World Football

Happy Birthday to you!

Melissa Tancredi of Canada waves to the crowd
© Getty Images

In our regular Sunday feature, presents you with some of the biggest names in football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.

27. Melissa Tancredi (34) made a total of ten appearances for Canada at three FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments in a row, in 2007, 2011 and 2015, scoring once. The powerful forward also competed at two Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, where she notched four goals and picked up a bronze medal. In addition, she lifted the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup in 2010 and secured a bronze and gold medal respectively at the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games. At club level, Tancredi has pulled on the jerseys of Detroit Jaguars, Atlanta Silverbacks, Jersey Sky Blue, Saint Louis Athletica, Vancouver Whitecaps, Pitea, Dalsjofors, and current club Chicago Red Stars.

28. Brian Nielsen (47)held aloft the FIFA Confederations Cup in 1995 with Denmark, before starring at the UEFA European Championships of 1996 and 2000, and the 2002 World Cup, where he and his team-mates unexpectedly topped a challenging group containing Senegal, France and Uruguay. The tough-tackling midfielder defended the colours of numerous clubs during his career, including Danish outfits Odense, AB and Aarhus, as well as Fenerbahce (Turkey), Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan) and Malmo (Sweden).

29. Victor Osimhen (17) propelled Nigeria to a memorable triumph at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, scoring ten goals and earning the adidas Golden Boot and adidas Silver Ball awards in the process. A few weeks later, the gangly striker was part of the side that emerged victorious from the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, a result that saw the Nigerians qualify for the 2016 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

30. Khalilou Fadiga (41) helped Senegal reach their first and thus far only World Cup, at Korea/Japan 2002, where the Africans were finally eliminated by Turkey after embarking on an exciting run to the quarter-finals. The midfield man also took part in two consecutive CAF Africa Cup of Nations contests, losing in the final in 2002. After rising to prominence with Club Brugge, where he hoisted the Belgian Cup, he moved to Auxerre, with whom he captured the Coupe de France. Fadiga later played for Inter Milan, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and Gent.

31. Vinicius (38) represented Brazil at the last three FIFA Futsal World Cups, finishing third in 2004 and brandishing the trophy in 2008 and 2012. The midfielder boasts a record of 18 victories and one draw – as well as eight goals – at the global tournament.

1. Abdallah Lamrani (69) played for Morocco against Peru and West Germany at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the first time that the Atlas Lions had appeared on football’s greatest stage. The influential defender, who remained a loyal servant of FAR Rabat throughout his club career, also made five appearances for his country at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

2. Arif Erdem (43) participated in Korea/Japan 2002 with Turkey, where the UEFA representatives finished third in what was just their second-ever World Cup adventure. The free-scoring front man had previously appeared at EURO 1996 and EURO 2000. He is best remembered for the two successful spells he enjoyed with Galatasaray, during which he claimed seven Turkish League titles, five Turkish Cups, three Turkish Super Cups and a UEFA Cup. In 2002, he finished joint top of the Turkish scoring charts. After hanging up his boots, Erdem fulfilled the role of assistant coach at Istanbul BB, prior to taking the reins of the club in his own right in late 2011.

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