Sunday 17 January 2016, 05:03

Happy Birthday to you!

In our regular Sunday feature, presents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.

17. Hector Moreno(28) donned the colours of Mexico at the last two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, and at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. At continental level, the imposing defender triumphed at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2015 CONCACAF Cup, through which El Tri qualified for the 2017 Confederations Cup. Earlier in his international career, he lifted the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup and took part in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Moreno turned professional at Pumas, before crossing the ocean to sign for fast-improving AZ Alkmaar, where he won a Dutch League title and a Dutch Super Cup. The Mexican centre-back later turned out for Espanyol and current club PSV Eindhoven.

18. Ivan Zamorano(49) is regarded as a living legend of Chilean football, having helped his country to return to the World Cup stage at France 1998, where he and his team-mates reached the Round of 16. Two years later, the dynamic striker earned a bronze medal at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, at the culmination of which he found himself atop the competition’s scoring charts. At club level, he started out at Cobresal, holding aloft a Chilean Cup, prior to spending time on loan at Cobreandino, where he won the Chilean second division title. After exporting his skills to St. Gallen, where he finished as top scorer in the Swiss League, the free-scoring forward moved to Sevilla and then Real Madrid, where he secured a Liga crown, a Copa del Rey, a Supercopa de Espana and the Pichichi trophy for most goals in a season. He later enjoyed spells at Inter Milan, with whom he hoisted the UEFA Cup, Club America, where he claimed a Mexican Championship, and Chilean giants Colo Colo.

19. Mauro Tassotti(56) was one of the unsung heroes of the remarkable AC Milan XI that dominated Italian and European football during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Following two initial campaigns at Lazio, the effective full-back proceeded to spend 17 successful seasons in Lombardy, during which time he landed two Serie B titles, five Serie A crowns, four Italian Super Cups, three European Cups/UEFA Champions League titles, three UEFA Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. On the international stage, Tassotti participated in USA 1994, where the Italians reached the Final. A post-retirement move to the AC Milan backroom staff saw the Rome native fulfil the roles of youth coach and assistant coach. In 2015, he became a scout for I Rossoneri.

20. Uwa Echiejile(29) appeared for Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup and at two CAF Africa Cup of Nations, finishing third in 2010 and brandishing the continental trophy in 2013, a success that enabled the Super Eagles to perform at the 2013 Confederations Cup. As a younger man, the energetic left-back starred at the 2007 U-20 World Cup. He began his career at Nigerian outfit Bendel Insurance, but rose to wider prominence at Rennes and then Braga, with whom he captured the Portuguese League Cup. Echiejile currently plays for Monaco.

21. Nicky Butt(41) was a key member of the Manchester United team that ruled the roost for a decade, securing six Premier League titles, three FA Cups, four FA Community Shields, a UEFA Champions League title and an Intercontinental Cup, and playing in the first-ever FIFA Club World Cup, in 2000. After 12 productive years at Old Trafford, the tireless midfielder joined Newcastle United, where he bagged the UEFA Intertoto Cup and the English second division title. With England, meanwhile, Butt competed at the 1993 U-20 World Cup and the 2002 World Cup.

22. Rogerio Ceni(43) enjoyed a unique career, scoring no fewer than 131 penalties and free kicks, despite being a goalkeeper by trade. That total makes the ex-shot-stopper, who retired in 2015, one of the greatest goalscorers in the history of Sao Paolo, the club he loyally served for 25 years, inspiring them to glory in three Brazilian League campaigns, two Copa Libertadores tournaments, the Intercontinental Cup and the Club World Cup, among others. The high-profile Brazilian was part of his country's squads at Korea/Japan 2002, where the Canarinho lifted the trophy, and at Germany 2006, as well as at the 1997 Confederations Cup. In addition, Ceni obtained a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament.

23. Louisa Necib(29) defended the colours of France at the last two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ events, in 2011 and 2015, as well as at three UEFA Women's Championships, in 2005, 2009 and 2013. She also participated in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. The talented midfielder started off with Celtic de Marseille, where she clinched the French third division title, before being selected to enter the French national academy in Clairefontaine. The skilful playmaker later pulled on the jerseys of Montpellier, with whom she lifted the French Cup, and her present club, Lyon, where she has amassed eight French League crowns, five French Cups and two UEFA Women’s Champions League titles since 2007.