In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.compresents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
15. Kalu Uche (33) scored two of Nigeria’s three goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the first time the Super Eagles had qualified for the illustrious tournament in eight years. Earlier that year, the versatile forward was part of the team that finished third at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations. He turned professional in his homeland, before going on to play for Espanyol, Wisla Krakow, where he won two Polish League titles and two Polish Cups, Almeria, Levante, Neuchatel Xamax, Kasimpasa, El-Jaish, and Al-Rayyan. This year, he briefly returned to Levante, but left for Indian Super League outfit Pune City in September.
16. Conny Pohlers(37) lifted the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003™ with Germany, making one appearance and scoring a goal against Argentina. She also secured the 2005 UEFA Women’s Championship, finding the net three times during the competition. The prolific striker also appeared at two Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, earning bronze medals in 2004 and 2008. She rose to prominence at Turbine Potsdam, where she picked up two Frauen-Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and a UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Subsequently, the Halle native claimed another league crown, national cup and Champions League with FFC Frankfurt, and then four further domestic honours and two European trophies with Wolfsburg. Pohlers topped the Champions League and Bundesliga scoring charts on three occasions.
17. Nani(29) made three appearances and scored one goal for Portugal at Brazil 2014, after having missed out on South Africa 2010 through injury. In addition, the talented winger competed at the last two UEFA European Championships. At club level, he made his name at Sporting Lisbon, where he held aloft the Portuguese Cup, prior to moving to Manchester United, with whom he clinched a FIFA Club World Cup, a UEFA Champions League crown, four English Premier League titles, an English League Cup, and four FA Community Shields. After a season-long return on loan to Sporting Lisbon, during which time he lifted another Portuguese Cup, he joined Fenerbahce at the start of this current season.
18. Omar Larrosa(68) performed for Argentina against the Netherlands in the Final of the 1978 World Cup, in which the South Americans triumphed on home soil. The incisive midfielder started out at Boca Juniors, with whom he earned an Argentinian League winners’ medal, before turning out for Argentinos Juniors and Comunicaciones (Guatemala). He subsequently bagged further Argentinian Championships with Huracan and Independiente, and later defended the colours of Velez Sarsfield and San Lorenzo.
19. Kurt Hamrin(81) scored four goals in five matches at the 1958 World Cup, propelling Sweden to the Final versus Brazil. The gifted wide man began his career at AIK in Stockholm, where he finished top scorer in the Swedish League. That rise in profile led to a transfer to Juventus, and then to Padova and Fiorentina, where he captured two Italian Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup. Two-season stints followed at AC Milan, where the skilful Swede scooped a Serie A title and a European Cup, and at Napoli. In 1971, Hamrin returned to his homeland to see out the remainder of his playing days with IFK Stockholm.
20. Abderrazak Khairi(53) played a key role in Morocco’s first-ever World Cup victory at Mexico 1986, where he notched a brace in the Atlas Lions’ 3-1 defeat of Portugal. That result saw the North Africans top their section ahead of England and Poland and advance for the first and only time to the Round of 16, where they lost narrowly to West Germany. The attacker also participated in two Africa Cup of Nations, finishing third at the 1988 contest.
21. Dragoje Lekovic(48) was Yugoslavia’s last line of defence at the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 1988 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The reliable goalkeeper was also selected for the Yugoslavian squads that travelled to Italy 1990 and France 1998, but he did not see any playing time. He started off at Montenegrin outfit Buducnost Titograd, but did not get his hands on silverware until a successful spell with Red Star Belgrade, during which he won the Yugoslav First League title. Lekovic later pulled on the jerseys of Kilmarnock, Sporting Gijon and Malaga, among others. He currently fulfils the role of goalkeeping coach with the Montenegrin national team.