Happy Birthday to you!

Former German national goalkeeper Jens Lehmann poses for photographers during the presentation of his book 'Der Wahnsinn liegt auf dem Platz'
© Getty Images

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.

10. Jens Lehmann(44) was Germany’s last line of defence during the 1999 and 2005 FIFA Confederations Cups, as well as at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, where he earned a third-place finish. The charismatic goalkeeper also played at UEFA EURO 2008, announcing his international retirement in the wake of Die Nationalelf’s defeat by Spain in the final. At club level, he started out with Schalke, with whom he lifted the UEFA Cup. After half a season at AC Milan, he signed for Borussia Dortmund, where he secured the Bundesliga title and reached another UEFA Cup final. Lehmann was then transferred to Arsenal, where he enjoyed great success, winning the English Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield, and reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League, a match the Gunners lost to Barcelona. Following a two-year stint at Stuttgart, the German shot-stopper decided to hang up his boots, but briefly came out of retirement to again help out Arsenal, who were going through a goalkeeping injury crisis at the time.

11. Arouna Kone(30) helped Côte d'Ivoire to qualify for the World Cup for the very first time, at Germany 2006. At the tournament proper, the clinical striker played in all three of his nation’s matches. He has also appeared at three CAF Africa Cup of Nations competitions, reaching the final in 2006. The Ivorian forward turned professional at Anyama-based Rio Sport, where his clear potential was enough for Belgian side Lierse to make a move for him. After two subsequent seasons with Roda, he put pen to paper with PSV Eindhoven, where he rose to wider prominence, claiming two Dutch Championships. Spells with Sevilla, Hannover and Levante followed, before he joined Wigan Athletic, with whom he held aloft the FA Cup last campaign. Kone committed himself to Everton over the summer.

12. Benni McCarthy(36) played a key role in South Africa’s maiden World Cup campaign in 1998, and also took part in their subsequent adventure, at Korea/Japan 2002. The prolific striker found the net at both tournaments. He competed in three consecutive Cup of Nations contests, earning a runners-up medal and joint top goalscorer accolade in 1998. He also played at the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney. McCarthy made his name at Ajax, collecting a Dutch League title and two Dutch Cups, before moving south to represent Celta Vigo, with whom he triumphed in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, and then Porto, where he landed two Portuguese Championships, a Portuguese Cup, two Portuguese Super Cups, a UEFA Champions League crown and an Intercontinental Cup. The South African marksman then tried his luck in England, pulling on the jerseys of Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, prior to returning to his homeland, where he clinched the league and three different national cups with Orlando Pirates.

13. Alex Feneridis(24) has earned winners’ medals in the last four OFC Champions League finals with Auckland City, successes that have enabled him to take part in three FIFA Club World Cups (in 2009, 2011 and 2012). The midfielder is currently preparing to make it four Club World Cups at the 2013 edition of the tournament, due to be held in Morocco. In his seven years with Auckland, he has won two national championships. On the international stage, Feneridis appeared at the Olympic Football Tournament in 2012.

14. Lisa De Vanna(29) represented Australia at the last two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ contests, at China 2007 and Germany 2011. On both occasions, her team reached the quarter-finals. The skilful striker also played at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and hoisted the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2010. De Vanna has defended the colours of a host of clubs during her career, including Adelaide Sensation, Western Waves, Perth Glory, Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar, with whom she sealed the Australian W-League title. She also plied her trade abroad, in Sweden with AIK and Linkoping, in England with Doncaster Rovers Belles, and in the USA with Washington Freedom, magicJack and Sky Blue. The Australian international currently stars for Melbourne Victory.

15. Anton Shkarin(31) was part of the Russia side that captured the last two Beach Soccer World Cups, at Italy 2011 and Tahiti 2013. The solid defender also participated in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 events, amassing 22 appearances and six goals.

16. Adel Sellimi(41) made a significant contribution to Tunisia’s France 1998 and Korea/Japan 2002 campaigns, as well as the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament and three Cup of Nations competitions, Tunisia 1994, South Africa 1996, where the Eagles of Carthage reached the final, and Ghana/Nigeria 2000. The pacey attacker made his name at Club Africain, with whom he got his hands on the Tunisian Cup, the CAF Champions League title and the Afro-Asian Cup. He then exported his goalscoring skills abroad, first to Nantes, and then to Real Jaen. He enjoyed a productive spell with German outfit Freiburg, before seeing out the remainder of his career with former employers Club Africain. A move into coaching saw him steer Jendouba back to the Tunisian top flight, take the reins of the Tunisian U-20 team and fulfil the role of assistant coach at Club Africain. He recently joined the backroom staff of the senior Tunisian national team, first under Nabil Maaloul, and then Ruud Krol.      

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