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.
2. Abby Wambach (33) has developed into one of the most high-profile players in the women’s game over the last few seasons, courtesy of her excellent performances on the pitch. The past 12 months have been particularly satisfying for the American attacker, as she helped United States win the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012, scoring five goals in the process, and was also the proud recipient of her first ever FIFA Women's World Player of the Year award in January. Wambach has enjoyed previous success with USA, earning another gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She has not yet, however, been able to lay her hands on the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, finishing second in 2011 and third in 2003 and 2007. At club level, the prolific striker turned out for Washington Freedom and magicJack. At the beginning of the year, she signed for Western New York Flash. As far as individual accolades are concerned, she has been named US Soccer Athlete of the Year on no fewer than five occasions.
3. Lukasz Piszczek (28) has gradually established himself in the starting XI of the Poland national team. After having made just one appearance at UEFA EURO 2008, he played in every match at the 2012 event. The energetic right-back is currently involved in the Poles’ qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The defender originally turned professional at Hertha Berlin, who loaned him out to Zaglebie Lubin, where he secured the Polish league title. After three subsequent seasons in the German capital, he joined Borussia Dortmund, with whom he claimed two German championships and a German Cup. Piszczek was one of the driving forces of his club’s excellent UEFA Champions League campaign this season, but he was unable to prevent Bayern Munich from snatching victory in the final at Wembley Stadium last week.
4. Emmanuel Eboue (30) helped Côte d'Ivoire to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in the nation’s history in 2006, and to repeat the feat in 2010. The right-sided Ivorian has also played in the last five CAF Africa Cup of Nations competitions, earning a runner-up spot in 2006 and 2012. After coming through the ranks at Abidjan-based ASEC Mimosas, where he landed a national championship, he moved to Belgian outfit Beveren. Eboue’s strong performances for the now-defunct Flemish side propelled Arsenal to come in for him in 2005. He would go on to spend six seasons with the London club, reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League and of the English League Cup (twice). In 2011, he put pen to paper with Galatasaray, where he has since won two Turkish league titles and a Turkish Super Cup.
5. Takayuki Suzuki (37) played a key role in Japan’s most successful FIFA World Cup campaign, which took place in 2002 on home soil. During the event, he scored in the host nation’s entertaining draw with Belgium. In addition, the forward competed at the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001, scoring two goals in Japan's run to second place, and featured at the 2005 edition. In 2004, he held aloft the AFC Asian Cup. Suzuki pulled on the jerseys of numerous clubs during his career, claiming major honours with Kashima Antlers (four J-League Championships) and Red Star Belgrade (two Serbian titles and a Serbian Cup). He also played for JEF United, Yokohama Marinos, Kawasaki Frontale, Centro Futebol Zico, Portland Timbers, Genk and Heusden-Zolder.
6. Albert Ferrer (43) was one of the best right full-backs to represent Barcelona and Spain over the past two decades. He appeared at USA 1994 and France 1998 with La Roja, as well as at the 1992 Olympic Football Tournament, where he attained a gold medal. As a young man, he also participated in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The tenacious Spaniard started out with the Barcelona B team, before enjoying a loan spell with Tenerife. Upon his return, he established himself in Barça’s first team, with whom he bagged five Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, four Spanish Super Cups, a European Cup, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and two UEFA Super Cups. Following eight seasons with the Catalan giants, he committed himself to Chelsea, where he lifted the FA Cup, Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup. After hanging up his boots, he moved into coaching, taking the reins at Vitesse in the Netherlands.
7. German Lux (31) experienced success early in his career, triumphing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2001 and the Olympic Football Tournament 2004 with Argentina. The goalkeeper also took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005. He started out at River Plate, where he nabbed three Argentinian Championships, before exporting his skills to Europe. After four seasons at Mallorca, Lux was transferred to Deportivo La Coruna in 2011.
8. Jose Antonio Camacho (58) enjoys legendary status in Spain, where he performed at the top level for club and country for the best part of fifteen years. The consistent left-back appeared at the FIFA World Cup in 1982 and 1986, as well as at the UEFA European Championships of 1984 and 1988, losing the final of the former tournament versus France. A product of Albacete’s youth system, Camacho defended the colours of the club’s senior team prior to joining Real Madrid. After cementing his place in Los Blancos’ starting XI, he went on to add nine Liga titles, five Spanish Cups, two Spanish Super Cups, a Spanish League Cup and two UEFA Cups to his footballing CV during his time in the capital. Post-retirement, he embarked on a productive coaching career, initially fulfilling the role of assistant at Real Madrid, and then taking charge in his own right at Rayo Vallecano, Espanyol, Sevilla and Benfica, where his players hoisted the Portuguese Cup. The Murcia-born Spaniard also held the helm of La Roja, guiding them to UEFA EURO 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan. He has coached the Chinese national team since 2011.