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. Faye White (36) took part in several major tournaments with England, such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ (in 2007 and 2011) and the UEFA Women’s Championship (in 2001, 2005 and 2009). She reached the final of the continental contest in 2009, but could not prevent her team-mates from suffering a defeat at the hands of Germany. Barring a short spell with Canadian side Ottawa Fury, the commanding defender remained a loyal servant of Arsenal Ladies throughout her domestic career, winning eleven league titles, nine FA Women’s Cups, six FA Women’s Premier League Cups, four FA Women’s Community Shields and a UEFA Women’s Cup (now Champions League) between 1996 and 2013, when she chose to retire from the game. White was named FA Women’s Player of the Year in 1998.
3. Gregory van der Wiel (26) participated in five encounters at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ for the Netherlands, including the Final against Spain. Having retained his place during UEFA EURO 2012, the athletic right-back is now hopeful of being selected for Brazil 2014. A product of Ajax’s renowned youth system, he earned two Eredivisie crowns, two Dutch Cups, a Dutch Super Cup and a Dutch Young Player of the Year award with the Amsterdam club, before signing for Paris Saint-Germain. Since arriving in the French capital, the Dutch defender has added a Ligue 1 title and a Trophée des champions to his footballing CV.
4. Giovanni (42) appeared for Brazil at France 1998, where the Seleção lost in the Final to the host nation. The year before, the mercurial attacking midfielder had helped his country capture the Copa America in Bolivia. He began his career in his homeland, starring for, among others, Clube do Remo, with whom he claimed the Para State League title, and Santos. After exporting his skills to Europe, he played for Barcelona, clinching two Liga Championships, two Spanish Cups, a Spanish Super Cup, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup, as well as Olympiacos, where he scooped five Greek League titles and a Greek Cup. He returned to Santos twice during his career, landing the Brazilian Cup and Sao Paolo State League title during his third stint with O Peixe.
5. Gheorghe Hagi (49) is arguably the most talented player to have ever come out of Romania, putting in match-winning performances at Italy 1990, USA 1994 (where his nation reached the quarter-finals) and France 1998. The graceful attacking midfielder also competed at the UEFA European Championships of 1984, 1996 and 2000. After turning professional with Farul Constanta, he moved to Sportul Studentesc and then Steaua Bucharest, where he collected three Romanian League titles, two Romanian Cups and a UEFA Super Cup. A subsequent transfer to Real Madrid saw the Romanian playmaker hoist the Spanish Super Cup. Following a spell at Brescia, Hagi returned to La Liga with Barcelona, where he held aloft another Supercopa de Espana. He then put pen to paper with Turkish giants Galatasaray, with whom he emerged victorious from four Turkish League campaigns, two Turkish Cup finals, two Turkish Super Cups, a UEFA Cup final and a UEFA Super Cup. The seven-time Romanian Footballer of the Year boasted an impressive eye for goal during his career, finishing top scorer in the UEFA Champions League and in the Romanian League (twice). Once he had hung up his boots, he tried his hand at coaching, taking the reins of the Romanian national team, Bursaspor and Galatasaray (steering the Istanbul side to Turkish Cup glory), Politehnica Timisoara and Steaua Bucharest.
6. Ricardo La Volpe (62) hoisted the World Cup with Argentina in 1978, although as reserve goalkeeper he did not see any playing time. The imposing shot-stopper represented Banfield and San Lorenzo in Argentina, as well as Mexican outfits Atlante and Oaxtepec, prior to embarking on a varied coaching career that saw him take charge at Atlante, Chivas, Club America, Toluca, Atlas, Boca Juniors, Velez Sarsfield, Monterrey and Banfield, among others. The South American tactician also found success on the international stage, guiding Mexico to a CONCACAF Gold Cup triumph in 2003, before overseeing their comfortable qualifying campaign for Germany 2006, where El Tri eventually fell to Argentina in the Round of 16. In addition, La Volpe coached the Costa Rican national team between 2010 and 2011.
7. Andrey Bukhlitskiy (32) is one of beach soccer’s most recognisable names, having appeared at every edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup since 2007. The Russian goalkeeper lifted the prestigious trophy in 2011, earning the adidas Golden Glove award for his performances between the sticks in Ravenna. Four years later at Tahiti 2013, the Russians, featuring an on-song Bukhlitskiy, won a second successive world crown.
8. Taha Ismail (75) was part of the Egyptian XI that prevailed in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations final in 1959, and that reached the semi-finals of the Olympic Football Tournament at Tokyo 1964. The forward started out at Al Masry, prior to committing himself to Al Ahly, with whom he won four Egyptian League titles and two Egyptian Cups. Ismail later coached Al Ahly, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, as well as a handful of Saudi and Emirati clubs.