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.
29. Albert Celades (38) was part of the Spain squad that participated in the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, where he made substitute appearances against Paraguay and Nigeria. At club level, the defensive midfielder is one of the few players to have starred for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, the city of his birth. He won two Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, a Spanish Super Cup, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup with the Catalan giants, before moving to Real by way of Celta Vigo. He further enhanced his reputation at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, adding two league crowns, a Spanish Super Cup, a UEFA Champions League title, a UEFA Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup to his footballing CV. After enjoying a loan spell at Bordeaux, Celades then joined Real Zaragoza, prior to seeing out the remainder of his career with New York Red Bulls.
30. Cristian Rodriguez (28) has established himself as a mainstay of the Uruguayan national team, with whom he has competed in three Copa America tournaments, finishing third in 2004 and fourth in 2007, and lifting the trophy in 2011. This year, the pacey winger took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup, where La Celeste reached the semi-finals. He started out at Uruguayan heavyweights Penarol, claiming a national league title before exporting his skills abroad to Paris Saint-Germain, where he held aloft the French Cup. A stint at Benfica followed, but it was a subsequent move to Porto that significantly boosted his medal collection, as he secured three Portuguese Championships, three Portuguese Cups, three Portuguese Super Cups and a UEFA Europa League title. Rodriguez put pen to paper with Atletico Madrid in May 2012, and hoisted the UEFA Super Cup and the Copa del Rey soon after.
1. George Weah (47) is the only African ever to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award (in 1995), a worthy accolade for one of the greatest players in the history of the game. The explosive striker was also named African Player of the Year on multiple occasions. The Liberian international began his career in his homeland with Mighty Barrolle, with whom he scooped a national league and cup double, and then with Invincible Eleven, where another league title ensued. After a season with Tonnerre Yaounde in Cameroon, he signed for Monaco, going on to clinch the Coupe de France. A transfer to Paris Saint-Germain saw the talented forward’s career move up a gear, as he propelled the club from the capital to the French League title, two French Cups and a French League Cup. His fine displays attracted the interest of AC Milan, with whom he would earn two Serie A winners’ medals. Following spells with Chelsea (where he won the FA Cup), Manchester City and Marseille, he brought the curtain down on his career while on the books of Emirati side Al Jazira.
2. Obeid Al Dosari (38) can look back with pride at having helped Saudi Arabia to qualify for the World Cups of 1998 and 2002, and for the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, where the Green Falcons finished second. As a younger man, the free-scoring forward turned out at the 1995 and 1997 FIFA Confederations Cups, the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament and the 1993 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Domestically, Al Dosari has previously defended the colours of Al Wahda and Al Ahli, and presently represents Abha.
3. Andreas Isaksson (32) played for Sweden at the 2006 World Cup and at the last three UEFA European Championships. After turning professional with Trelleborg, the reliable goalkeeper earned a move to Juventus, but limited playing time saw him return to Sweden, where he inspired Djurgardens to two Allsvenskan titles and a Swedish Cup. Isaksson once again tried his luck on foreign shores, performing ably between the sticks for Rennes, Manchester City and PSV Eindhoven, with whom he landed the Dutch Super Cup. Isaksson currently pulls on the No1 jersey for Turkish outfit Kasimpasa.
4. Tomas Rosicky (33) is one of the most talented footballers the Czech Republic has produced over the past 20 years. With his national side, he appeared at Germany 2006 and the European Championships of 2000, 2004 (where he reached the semi-finals) and 2012. The elegant playmaker came through the ranks at Sparta Prague, bagging three national titles with the Czech giants. After propelling subsequent employers Borussia Dortmund to Bundesliga glory, he was transferred to Arsenal in 2006. Rosicky is a three-time former winner of the Czech Footballer of the Year award.
5. Julio Cesar Caceres (34) is one of the first names on the Paraguayan national teamsheet, having appeared at the last three World Cups and the 2007 Copa America. The tireless centre-back started off at Olimpia, where he gained two Paraguayan League titles, a Copa Libertadores and a Recopa Sudamericana. He then committed himself to Nantes, who loaned him out to Atletico Mineiro, River Plate and Gimnastic. After a spell at Mexican club UANL Tigres, Caceres joined Boca Juniors, with whom he sewed up the Argentinian League and Recopa Sudamericana. A return to Atletico Mineiro saw the South American defender seal a state championship. In 2011, he came full circle by re-signing for Asuncion-based Olimpia.