In our regular Sunday feature, we bring you the names of some of the best-known figures on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
Johan Cruyff (63) is considered by many experts to be the greatest player ever to emerge from the Netherlands. The former Ajax and Barcelona midfielder also went on to coach both of those famous clubs. Cruyff won almost everything there was to win, but missed out on the greatest footballing prize of them all when he and his team-mates lost the 1974 FIFA World Cup™ Final 2-1 to West Germany.
Ferydoon Zandi (31) and his Iran team-mates will not be at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, denying the German-born player a second shot at the glittering prize after he featured at the 2006 tournament. Zandi played for a number of clubs in Germany, before moving to Cyprus for three years. For the 2009-10 campaign, he switched to Azin Steel Tehran.
Josef Hickersberger (62) contested the FIFA World Cup finals for Austria both as a player (1978) and as coach (1990). The highly-respected boss currently holds the reins at Al-Wahda in the United Arab Emirates.
Francisco Palencia (37) was a member of the Mexico squad at two FIFA World Cup tournaments. The striker represented El Tri at the 1998 and 2002 finals. A featherweight at just 71kg, he joined UNAM Pumas in the summer of 2007 and remains a regular for the Mexican top flight outfit.
Marko Rehmer (38) was a member of the Germany squad for UEFA EURO 2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands. The former international’s greatest success came in 2002 with a FIFA World Cup runners-up medal as a member of the squad coached by Rudi Voller. The defender ended his career at the age of 35 while on the books at Eintracht Frankfurt.
John O'Shea (29) joined Manchester United as a youth in 1996, making his senior debut three years later. The Republic of Ireland utility man has clocked up an impressive number of appearances in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. O'Shea is one of the first names on the team-sheet for his country and was an ever-present in the Republic’s FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, which ended against France in the play-offs.
Aleksandr Hleb (29) is Belarus captain. At club level, he is currently on loan to Bundesliga outfit VfB Stuttgart until the end of the season. His registration is held by Barcelona, who he joined in summer 2008 after three seasons in the Arsenal midfield.