In our regular Sunday feature, we bring you the names of some of the best-known figures on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.


25 In 1994, Oleg Salenko starred at the FIFA World Cup™ in the USA. The former Russian goal-getter turns 40 on Sunday. After a long playing career including spells with Valencia and Rangers, he hung up his boots for good in 2001. It is a special day too for Shaun Wright-Phillips, as the England international is 28 today.

26 Italian championship winner Christian Chivu will be 29 on Monday. The Romanian defender joined UEFA Champions League hopefuls Inter Milan in 2007 and was a member of his national squad at last year's UEFA Euro 2008.

27 He won the FIFA World Cup with France in 1998, and on Tuesday he celebrates his 39th birthday: Alain Boghossian also appeared for Les Bleus at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. In Turkey, the nation's number one goalkeeper Volkan Demirel (28) also tears off the gift-wrapping today.

28 Two ruthless goal poachers celebrate birthdays today. Czech striker Milan Baros, currently banging them in for Galatasaray in the Turkish Super League, will be 28. Peru and Schalke sharp-shooter Jefferson Farfan will doubtless accept his team-mates' congratulations on his 25th birthday.

29 Two men hailed as world-class midfielders will enjoy their big day on Thursday, namely French schemer Robert Pires (36) and Netherlands stalwart Phillip Cocu (39). The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner still turns out for Villarreal in Spain's La Liga, whereas Cocu ended his playing career in 2008 and took up the job of assistant coach at PSV Eindhoven in February this year.

30 The most famous of our birthday boys this week is Argentina coach and 1986 FIFA World Cup winner Diego Maradona, who is 49 today. La Albiceleste handed their coach the best-possible early birthday present in mid-October by finally sealing a berth in South Africa next summer. That is where Portugal regular Simao (30) would also like to go, although there are next month's play-offs against Bosnia Herzegovina to negotiate first.

31 A day after Argentinian icon Maradona, it is Brazil coach Dunga (46) who will be blowing out the candles. A three-time FIFA World Cup participant, his playing career included spells in Italy and Germany.