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.
Ronnie Hellstrom (61) appeared at the FIFA World Cup™ finals in 1970, 1974 and 1978. The former Sweden goalkeeper spent eight years of his club career with Hammarby in his home country, before switching to Germany, where he took up station between the Kaiserslautern sticks for a full decade.
Brett Emerton (31) is in his seventh season with Barclays Premier League side Blackburn Rovers. The Australian midfielder previously plied his trade with Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie and contested three matches for the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The OFC Player of the Year for 2002 is all but certain to feature in coach Pim Verbeek’s squad for the global showdown in South Africa this summer.
Mido (27) rates as one of the best players to emerge from Egyptian football. He first signed with Zamalek before setting off on a remarkable odyssey through Europe, which has thus far taken him to Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Italy and now England. The goal-getter is currently on the books with Barclays Premier League side West Ham United.
Denis Law (70) was named European Footballer of the Year in 1964. Ten years later, the Scotland striker represented his country at the 1974 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Law starred for Manchester United from 1962 to 1973, but played his final season for bitter local rivals Manchester City, famously scoring the backheeled goal at Old Trafford that sealed United’s relegation.
Eduardo (27) has been a fixture in the Croatia squad for a number of years. The Rio de Janeiro-born striker and his Kockasti team-mates missed out on a ticket to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, so he is free to concentrate fully on his duties with London giants Arsenal, who he joined in 2007.
Emmanuel Adebayor (26) is widely acknowledged as Togo’s best player. The striker spearheaded his country’s challenge at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, although Togo failed to survive the group stage. Adebayor has played his club football in England since 2006, spending three seasons with Arsenal before switching to Manchester City last summer.
Carlos Alberto Parreira (67) has been to the FIFA World Cup finals as a coach on five occasions. He took charge of Kuwait in 1982, and the United Arab Emirates eight years later. He led his home nation Brazil to the Trophy in 1994, and took charge of Saudi Arabia in 1998. He was back at the Brazil helm for the most recent finals in Germany, but was unable to recapture past glories. Parreira is set to complete a half-dozen finals appearances this summer as head coach for the South African hosts.