris St Germain, lifting the Coupe de France with the latter-named club. He enjoyed a fine spell with Villarreal, which featured a stunning run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, and a stint with Hamburg, prior to rejoining Cruzeiro and then hanging up his boots.
6. Dani Alves (30) has become one of the world’s best-known defenders during the last decade. After helping Brazil to hoist the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup, he was part of the teams that emerged victorious at the 2007 Copa America and at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. The tireless right-back started out at Bahia, where he secured three national trophies, before moving to Sevilla, where he inspired his side to glory in the Spanish Cup, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Cup (twice) and UEFA Super Cup. His performances for the Andalusian outfit attracted the attention of Barcelona, with whom he claimed three Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, three Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Champions League titles, a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup.
7. Sydney Leroux (23) is still relatively young, but she has already established herself as one of the stars of the women’s game. She was included in Canada’s squad for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ in 2004, despite not having even turned 15 at the time. The explosive striker then committed herself to the USA, starring for the U-20 side at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups of 2008 and 2010. She also attained a goal medal at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012. At domestic level, Leroux previously played for Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders. At the turn of the year, she put pen to paper with Boston Breakers.
8. Lucio (35) was, until his recent international retirement, a lynchpin of the Brazilian national XI, having competed at Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. He also appeared at the last four editions of the FIFA Confederations Cup, holding aloft the prestigious trophy in 2005 and 2009, at the 2011 Copa America and at the 2000 Olympic Games. The composed centre-back made his professional debut for Brazilian outfit Internacional, but the lure of European football proved too strong, and in 2001 he signed for Bayer Leverkusen, with whom he reached the final of the UEFA Champions League the following year. His form piqued the interest of Bayern Munich, and he would go on to win three Bundesliga and German Cup doubles – as well as two German League Cups – with the Bavarian giants. A transfer to Inter Milan ensued, as did further on-pitch success, as I Nerazzurri bagged the Serie A Championship, two Italian Cups, two Italian Super Cups, the UEFA Champions League title and the FIFA Club World Cup. Lucio’s next stop-off was Turin, where he helped Juventus to get their hands on the Italian Super Cup at the start of the 2012/2013 season, but a serious injury prevented the Brazilian from making a more significant impact. He now plies his trade for Sao Paolo.
9. Carla Overbeck (45) is one of the true pioneers of women’s football, propelling the United States to success at the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, to a third-placed finish at the 1995 event, and to a second global crown in 1999. She also obtained a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Overbeck excelled at football in high school and college, before going on to play professionally with Raleigh Wings and Carolina Courage.
10. Sylvain Wiltord (39) will forever be associated with the last-gasp equaliser he grabbed for France against Italy in the final of UEFA EURO 2000. One of the most effective impact substitutes in the history of Les Bleus, the winger-cum-forward also helped his country to secure the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, and was part of the squads that participated in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups (reaching the Final at the latter tournament), and in UEFA EURO 2004. Wiltord started out at Rennes, but it was with Bordeaux that he first earned a winners’ medal, as Les Girondins landed the French League title. A move to Arsenal saw him add two English Premier League Championships, two FA Cups and a Community Shield to his footballing CV. The attack-minded Frenchman returned to France to don the jersey of Lyon, with whom he won three successive Ligue 1 crowns. After two further seasons with Rennes, he turned out for Marseille, Metz and Nantes before retiring from the game last summer.
11. Alberto Garcia Aspe (46) represented Mexico at three successive FIFA World Cups, in 1994, 1998 and 2002, making eight appearances and scoring two goals. The talented midfielder was equally instrumental in El Tri’s memorable triumphs at the 1996 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. He also took part in two Copa America contests and the 1985 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Garcia Aspe’s club career was similarly productive, his stints at Pumas and Necaxa providing him with a total of four league winners’ medals. He also played for two other Mexican clubs, Club America and Puebla, as well as for Argentinian heavyweights River Plate.