In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com presents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
31. Wolfgang Fahrian(74) was West Germany’s last line of defence at the 1962 FIFA World Cup Chile™, starring in four of his team’s matches, including their quarter-final exit at the hands of Yugoslavia. At club level, the confident goalkeeper pulled on the jerseys of Ulm 1846, Hertha Berlin, 1860 Munich, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Fortuna Cologne.
1. Chinedu Obasi(29) represented Nigeria at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he reached the final versus Argentina, and the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, where he bagged a silver medal. In 2010, the bustling forward appeared at the World Cup in South Africa and at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Angola. Obasi started out with Oslo-based outfit Lyn, before exporting his skills to Hoffenheim. After enjoying a successful loan spell at Schalke, the Enugu native signed a permanent contract with Die Königsblauen in 2012.
2. Sergio Aguero(27) played a key role in Argentina’s run to the Final of Brazil 2014 last summer. The incisive attacker had previously participated in South Africa 2010, the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament, where he obtained a gold medal, and the U-20 World Cups of 2005 and 2007, both of which were won by Argentina. At the latter event, he earned the adidas Golden Ball and Golden Shoe awards. The dynamic South American turned professional at Independiente, where his performances attracted interest from several big-name clubs in Europe, including Atletico Madrid, who secured his signature in 2006. After five productive seasons in the Spanish capital, during which he captured the UEFA Europa League title and UEFA Super Cup, Aguero committed himself to Manchester City, where he has since landed an English League Cup, an FA Community Shield and two English Premier League crowns, the first of which was clinched in legendary fashion via a last-gasp goal by the Argentinian forward.
3. Mario Gotze(23) will be able to look back on a sensational year while blowing out his candles, having experienced glorious triumphs with Germany and Bayern Munich over the past twelve months. At the 2014 World Cup, the first time he had competed on football’s greatest stage, he played in six matches and scored two goals, notably snatching the winner in the Final against Argentina, a strike that enabled Die Nationalelf to claim their fourth global crown. The gifted attacking midfielder previously took part in the 2009 U-17 World Cup, the 2009 UEFA European U-17 Championship, from which Germany emerged victorious, and UEFA EURO 2012, where he made one appearance. Gotze made his name with Borussia Dortmund, winning two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup. A high-profile move to Bayern Munich saw the pacey playmaker add two further Bundesliga titles, a German Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup to his CV.
4. Linda Hamilton(46) made her debut for USA in 1987, and she went on to play at the first two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments, China 1991, where the Stars and Stripes lifted the trophy, and Sweden 1995, where they finished third.
5. Marc Rieper(47) was part of the formidable Denmark team that held aloft the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup and that competed at EURO 1996. At the 1998 World Cup in France, the towering centre-back notched the winning goal of a group-stage clash with South Africa, helping the Danes to reach the Round of 16, where they came unstuck against eventual finalists Brazil. Rieper rose to prominence at Brondby, hoisting the Danish Cup, prior to plying his trade at West Ham United and then at Celtic, with whom he triumphed in the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Cup.
6. Anthony Yeboah(49) was a tremendous ambassador for Ghanaian and African football during his career, performing at a consistently high level at three CAF Africa Cup of Nations contests, the highlight of which was undoubtedly the Black Stars’ surge to the final at Senegal 1992. The athletic striker, famous for scoring spectacular goals, started off at Ghanaian outfits Asante Kotoko, Cornerstones Kumasi and Okwahu United, where he twice finished top scorer in the Ghanaian Premier League. His nose for goal led to a move to Germany, where he defended the colours of Saarbrucken and Eintracht Frankfurt, with whom he topped the Bundesliga scoring charts on two occasions. In 1995, the Ghanaian front man joined Leeds United, appearing in the English League Cup final, before putting pen to paper with Hamburg. Yeboah saw out the remainder of his career with Qatari side Al-Gharafa, where he secured a league and cup double in 2002.