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.
6. Anne Nielsen(41) starred for Denmark at two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments, at Sweden 1995 and China 2007, during which she scored a total of two goals in seven matches. The midfielder also took part in three UEFA European Women’s Championships and in the inaugural Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 1996. At club level, Nielsen donned the jerseys of a number of sides, including Brondby, with whom she won a Danish League title and Danish Cup. In 2003, she was named Danish Player of the Year.
7. Gigi Riva(72) competed for Italy in two FIFA World Cup™ events: Mexico 1970, where he scored three goals in six games and lost to Brazil in the Final, and West Germany 1974, where he made two appearances. In 1968, the iconic forward notched the opener in the final of the UEFA European Championship versus Yugoslavia, helping La Nazionale to become continental champions for the first time. After turning professional at Legnano, Riva joined Cagliari, whom he inspired to promotion from Serie B and then to Serie A glory in 1970, while topping the Italian scoring charts on three occasions.
8. Jaouhar Mnari(40) appeared in three encounters – and scored against Spain – for Tunisia at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the African country’s last appearance on football’s greatest stage. The defensive midfielder was instrumental in Les Aigles de Carthage’s first CAF Africa Cup of Nations success in 2004, which qualified them for the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, during which he played in three matches. The combative Tunisian later participated in the 2006 and 2008 Cup of Nations. Mnari started out at Monastir, before turning out for Tunis-based Esperance, with whom he lifted several national trophies, and for German outfit Nuremberg, where he captured the DFB-Pokal. In 2010, he signed for FSV Frankfurt, where he saw out the remainder of his career.
9. Alessandro Del Piero (42) cemented his status as an Italian football legend by helping LaSquadra Azzurra claim their fourth World Cup at Germany 2006, where he made five appearances, scored a crucial goal in the semi-final, and found the net with his spot-kick during the climactic penalty shoot-out with France in the Final. The gifted deep-lying forward had previously represented Italy at France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002, as well as at four European Championships, reaching the final in 2000. Early in his career, he took part in the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Cup and twice emerged victorious from the UEFA European U-21 Championship. Del Piero started off at Padova, prior to developing into a superstar at Juventus, where he obtained a host of national, European and individual honours. After nearly a decade in Turin, he embarked on a new adventure with Sydney FC, and then with Delhi Dynamos. During his remarkable career, the prolific Italian finished as top goalscorer in Serie A, Serie B and the UEFA Champions League.
10. Andressa Alves(24) played in three matches for Brazil at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, scoring the winning goal against Spain in the group stage. The following year, the attack-minded South American was an ever-present for As Canarinhas at the 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, where she netted against China. Alves had previously showcased her skills at the 2010 and 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups. She put pen to paper with Barcelona this summer, prior to which she had defended the colours of Centro Olimpico, Ferrovaria, San Jose and Montpellier.
11. Georginio Wijnaldum(26)was part of the Netherlands team that reached the semi-finals of Brazil 2014, where he played seven times, including the match for third place against the host nation, during which he scored a well-worked goal. A product of Feyenoord’s youth set-up, the incisive midfielder performed for the senior XI for five seasons, holding aloft the Dutch Cup in 2008. Following a move to PSV Eindhoven that saw him later secure another Dutch Cup and an Eredivisie title, Wijnaldum, the 2015 Dutch Footballer of the Year, tried his luck in the English Premier League, first with Newcastle United and then with current club Liverpool.
12. Adlene Guedioura(31) represented Algeria at South Africa 2010, where he appeared in three games but could not prevent his team from exiting at the group stage. The midfield man also competed in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and is currently involved in Les Fennecs’ qualifying campaign for Russia 2018. He began his career with several lower-league clubs in France, but rose to wider prominence in Belgium with Kortrijk and Sporting Charleroi. Guedioura then packed his bags for England, where he plied his trade with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace and present club Watford.