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.
Ali Daei (41) is regarded by many experts as the greatest player ever to emerge from Iran. The former world-class striker represented his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup™ in France, returning for the 2006 edition in Germany. After hanging up his boots, he spent a year learning the coaching ropes with Team Melli, before taking the hot seat at Persepolis last December.
Oleg Kuznetsov (47) was a fixture in the USSR team at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, and the tournament four years later in Italy. He also appeared at the European championships in 1988 and 1992. In the first of those, staged by Germany, he and his team-mates made it to the final, but fell to the Netherlands.
Jerzey Dudek (37) was named Poland’s Player of the Year in 2000. The goalkeeper was on the books at Feyenoord in Rotterdam at the time, but switched to Liverpool in August 2001. After six seasons in the English Premier League, he moved south and joined Real Madrid. Dudek appeared for Poland at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan.
Christophe Dugarry (38) enjoyed his greatest success as a player in 1998, as a member of the France side that won the FIFA World Cup on home soil. The much-travelled wide man had spells with the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona, Olympique Marseille and Girondins Bordeaux, before ending his career in December 2004 with Al-Rayyan in Qatar.
Roberto Acuna (38) represented Paraguay at three FIFA World Cup tournaments, patrolling the midfield area at the finals in 1998, 2002 and 2006. Acuna played his club football in his home country, in Argentina and in Spain. His most successful period was a spell in La Liga with Real Zaragoza, where he played from 1997 to 2002.
Taribo West (36) was an easily-identifiable figure both for his sparkling play and his remarkable hairstyles. The Nigeria talent competed at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. He spent time in Italy with both Inter and AC Milan, Germany (Kaiserslautern) and England (Derby County). He hung up his boots for good in 2007.
Cacau (29) is a native of Santo André in Brazil, but is now a Germany international. The Stuttgart striker arrived in his new home country in 2000, starting out with Turk Gucu Munich and Nuremberg before hitting the big time with Stuttgart, where he collected a Bundesliga title in 2007. His biggest target now is to appear at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.