Happy Birthday to you!

© Getty Images

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.

14. Ray Wilkins(58) was one of English football’s biggest stars during the 1980s, appearing at UEFA EURO 1980 and at the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cup™ tournaments with The Three Lions. The energetic midfielder began his career at Chelsea, before moving to Manchester United, where he lifted the FA Cup and FA Charity Shield. The combative Englishman subsequently played for AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Rangers, with whom he secured the Scottish League title and Scottish League Cup. He later turned out for Queens Park Rangers, Wycombe Wanderers, Hibernian, Millwall and Leyton Orient. After hanging up his boots, Wilkins took the helm at QPR and Fulham, and worked as an assistant manager with Chelsea, Watford, Millwall and England’s U-21 side. He was recently handed control of the Jordanian national team.

15. Wilmer Cabrera(47) took part in France 1998 and two Copa America competitions with Colombia, finishing third in 1995. The marauding right-back had previously participated in the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He started out at Santa Fe, where he lifted the Colombian Cup, but joined America de Cali in 1990, going on to seal three Colombian League crowns with Los Escarlatas. Following a brief spell at Argentinian outfit Independiente, the defender returned home to represent Millonarios and then Sante Fe again, where his performances piqued the interest of Deportes Tolima. Cabrera later pulled on the jersey of Costa Rican giants Herediano. After retiring, the Cartagena native took charge of the United States at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, before fulfilling the role of assistant coach with Colorado Rapids. He was appointed coach of Chivas USA at the turn of the year.

16. Adel Chedli(38) held aloft the CAF Africa Cup of Nations with Tunisia in 2004, a continental victory that enabled him to experience the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2006, the central midfielder starred at the Cup of Nations again as well as in the successful qualifying campaign for Germany 2006, where he played in all three of Les Aigles de Carthage’s group matches. Born in France, Chedli wore the colours of Saint-Etienne, Sochaux and Istres, prior to exporting his skills to Nuremberg (Germany), Sion (Switzerland) and Al-Shaab (UAE). Towards the end of his career, he represented two Tunisian clubs, Etoile du Sahel and Raja Casablanca, with whom he claimed the Moroccan Championship in 2013.

17. Dario Rodriguez(40) played a key role in Uruguay’s return to football’s greatest stage at Korea/Japan 2002. At the tournament proper, he made three appearances and scored one goal for La Celeste. The versatile defender then kept his place in the starting XI for the Copa America contests of 2004, where the Uruguayans finished third, and 2007. The powerful left-back turned professional at Sud America in his homeland, where his displays attracted the attention of Mexican side Toluca. One season later, he retraced his steps to Uruguay, performing admirably for Bella Vista and then Penarol, with whom he earned a league winners’ medal. In 2002, Rodriguez put pen to paper with Schalke, where he lifted the German League Cup. With six Bundesliga campaigns under his belt, he re-signed for Penarol, and has since won two further Uruguayan Championships with Los Manyas. The evergreen South American continues to hold down a place in the first-team squad.

18. Junichi Inamoto(35) is one of Japan’s most prominent players, having become a fan favourite during the 2002 World Cup, where he notched two crucial goals. The midfield dynamo also appeared at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, as well as at three Confederations Cups (in 2001, 2003 and 2005), and the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, where the Samurai Blue emerged victorious. As a younger man, he starred at the 1995 U-17 World Cup in Ecuador, having clinched the AFC U-16 Championship the previous year, and at the 1999 U-20 World Cup, where the Asians reached the final versus Spain. In addition, he was part of Japan’s squad at the 2000 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney. Inamoto has also enjoyed a varied club career, playing for Gamba Osaka, Arsenal, where he bagged an English Premier League title, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City, Galatasaray, Eintracht Frankfurt, Rennes and Kawasaki Frontale, his current club.

19. Diego Reyes(22) is one of the most promising footballers to emerge from Mexico in recent years. The composed defender made his World Cup debut for El Tri this summer in Brazil, having previously been involved in the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2011 U-20 World Cup and the 2009 U-17 World Cup. In 2012, the Mexican centre-half won a gold medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in London. A product of Club America’s youth set-up, Reyes landed a Liga MX title with Las Águilas before committing himself to Porto in 2013.

20. Erwin Koeman(53) was part of the legendary Dutch starting XI that prevailed at EURO 1988 in West Germany, the Netherlands’ first and so far only major international triumph. Two years later, the talented midfield man took part in Italy 1990. At both tournaments, he played alongside his younger brother, Ronald. Erwin Koeman turned professional at Groningen and then played for PSV Eindhoven, but it was not until he joined Mechelen in 1985 that he got his hands on silverware, namely a Belgian League title, Belgian Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup. A return to PSV saw him add two Dutch Championships and a Dutch Super Cup to his footballing CV. Following a third stint at Groningen, the Zaandam native ventured into coaching, taking the reins of Feyenoord, Utrecht and the Hungarian national team, among others. He recently took up the post of assistant manager at Southampton, where he is working under his high-profile sibling for the first time.

Explore this topic

Recommended Stories