In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com brings you the names of some of the best-known figures on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
Sunday is the big day for two of the all-time greats in their respective countries. Pat Bonner (49) performed for the Republic of Ireland at the FIFA World Cup™ finals in 1990 and 1994, and is also a fan favourite at Glasgow giants Celtic. The keeper won the domestic league and cup five times apiece with the famous Scottish club. Eric Cantona will be 43 on the same day. The former France international enjoyed his greatest success at club level with Manchester United.
One of the African game’s genuine icons will be blowing out the candles today. Anthony Baffoe (44) earned 16 full international caps for Ghana and appeared in the African Cup of Nations final in 1992. Cafu, who will be 39 today, is undoubtedly one of the greatest right-backs to represent Brazil. He spent fully 16 seasons as a Selecao regular, winning 142 caps and hoisting the FIFA World Cup twice. Argentina hero Daniel Passarella is a member of the exclusive FIFA 100, a list of the 125 best players of all time. The man who captained his side to glory at the 1978 FIFA World Cup will be 56 on Monday.
Paul Gascoigne, capped 57 times by England and universally known by his nickname of Gazza, enjoys his special day on Wednesday, when the former enfant terrible of the English game turns 42. Memorably present at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, his honours collection includes the Scottish league and cup with Rangers.
Seasoned shot-stopper Hans-Jörg Butt (35) is currently on the books at Bayern after switching to the south of Germany from Lisbon giants Benfica a year ago. Butt, a penalty-taking keeper who has scored in the Champions League and the top three tiers of the German game, has been capped three times by his country.
A prominent threesome celebrate birthdays on Friday. Massimo Ambrosini, who joined AC Milan in 1995 and has played there ever since, with the exception of a loan spell at Vicenza in 1997, will be 32. Russia star Andrei Arshavin will be busily unwrapping presents, as the Arsenal goal-getter turns 28. Hertha BSC Berlin defender Arne Friedrich completes the trio. Friedrich, a member of the Germany side which finished runners-up at Euro 2008 and third at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, celebrates his 30th birthday.
Steven Gerrard is arguably the best-known of the birthday boys this week. The Liverpool and England star will be 29. The man capped 70 times by his country has played for the Anfield club since he was nine.