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.
4. Toni Kroos (24) was a key component in the Germany XI that lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, where he was rated the tournament’s best player by the Castrol Performance Index. The dynamic midfielder had previously starred at South Africa 2010 and the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He has also become accustomed to success at club level, as demonstrated by the three German Bundesliga titles, three German Cups, two German Super Cups, German League Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Champions League title and UEFA Super Cup he landed during his time with Bayern Munich. Since signing for Real Madrid in the summer of 2014, Kroos has added a second Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup to his footballing CV.
5. Wei Haiying (43) competed for China at the first two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ events, reaching the quarter-finals on home soil in 1991 and finishing fourth at Sweden 1995. In addition, she claimed a silver medal at the inaugural Olympic Women’s Football Tournament in Atlanta in 1996.
6. Ahmed Madani (44) helped Saudi Arabia to qualify for their first-ever World Cup at USA 1994, where the Green Falcons reached the Round of 16 courtesy of two victories during the group stage. The solid defender also took part in the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA U-20 World Cups of 1987 and 1989, and secured two Asian Cup crowns and a Gulf Cup of Nations. Madani remained a loyal servant of Jeddah-based Al-Ittihad, with whom he bagged three Saudi Premier League titles, two Crown Prince Cups, a King’s Cup, an Asian Cup Winners’ Cup and a Gulf Club Champions Cup.
7. Julen Guerrero (40) represented Spain at USA 1994, France 1998, UEFA EURO 1996 and the 1994 UEFA European U-21 Championship, where he finished third. A product of Athletic Bilbao’s youth set-up, the talented attacking midfielder promptly established himself in the senior side and went on to defend the club’s colours for no fewer than 14 seasons. Guerrero was named Spanish Player of the Year in 1994.
8. Lee Jungsoo (34) reached the Round of 16 at South Africa 2010 with Korea Republic, and then clinched third place at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. The imposing centre-back started out at FC Seoul, before moving to Incheon United and Suwon Bluewings, with whom he won the K League title and the Korean League Cup. He then exported his defensive skills to Japan, where he pulled on the jerseys of Kyoto Sanga and Kashima Antlers, hoisting the Japanese Super Cup with the latter club. The Korean international subsequently put pen to paper with Qatari outfit Al-Sadd, scooping an AFC Champions League title, a national championship, an Emir of Qatar Cup and a Sheikh Jassem Cup. He also appeared at the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, where the Qataris finished third.
9. Jonathan Tehau (26) scored Tahiti’s first-ever goal in a major FIFA-run competition, namely the 2013 Confederations Cup. His header against Nigeria was the islanders’ only goal of the tournament, at which they earned their berth by unexpectedly emerging victorious from the 2012 OFC Nations Cup.
10. Tim Payne (20) rose to prominence at the 2011 U-17 World Cup, the U-20 World Cups of 2011 and 2013, and the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, where he confirmed his status of rising star of the New Zealand football scene. Unfortunately, a senior World Cup play-off defeat by Mexico put paid to the attacking midfielder’s chances of showcasing his skills at Brazil 2014. Payne began his career at Auckland City, prior to spending two seasons with Waitakere United. In 2012, he agreed terms with Blackburn Rovers, but returned to Auckland two years later, propelling the team to a creditable third place at the Club World Cup in December 2014.