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.
Erwin Koeman turns 48 on Sunday. An elegant midfielder who played for Groningen, PSV Eindhoven and KV Mechelen, where he won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1988, his 31-cap international career included a UEFA Euro 1988 triumph with the Netherlands. He is currently aiming to seal a place at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ finals as Hungary national coach.
Long-serving USA stalwart Tab Ramos, who contested no fewer than three FIFA World Cup finals, is 43 today. The 1990 USA Player of the Year represented his country at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 global showdowns. He finally called time on an illustrious career in 2002 with the New York MetroStars.
Tuesday is a special day for Harry Kewell (31) and Ronaldo (33), two men who rate as icons in their respective countries. Australia schemer Kewell, currently plying his trade in Istanbul with Galatasaray, played for the much-admired Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany. The legendary Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer at FIFA World Cup finals, and has won football's greatest trophy twice. He is currently with Corinthians, where he is seeking the form to help him recapture his place in the Brazil team.
Paolo Rossi, who is 53 today, finished the 1982 FIFA World Cup as top scorer and was voted European Footballer of the Year a few months later. The potent Italy striker featured at three FIFA World Cup finals, before finally hanging up his boots in 1987.
Model professional John Arne Riise celebrates his 29th birthday today. The Norway regular enjoyed his greatest success at club level with Liverpool. In summer 2008, he switched clubs to Italian Serie A giants Roma. With the national team, the full-back is still hopeful of sealing a berth in South Africa next year via the play-offs.
Two of the best strikers of the 1980s will be blowing out the candles on Friday. Ukrainian hitman Igor Belanov (49) went in search of goals for the former USSR at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Current Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (54) also appeared at that tournament, and indeed at the two previous editions in 1978 and 1982.
Germany captain Michael Ballack will be 33 on Saturday. The poster boy of the German game plays his club football abroad for Chelsea, where he rates as one of the most consistent performers in the Barclays Premier League. Bolivian goal-getter Marco Etcheverry, who represented his country at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA, also has a birthday on 26 September. The former world-class striker will be 39.