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.
23. Arjen Robben (27) finished as a runner-up with the Netherlands at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. However, he aggravated a serious injury at the tournament and spent six months on the sidelines before finally making a comeback for Bayern Munich last weekend. The Dutch ace is now determined to help Germany’s biggest club reproduce its success in 2009-10, when Bayern won a cup and league double, and made the UEFA Champions League final.
24. Guido Buchwald (50) clocks up a half-century this year. The defender was a 1990 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany and emerged from the tournament with the nickname 'Diego', after effectively closing out Argentina superstar Diego Maradona in the Final in Rome. After his playing career, the former Stuttgart man moved into coaching with Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan and Alemannia Aachen in Germany.
25. Eusebio (70) also celebrates a milestone birthday today. Portugal’s most famous and celebrated player of the 60s and 70s finished top scorer at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England on nine goals. The striker spent a total of 15 years with Benfica, before leaving Lisbon for spells in the USA, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere in Portugal. He remains active nowadays as an official and ambassador for Benfica.
26. Oscar Ruggeri (49) represented Argentina at three FIFA World Cups. He was a member of the Trophy-winning side in 1986, when La Albiceleste beat Germany in the Final, but he was on the losing side four years later when the outcome was reversed. The robust defender was also a member of his country’s squad for the 1994 finals in the USA.
27. Ahn Jung-Hwan (35) played for Korea Republic at the FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In the tournament on home soil, the Taeguk Warriors made it to the last four, Ahn contributing two goals in seven games. The striker and his team-mates failed to survive the group phase in Germany four years later, but reached the Round of 16 in South Africa last summer, only to lose narrowly to Uruguay.
28. Gianluigi Buffon (33) ranks as one of the world’s top goalkeepers. The shot-stopper, soon to celebrate a decade with Juventus, was a 2006 FIFA World Cup winner with Italy, cementing his already glittering reputation with a string of outstanding displays.
29. Romario (45) is widely regarded as one of the best players ever to grace the world’s football pitches, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1994. The former world-class striker represented Brazil at two FIFA World Cups, claiming the famous Trophy in the USA. The ruthless goal-getter enjoyed the best spells of his club career with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.