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. Jorg Heinrich (46) made five appearances for Germany at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™. The following year, the versatile defender took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup, where the Germans were eliminated at the group stage. After establishing himself at Freiburg, he signed for Borussia Dortmund, with whom he clinched two Bundesliga titles, a UEFA Champions League crown and an Intercontinental Cup. Heinrich also pulled on the jerseys of Fiorentina and Cologne, among others.
7. Delron Buckley (38) participated in South Africa’s first-ever World Cup campaign, at France 1998, during which he starred in two matches, and at Korea/Japan 2002, where he played in just one game. In addition, the pacey winger participated in the 2002 and 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He came through the ranks at German outfit Bochum, where he cemented a spot in the senior side, before defending the colours of Arminia Bielefeld and Borussia Dortmund, who loaned him out to Basel and Mainz. Buckley later turned out for Anorthosis Famagusta (Cyprus), Karlsruhe (Germany), and Maritzburg United (South Africa).
8. Gabriel Gomez (56) helped Colombia to make a long-awaited return to the World Cup stage at Italy 1990, where he was an ever-present in the side up to and including their Round-of-16 defeat at the hands of Cameroon. The central midfielder also appeared in one match at USA 1994. He spent his entire career in his homeland, representing Atletico Nacional, Millonarios, and Independiente Medellin. Gomez landed three Colombian League titles with Nacional and one with Millonarios.
9. Ester (33) played for Brazil at two successive FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments: China 2007, where the South Americans lost to Germany in the Final, and Germany 2011. The defensive midfielder also took part in two Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, at Beijing 2008, where she picked up a silver medal, and at London 2012. At club level, Ester amassed numerous honours at Santos, prior to starring for Rossiyanka, Chelsea Ladies and Cloppenburg.
10. Wilfried Bony (27) inspired Côte d’Ivoire to their second-ever CAF Africa Cup of Nations triumph earlier this year, playing in every match and scoring two goals, in what was his third outing at the continental tournament. The previous year, the sprightly striker had impressed onlookers at Brazil 2014, netting twice in three games. After making his name with Sparta Prague, the clinical Ivoirian joined Vitesse Arnhem, where he topped the Dutch scoring charts and won the Dutch Footballer of the Year award in 2013. A move to Swansea City followed for Bony, as did a high-profile transfer to Manchester City in January 2015.
11. Stig Bjornebye (46) was part of the Norway teams that qualified for USA 1994, where he played in all three of his country’s matches, and for France 1998, where he and his team-mates reached the Round of 16. The solid left-back also participated in UEFA EURO 2000. He rose to prominence with Kongsvinger, but soon signed for Rosenborg, with whom he bagged two Norwegian League titles and a Norwegian Cup. The tireless defender then exported his skills to England, where he lifted the League Cup with Liverpool and with Blackburn Rovers. He also spent time on loan with Brondby in 2000. Having hung up his boots, Bjornebye fulfilled the roles of assistant coach of the Norwegian national side and coach of IK Start.
12. Mohamed Chaouch (46) was a key member of the Morocco squad that travelled to the 1994 World Cup, making two appearances and notching a goal against Saudi Arabia. The attacker also took part in two Africa Cup of Nations contests, finishing third in 1988. He turned professional with Kawkab Marrakech, hoisting the Moroccan Cup and finishing top scorer in the Moroccan League, before trying his hand at French football in the shape of Saint-Etienne, Istres, Metz and Nice, with whom he captured a second division title and a Coupe de France. Chaouch later plied his trade for Laval and APOEL Nicosia.