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.
Guido Buchwald (49) was a 1990 FIFA World Cup™ winner with Germany, earning himself the nickname Diego after comprehensively shutting out Argentina superstar Diego Maradona in the Final. After hanging up his boots, the former Stuttgart player turned his hand to coaching, including a stint at the helm with Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan.
Eusebio (69) was Portugal’s undisputed footballing figurehead of the '60s and '70s. He finished leading scorer at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England on nine goals. The striker, born in the town of Maputo in Mozambique, spent fully 15 years in Lisbon with Benfica. He then had spells in Mexico, Canada and the USA, before calling time on his career in 1978 back home in Portugal.
Oscar Ruggeri (48) represented Argentina at three FIFA World Cup tournaments. He was part of the side featuring Maradona and Co. who lifted the trophy in 1986, but was on the losing side against Germany four years later. The rugged defender was also a member of the Gauchos party for the 1994 finals in the USA.
Jung-Hwan Ahn (34) starred at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup finals for Korea Republic. In the first of those on home soil, where he contributed two goals in seven games, he and his Taeguk Warriors team-mates made it as far as the semi-finals.
Gianluigi Buffon (32) rates as one of the world’s best goalkeepers. The Juventus shot-stopper laid hands on the FIFA World Cup Trophy with Italy at the 2006 showdown in Germany, where he was widely recognised as one of the tournament’s outstanding performers. Buffon will now travel to South Africa this summer determined to retain the game’s greatest prize.
Romario (44), FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994, celebrates his birthday on Friday. The former world-class striker appeared for Brazil at two FIFA World Cup finals, and came away from the 1994 event in the USA with a winners’ medal. The mercurial hitman enjoyed the best spells of his club career with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.
Dimitar Berbatov (29) took part in his first major tournament with Bulgaria at UEFA Euro 2004. However, the Manchester United striker and his team-mates packed for home after a thoroughly disappointing group stage campaign in Portugal, and it remains the silky forward’s solitary appearance at a showcase international event to this day.