Happy Birthday to you!
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.
Alfredo Torres played for Mexico in the 1954 FIFA World Cup™ in Switzerland but went out of the competition at the group stage. Born in 1931, the former international striker is celebrating his 78th birthday.
Two superstars in their own countries celebrate their birthday on Monday. Mexico international Luis Garcia (40) played for Atletico Madrid in Spain’s La Liga and saw action in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. Alexi Lalas, now 39 years old, can also look back over a successful career that includes two FIFA World Cups. The United States defender ended his playing career in 2003 with MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy.
Rising young stars Freddy Adu (20) and Kun Aguero (21) celebrate their big day on Tuesday. Adu has long been seen as one of the most talented players worldwide but the USA international has found it hard going since his move to Benfica. However, Lady Luck is looking down more favourably on Aguero. The Argentine international is a key player for both his club Atletico Madrid and the Albiceleste.
Luigi Di Biagio (38), former Italy international and star of the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups can look forward to opening his presents today. The midfielder’s clubs included AS Roma and Inter Milan. USA international shot-stopper Tim Howard reaches the big ‘three O’ today. The Everton keeper will shortly head to the United States to represent his country in qualifying action for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. And he has a strong chance of appearing in the FIFA World Cup finals for a second time, after also travelling to Germany 2006.
The best newcomer at the 2006 FIFA World Cup is 24 today. Germany striker Lukas Podolski has two reasons to celebrate his birthday as he is returning to his hometown club in Cologne after three less-than-happy seasons at Bayern Munich. Alexander Manninger (32), Austria’s number one and understudy to Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus, will also be blowing out the candles today.
Portuguese defensive stalwart Fernando Meira is 31. The former VfB Stuttgart and Galatasaray player is now plying his trade at Zenit St. Petersburg. Bosnian midfield dynamo Zvjezdan Misimovic (27) has just earned himself another reason to celebrate as his club VfL Wolfsburg have won the German top flight for the first time. The Bundesliga’s top provider is sure to get even more presents today.