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.
5. Mitsuo Ogasawara (36) took part in two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments (in 2002 and 2006) and two FIFA Confederations Cups (in 2003 and 2005) with Japan. The diminutive midfielder also lifted the 2004 AFC Asian Cup with the Samurai Blue. As a younger man, he reached the final of the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup versus Spain. Aside from a one-year loan spell with Italian outfit Messina, Ogasawara has spent his entire club career at Kashima Antlers, with whom he has picked up six J. League titles, three Emperor’s Cups, two J. League Cups and the 2009 J-League Player of the Year award.
6. Alexandra Popp (24) competed for Germany in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, where she and her team-mates finished third, prior to holding aloft the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, where she was awarded the adidas Golden Ball and adidas Golden Shoe. The dynamic striker also participated in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™ and the 2008 UEFA U-17 Women’s Championship, where the Germans emerged victorious. The Witten native rose to prominence at Duisburg, where she won two Frauen DFB-Pokal and a UEFA Women’s Cup. In 2012, Popp moved to Wolfsburg, claiming a further UEFA Women’s Cup and a national league and cup double later that season. In 2014, she was named German Women’s Footballer of the Year.
7. Martin Caceres (28) was an ever-present for Uruguay at Brazil 2014, after having previously appeared at South Africa 2010 and at the 2007 U-20 World Cup. Following La Celeste’s Copa America success in 2011, the versatile defender took part in the 2013 Confederations Cup. He started out in his homeland with Defensor, where his performances earned him a transfer to Villarreal. Brief stints followed at Recreativo (on loan) and Barcelona, where he bagged a Liga title, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League crown. Caceres was then sent out on loan again, to Juventus and Sevilla, before signing a permanent deal with Los Rojiblancos. Two seasons later, the Montevideo-born centre-back rejoined La Vecchia Signora, with whom he has since added three Serie A titles and two Italian Super Cups to his CV.
8. Mat Ryan (23) was Australia’s last line of defence at Brazil 2014 and at the 2015 Asian Cup, where the Socceroos triumphed for the first time in their history. To cap off the continental event, the reliable goalkeeper also received the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award. Ryan made his name with Central Coast Mariners, where he enjoyed success in the 2013 A-League Championship, prior to putting pen to paper with Club Brugge, with whom he recently brandished the Belgian Cup.
9. Mircea Rednic (53) represented Romania at the 1990 World Cup, UEFA EURO 1984, and the 1981 U-20 World Cup, where he finished third. The talented defender starred for Dinamo Bucharest, where he won two Romanian Championships and three Romanian Cups, before packing his bags for Bursaspor and then Standard Liege, where he hoisted the Belgian Cup. After a short spell at Sint-Truidense, he returned home to ply his trade for Rapid Bucharest, with whom he earned winners’ medals in the Romanian League, Cup and Super Cup. A move into coaching saw Rednic take charge of Rapid and then Dinamo, both of whom he guided to Romanian League victories. Currently coach of Petrolul Ploiesti, the nomadic Romanian has also held the reins of Khazar Lankaran, where he won an Azerbaijani Premier League title, Alania Vladikavkaz, Cluj, Standard Liege and Gent, among others.
10. Roberto Carlos (42) is regarded as one of Brazil’s greatest ever left-backs, having played at France 1998, where he reached the World Cup Final, at Korea/Japan 2002, where he lifted the prestigious trophy, and at Germany 2006. His other international honours include the 1997 Confederations Cup and two Copa America crowns (in 1997 and 1999), plus a runners-up medal from the 1991 U-20 World Cup and a bronze medal from the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament. The dead-ball specialist turned professional at Uniao Sao Joao, but it was at Palmeiras that he truly began to stand out from the crowd, securing two Brazilian League titles and two Sao Paulo State Championships. Following a year at Inter Milan, he established himself at Real Madrid, triumphing in two Liga campaigns, three Spanish Super Cups, three Champions Leagues, two Intercontinental Cups and a UEFA Super Cup. Eleven seasons later, Carlos tried his luck with Fenerbahce, where he prevailed in two Turkish Super Cups. Short-lived stints at Corinthians and Anzhi Makhachkala ensued, before he decided to hang up his boots at the end of 2012. Having first taken the helm at Turkish outfit Sivasspor, he currently fulfils the role of coach at fellow Super Lig side Akhisar Belediyespor.
11. Lee Keunho (30) was part of the Korea Republic XI that competed at Brazil 2014, where he scored a memorable goal against Russia during the group stage. The pacey forward also defended his nation’s colours at two Asian Cups, finishing third in 2007 and second in 2015, and at the 2008 Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing. He initially pulled on the jerseys of Incheon United and Daegu, before exporting his goalscoring skills to Japan, where he starred for Jubilo Iwata and Gamba Osaka. After returning to Korea, the sprightly attacker joined Ulsan Hyundai, with whom he peaked in 2012, prevailing in the AFC Champions League final, taking part in the FIFA Club World Cup and winning the Asian Footballer of the Year award. During a subsequent loan spell with Sangju Sangmu, he obtained a Korean League winners’ medal and finished as the top division’s leading scorer. At the start of this current season, Keunho signed for Qatari side El Jaish.