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.
25. Doris Fitschen (47) competed for Germany at the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ 1991, and then again at USA 1999 eight years later. Additionally, the composed sweeper took part in the first two Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments – Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 – and in six UEFA Women’s Championships, emerging victorious from no fewer than five of them. At club level, the highly respected German pulled on the jerseys of Wolfsburg, Siegen, FFC Frankfurt and Philadelphia Charge.
26. Erik Jendrisek (29) represented Slovakia at their very first FIFA World Cup™ outing at South Africa 2010 where he played in three matches including his nation’s Round of 16 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands. The pacey forward started out at Slovakian outfit Ruzomberok, with whom he won a league and cup double and topped the national scoring charts, but subsequently moved to Germany, where he starred for Hannover and Kaiserslautern, earning a second division winners’ medal with the latter club. Jendrisek later turned out for Schalke, Freiburg, Energie Cottbus, Spartak Trnava and current side Cracovia.
27. Kurt Zouma (21) is well on his way to developing into one of Europe’s top defenders, having previously gained solid international experience with France at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he and his team-mates lifted the trophy. A product of Saint-Etienne’s youth set-up, the powerful defender captured a French League Cup with Les Verts, prior to signing for Chelsea in 2014. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge, Zouma has added an English Premier League title and an English League Cup to his CV.
28. Frank Vercauteren (59) made a total of eleven appearances for Belgium at Spain 1982 and Mexico 1986, where Les Diables Rouges lost to Argentina in the semi-finals and eventually finished fourth. He also played at UEFA EURO 1984. The effective left winger was a key component of Anderlecht’s all-conquering teams of the 1970s and 80s, during which time he secured four Belgian League crowns, two Belgian Cups, two Belgian Super Cups, two European Cup Winners’ Cups, a UEFA Cup, two European Super Cups and a Belgian Footballer of the Year award. The Belgian wide man later represented Nantes and Molenbeek. After moving into coaching, he took the reins of Anderlecht, leading his charges to two Belgian Championships and two Belgian Super Cups. Vercauteren also took charge of the Belgian national side, Genk, where he won another national league title and Super Cup, Al-Jazira (UAE), Sporting Lisbon and Mechelen. In 2014, he was appointed coach of Krylia Sovetov, and inspired his players to the Russian second division title soon after.
29. Alvaro Gonzalez (31) contributed to Uruguay’s 2011 Copa America triumph, the first time since 1995 that La Celeste had claimed the continental crown. The consistent midfielder also participated in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, finishing fourth, in Brazil 2014, and in the 2015 Copa America in Chile. He began his career with Defensor, but enjoyed greater success at Boca Juniors, where he landed an Argentinian League title and a Recopa Sudamericana, and reached the final of the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup. Following a season at Nacional, Gonzalez exported his skills outside South America to Lazio, with whom he brandished the Coppa Italia. This year, the Uruguayan international has twice been sent out on loan, first to Torino and then to Atlas.
30. Umit Ozat (39) was part of the Turkish XI that made a huge impact at Korea/Japan 2002, securing a surprise third place. The versatile full-back had previously played a key role in the successful qualifying campaign for the prestigious tournament. He turned professional with Genclerbirligi, where he hoisted the Turkish Cup. After a loan stint at Bursaspor, he joined Fenerbahce, with whom he bagged three Turkish League titles. Ozat also spent two seasons with Cologne, where he brought the curtain down on his career. A move into coaching saw the Ankara native take the helm at Ankaragucu, Manisaspor, Elazigspor and Samsunspor.
31. Denis Irwin (50) appeared for Ireland at USA 1994. The solid full-back enjoyed a long and successful club career in English football, defending the colours of Leeds United, Oldham Athletic and Manchester United, where he amassed seven English Premier League titles, three FA Cups, an English League Cup, four FA Charity Shields, a UEFA Champions League crown, a UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup. In 2000, the tireless Irishman took part in the inaugural Club World Cup. In 2002, Irwin put pen to paper with Wolverhampton Wanderers, later helping his new employers to regain promotion to the Premier League.