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.
1. Juan (36) played in all of Brazil’s matches at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, scoring a goal in the South African edition against Chile. The solid centre-back also appeared at the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and three FIFA Confederations Cups, lifting the trophy in 2005 and 2009. He has enjoyed continental success as well, winning the Copa America twice, in 2004 and 2007. The Rio de Janeiro native started out at Flamengo, where he claimed three Campeonato Carioca titles and a Copa Mercosur. His performances piqued the interest of Bayer Leverkusen, who acquired his signature in 2002. After five seasons with the German club, Juan moved to Roma, with whom he hoisted the Italian Cup and Super Cup. In 2012, he returned to Brazil to don the colours of Porto Alegre-based Internacional.
2. Ivan Perisic (26) was part of the Croatia team that returned to the World Cup stage in 2014. Having contributed to their successful qualifying campaign, the pacey winger starred in all three of his country’s group matches in Brazil, even finding the net against Cameroon and Mexico. After beginning his career with French outfit Sochaux, he was loaned out to modest Belgian side Roeselare, where he attracted the interest of Club Brugge. Joining the Blauw-Zwart proved a productive move for Perisic, who finished top scorer in the Belgian League and was named Belgian Player of the Year for season 2010/11. He was subsequently transferred to Borussia Dortmund, where he secured a Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double. In January 2013, the Split-born wide man put pen to paper with current club Wolfsburg.
3. Jalal Hosseini (33) took part in Brazil 2014 with Iran, making three appearances. The imposing defender also appeared at three AFC Asian Cups, in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Hosseini turned professional at Malavan, prior to signing for Saipa, where he earned an Iranian League winners’ medal. A move to Sepahan saw the reliable centre-half add three more league titles to his CV. Two seasons at Persepolis followed, as did a one-year contract with Qatari giants Al-Ahli.
4. Mauricio Pinilla (31) represented Chile at the 2014 World Cup, where he took part in three matches, having participated in 15 games during the CONMEBOL qualifiers. The nomadic striker has pulled on the jerseys of numerous clubs during his career, including Universidad de Chile, Chievo, Celta Vigo, Sporting Lisbon, Hearts, Apollon Limassol, Vasco da Gama, Palermo, Cagliari, Genoa and Atalanta.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo (30) has enjoyed an extraordinary year, despite Portugal’s group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup, where he only managed to hit the back of the net once. His season with Real Madrid was historic, however, as Los Blancos captured their tenth UEFA Champions League/European Cup crown, inspired by the superstar forward’s 17 goals, a total that topped the tournament’s scoring charts once again. The Portuguese attacker held aloft three other team trophies with Madrid last year, namely the Copa del Rey (his second), the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. To cap off an outstanding twelve months for the two-time Liga leading goalscorer, he was recently awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or, the third of his career. A product of Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy, Ronaldo bagged a Portuguese Championship, Cup and Super Cup with Os Leões before exporting his skills to Manchester United, where he won three English Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two English League Cups, an FA Community Shield, a Champions League title and a Club World Cup. Those successes paved the way for his high-profile 2009 transfer to Madrid, where he has since scooped – aside from those trophies already mentioned – a Liga title and a Spanish Super Cup. At international level, the highly talented Madeiran has competed at three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014) and three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012).
6. Carlos Sanchez (29) recently achieved his lifelong dream of performing in the World Cup with Colombia, playing an active part in all of Los Cafeteros’ encounters in Brazil. After playing in the 2011 Copa America, the composed defensive midfielder will likely be hopeful of representing his nation at the next edition of the continental event, which takes place this summer. He kicked off his career with two Montevideo-based teams, Danubio and River Plate, but later packed his bags for European football – and French side Valenciennes in particular – in 2007. Following a subsequent spell with Spanish outfit Elche, Sanchez committed himself to Aston Villa in August 2014.
7. Gabriel Calderon (55) was part of the Argentinian golden generation that, spearheaded by Diego Maradona, prevailed at the 1979 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The incisive midfielder then participated in the senior World Cup, at Spain 1982, but missed out on the glories of Mexico 1986. He was brought back into the fold again in 1990, helping his team-mates to reach the Final versus West Germany. At club level, he rose to prominence in his homeland, impressing for Racing Club, Lanus and Independiente. The South American then tried his luck in Europe, defending the colours of Real Betis, Paris Saint-Germain, Sion, where he landed a Swiss League Championship and a Swiss Cup, Caen and Lausanne. Calderon moved into coaching once his playing days were over, taking the reins of the national teams of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, as well as several club sides, including Al-Ittihad, whose players he inspired to a Saudi Premier League title, and Al-Hilal, where he repeated that feat and added a Crown Prince Cup for good measure. The Argentinian tactician has also spent time in charge of Caen, Lausanne, Real Betis, and Emirati teams Baniyas and Al-Wasl, his present employers.