Happy Birthday to you!

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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. Morten Olsen(67) starred for Denmark at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™ and at the 1984 and 1988 UEFA European Championships. At club level, the two-time Danish Footballer of the Year turned out for B1901, as well as Belgian outfits Cercle Bruges, Molenbeek and Anderlecht, with whom he won three Belgian League titles and a UEFA Cup, and German side Cologne. After hanging up his boots and moving into coaching, he took charge of Brondby, where he secured two Danish League titles, Cologne and Ajax, whom he guided to Dutch League and Cup success. In 2000, Olsen was appointed coach of the Danish national side, and was at the helm for the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, and for EURO 2004 and EURO 2012.

15. Ryan McGowan(27) made three appearances for Australia at Brazil 2014, having already played an important role in the corresponding qualifying campaign. The energetic defender previously took part in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and is currently participating in the Socceroos’ qualifiers for Russia 2018. After making his name with Edinburgh-based Hearts, where he lifted the Scottish Cup, in 2012 he signed for Chinese club Shandong Luneng, where he hoisted the Chinese FA Cup. A short-lived return to Scotland with Dundee United was recently followed by a move back to China, where he put pen to paper with Henan Jianye.

16. Sandrine Soubeyrand(43) competed in the 2003 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments with France, finishing fourth at the latter event. The long-serving midfielder also played at five UEFA Women’s Championships in a row, between 1997 and 2013. Soubeyrand began her career at Saint-Cyr Felines, before defending the colours of Caluire and Juvisy, where she claimed two French League titles and a French Cup.

17. Karim Ziani(34) appeared in three matches for Algeria at South Africa 2010, and at the 2004 and 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, finishing fourth at the more recent contest. The French-born creative playmaker started out at Troyes, prior to pulling on the jerseys of Lorient, Sochaux, Marseille, Wolfsburg (Germany), Kayserispor (Turkey), El-Jaish (Qatar), Al-Arabi (Qatar), Ajman (UAE), Al-Fujairah (UAE), Petrolul Ploiesti (Romania) and Orleans. During his career, Ziani was twice named Algerian Footballer of the Year.

18. Ricardo Villa(64) was part of the Argentina squad that captured the 1978 World Cup, during which he came on as a substitute against Poland and Brazil. The exciting midfielder turned professional at Quilmes, and subsequently represented San Martin de Tucuman, Atletico Tucuman and Racing Club. In 1978, he joined Tottenham Hotspur, with whom he brandished the FA Cup, after scoring two goals in his team’s memorable 3-2 victory over Manchester City in the final. Villa later enjoyed brief spells with Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Deportivo Cali, after which he returned to Argentina to see out the remainder of his playing days with Defensa y Justicia.

19. Hassan Nazari(60) helped Iran to qualify for the World Cup for the very first time, in 1978. At the tournament proper in Argentina, the diminutive defender played in all of his team’s matches, but could not prevent them from exiting at the group stage. Two years earlier, he had hoisted the AFC Asian Cup and represented his country at the Olympic Football Tournament in Montreal. The Abadan native started off in his homeland with clubs such as Sepah Abadan and Esteghlal, where he held aloft the Iranian Cup. Nazari then inspired Emirati powerhouses Al-Ahli to league success, and later played in the United States with Dallas Americans.

20. Steve McMahon(55) reached the semi-finals of Italy 1990 with England, having previously participated in EURO 1988 and the 1982 UEFA European U-21 Championship, from which the Three Lions emerged victorious. The dominant midfielder rose to prominence at Everton and then Aston Villa, but it was at Liverpool that he enjoyed his finest moments, landing three English League titles, two FA Cups and four FA Charity Shields. He subsequently pulled on the jerseys of Manchester City and Swindon Town, before turning his hand to management with Swindon and Blackpool, with whom he achieved success in the lower divisions. In 2005, McMahon took the reins of Australian outfit Perth Glory for a short period.

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