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.
Fernando Baiano (33) has journeyed all over the world in a career spanning over ten years. After starting off in his native Brazil with Corinthians, where the striker finished as top scorer in the Copa Libertadores and lifted the Campeonato Brasileiro, he signed for Internacional and then Flamengo before moving across the Atlantic to Wolfsburg. Baiano failed to impress in Germany and returned to Brazil with Sao Caetano, before moving back to Europe with Spanish sides Malaga, Celta Vigo and Murcia. A loan move to United Arab Emirates outfit Al Jazira followed, where he finished as the league’s top scorer. Baiano’s goalscoring form was soon noticed by neighbouring team Al Wahda, who signed him in 2009. In Abu Dhabi, he has lifted the UAE League and Super Cup. Internationally, the forward participated at the inaugural FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 with Corinthians and at the FIFA World Youth Championships Nigeria 1999.
Kolo Toure (31) played an integral part in the qualification of Cote d’Ivoire for two consecutive FIFA World Cups™, at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010. The centre-back has also led the Elephants to five CAF Africa Cups Of Nations, finishing as runner-up in 2006 and 2012. Starting his career in Abidjan with ASEC Mimosas, he was snapped up by Arsenal in 2002 and won the FA Cup in his first full season at the club. He went on to win two Community Shields, one Premier League and the Gunners’ last piece of silverware, the 2005 FA Cup. The defender was part of the Arsenal side that lost the 2006 UEFA Champions League final to Spanish giants Barcelona. In 2009, Toure moved to Manchester City, becoming club captain soon after. In his second season with the Citizens, the influential Ivorian lifted the FA Cup and will be hoping to win his second Premier League title, with City currently lying second.
Fernando Torres (28) scored the winning goal in the UEFA EURO 2008 final to hand Spain the title before lifting the FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010, where he took part in every game. The goalscorer also netted three goals in four games at Germany 2006 and participated with La Roja at EURO 2004 and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, where Spain finished third. He first came to prominence at Atletico Madrid, where he emerged as a clinical finisher, before being lured to Liverpool by then-manager Rafael Benitez. In 142 games with the Reds, El Nino scored an impressive 81 goals, and finished as runner-up in the 2008/09 Premier League. In January 2011, an out-of-form Torres completed a shock £50million transfer to Chelsea. However, the Spaniard has so far been short of goals with the Blues, scoring five times in 51 games in West London.
Ronaldinho (32) was among the best players of his generation. With A Selecao, the creative midfielder lifted the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002, the 1999 Copa America and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2005 and 2009. Rising through the ranks of Gremio, he won two regional cups before signing for French side Paris Saint-Germain. In the French capital, the Brazilian won a UEFA Intertoto Cup before a high-profile transfer to Barcelona, where he would reach international fame. In Catalonia, the talented goalscorer lifted two La Liga titles, two Spanish Super Cups and a UEFA Champions League in 2006. However, he then lost his place in the starting line-up for the Blaugrana and moved to AC Milan. In north-west Italy he formed a formidable attacking trio with Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic and countryman Robinho, which brought the red-and-white of Milan a Serie A title in 2011. Ronaldinho then moved back to Brazil with Flamengo, where he has lifted the Campeonato Carioca. The gifted playmaker has won two FIFA World Player Of The Year awards, two FIFPro World Player Of The Year awards and the Golden Ball and Shoe at the FIFA Confederations Cup 1999.
Ahmed Al-Tarabulsi (65) was Kuwait’s goalkeeper during their historic appearance at the FIFA World Cup Spain 1982 and their Gulf Cup-winning years of the 1970s. The stopper played for Al Nijmeh in Lebanon as well as Qadissiyah and Al Kuwait in his homeland, receiving a number of individual distinctions for his excellent keeping along the way. Al-Tarabulsi is recognised as one of Kuwait’s greatest ever players.
Isaac Chansa (28) has had the best possible start to the year, lifting the CAF Africa Cup Of Nations 2012 with Zambia in February. The midfielder appeared in all of the Copper Bullets’ games and scored his penalty in the shoot-out in the final, at his fourth participation in Africa’s continental tournament. His career began with Power Dynamos in his homeland, before a transfer to Orlando Pirates in South Africa introduced him to professional football. Chansa had a short spell with Swedish outfit Helsingborgs, before returning to the Pirates in the significantly warmer climate of southern Africa.
Christophe Dugarry (40) was part of the French side that won three major international competitions: the FIFA World Cup, at France 1998, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2001 and EURO 2000. Dugarry also participated at Korea/Japan 2002, where Les Bleus failed to qualify from the group stage. The striker started his career with Bordeaux, where he lifted the Coupe de la Ligue and reached the final of the UEFA Cup only to lose to Bayern Munich. After a brief spell with AC Milan, he joined Barcelona. Marseille was next for the elegant forward, before he rejoined his beloved Bordeaux. The Frenchman then moved across the English Channel to Birmingham City, and scored some vital goals to keep the Blues in the Premier League, before signing for Qatar SC, where he finally hung up his boots.