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.
12. Daniel Agger (26) is a Denmark international who represented his country at last summer’s 2010 FIFA World Cup™, although Danish Dynamite failed to survive beyond the group stage in South Africa. The classy defender has played his club football for Liverpool in the English Premier League since 2006.
13. Ricardo Gomes (46) was a member of the Brazil squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, although he and his team-mates were unable to claim glory that year. He hung up his boots back in 1996 while on the books with Paris Saint-Germain in France, before going on to coach in Ligue 1, initially with the club from the capital, and then with Bordeaux and Monaco. He returned home to take charge of Sao Paulo, although he and the club parted company on 6 August this year.
14. Jean-Alain Boumsong (31) lists Rangers, Juventus and Lyon among his former clubs, and is currently plying his trade in the Greek Super League for Athens giants Panathinaikos. He represented his home country of France at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, and came away from the finals with a runners-up medal.
15. Roman Pavlyuchenko (29) rates as one of the best Russian strikers around. He currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur in England, his first overseas adventure after a domestic career spent rattling in the goals for Spartak Moscow. He has been a regular for the Sbornaja since 2003, but his chances of pulling on a Russia shirt at home in the 2018 FIFA World Cup must be considered fairly slim, due to his age rather than his ability.
16. Stanislav Sestak (28) played a major role in sealing a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup for his home country Slovakia, and remained a key figure in the east Europeans’ campaign in South Africa. The Bochum striker is currently out on loan with Turkish first division side Ankaragucu.
17. Karim Benzema (23) recently struck his first UEFA Champions League hat-trick for Real Madrid. After some initial problems with acclimatisation, the France international now seems to be settling in well to life in the Spanish capital. Despite his young age, Benzema has been a fixture in the France squad for some years now.
18. Gianluca Pagliuca (44) finally called time on his playing career three years ago after one last Serie A season between the sticks with Ascoli. The most successful spell of his club career was with Sampdoria between 1986 and 1994, a period which yielded one Serie A title, three Italian Cup triumphs, the UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup, and an appearance in the European Cup final.