Birthdays

Happy Birthday to you!

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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.

18. Yayoi Kobayashi(35) took part in two successive FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments with Japan, in 1999 and 2003, during which she played in a total of six matches. In 2004, the midfielder made two appearances at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Athens, but she could not prevent her country from exiting at the group stage.

19. Josimar(55) showed glimpses of his potential with Brazil at the 1981 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Australia, prior to starring at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™, where he scored against Northern Ireland and Poland, and was included in the starting line-up for the Verde-Amarela’s memorable but ultimately unsuccessful quarter-final versus France. In 1989, the effective right-back lifted the Copa America. In his homeland, the energetic Brazilian turned out for, among others, Flamengo, Internacional, Botafogo and Ceara, winning State Championships with the last two clubs. Josimar also showcased his defensive skills abroad, with Sevilla (Spain), Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia) and Mineros de Guayana (Venezuela).

20. Julian Draxler(23) held aloft the World Cup with Germany at Brazil 2014. The dynamic winger later made five appearances and scored one goal at UEFA EURO 2016, where the Germans bowed out at the semi-final stage. After coming through the ranks at Schalke, he established himself in the first team and captured a German Cup and German Super Cup over a four-year period. At the beginning of last season, Draxler signed for Wolfsburg.

21. Ante Rebic(23)played in all three of Croatia’s encounters at Brazil 2014, but was unable to inspire his team-mates to advance past the group phase. The previous year, the youthful wide man had made four appearances at the U-20 World Cup, notching crucial goals against Uruguay and New Zealand. Rebic started out at RNK Split, where his performances attracted the attention of Fiorentina, who secured his signature in 2013. He has since been sent out on loan three times, to Leipzig, Hellas Verona and Eintracht Frankfurt.

22. Ronaldo(40) occupies a special place in the hearts of Brazilian fans, having brandished the FIFA World Cup on two occasions, at Korea/Japan 2002, where he was awarded the adidas Golden Boot and adidas Silver Ball, and at USA 1994. In addition, he and his team-mates reached the Final at France 1998. Eight years later at Germany 2006, the powerful and technically gifted striker became the all-time top scorer at the World Cup finals, a record he held until he was leapfrogged by Miroslav Klose in 2014. Ronaldo also claimed two Copa America trophies in a row and the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, and earned a bronze medal at the 1996 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The explosive forward began his career with Cruzeiro, where he hoisted a Brazilian Cup, before packing his bags for Eindhoven, where he lifted a Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup with PSV, and topped the Dutch scoring charts. A high-profile move to Barcelona followed, as did silverware – in the shape of the Copa del Rey, Super Copa de Espana and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup – and goals, as he again finished the season as the country’s top goalscorer. The iconic Brazilian then joined Inter Milan, with whom he landed the UEFA Cup and was named Serie A Footballer of the Year. In 2002, he put pen to paper with Real Madrid, where he added two Liga titles, another Spanish Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup to his CV. A move back to Italy saw him struggle with injuries that would limit his appearances for his new club, AC Milan, but after returning to Brazil and committing himself to Corinthians, the two-time FIFA Ballon d’Or Winner enjoyed a successful swansong, during which he bagged a Sao Paolo State Championship and a Brazilian Cup.

23. Paolo Rossi(60) experienced the joy of winning the World Cup with Italy – the nation’s third such triumph – at Spain 1982, where he sensationally scored six goals in seven matches, an achievement that guaranteed him the adidas Golden Ball and adidas Golden Boot. The clinical fox-in-the-box later capped off a wonderful year by picking up the European Footballer of the Year award for 1982. Four years earlier in Argentina, the agile Italian had found the net three times as La Nazionale finished fourth. At Mexico 1986, he was again included in the Italian squad but saw no playing time. At club level, Rossi had his most productive spell at Juventus, with whom he amassed two Serie A crowns, an Italian Cup, a European Cup, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and a European Super Cup. During the 2002/2003 campaign, he finished top scorer in the European Cup. The prolific attacker also pulled on the jerseys of Como, Vicenza, where he clinched a Serie B Championship and topped the division’s scoring charts, Perugia, AC Milan and Hellas Verona.

24. Anders Limpar(51) competed for Sweden at two consecutive World Cups, at Italy 1990 and USA 1994, where the Blågult claimed a surprise third-place finish. The exciting midfielder also participated in EURO 1992 and the 1998 Olympic Football Tournament in Seoul. After starting off in his homeland with Brommapojkarna and Orgryte, he went on to defend the colours of Young Boys (Switzerland), Cremonese (Italy), Arsenal, Everton and Birmingham City (all England), winning a Premier League title and an FA Charity Shield with the Gunners and an FA Cup and a Charity Shield with the Toffees. Limpar later starred for AIK, with whom he secured a Swedish League title and Swedish Cup, and Colorado Rapids. In 1991, he was named Swedish Footballer of the Year.

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