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.
3. Ezequiel Lavezzi (30) was part of the Argentina side that reached the Final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, making six appearances. The attack-minded South American had previously won a gold medal at the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Beijing. He made his name at San Lorenzo, where he claimed a Clausura Championship, prior to exporting his skills to Napoli, where he lifted the Italian Cup. In 2012, Lavezzi moved to Paris Saint-Germain, and has since added two Ligue 1 titles, two French League Cups and two Trophees des Champions to his CV.
4. Malin Andersson (42) represented Sweden at three FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments (in 1995, 1999 and 2003), scoring three goals across a total of 14 matches and attaining the final versus Germany in 2003. The incisive midfielder also starred at three Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments (in 1996, 2000 and 2004) and four UEFA European Women’s Championships.
5. Raul Jimenez (24) played in one match for Mexico at Brazil 2014, and in three games at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. In 2012, the dynamic striker earned a gold medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in London, where El Tri defeated Brazil in the final. The Tepeji native began his career with Club America, with whom he bagged a Mexican League winners’ medal, but opted to sign for Atletico Madrid at the start of this current season. Jimenez has already captured a major honour with his new club, hoisting the Spanish Super Cup shortly after his arrival.
6. Dani Alves (32) helped the host nation reach the semi-finals of Brazil 2014, having previously contributed to the successful Confederations Cup campaigns of 2009 and 2013. In addition, he and his team-mates emerged victorious from the 2003 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2007 Copa America. At club level, the energetic full-back turned professional at Bahia, claiming a Campeonato Baiano and piquing the interest of Spanish heavyweights Sevilla, who secured his signature in 2002. After six successful seasons at Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, during which time he held aloft a Copa del Rey, a Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Cups and a UEFA Super Cup, he committed himself to Barcelona. Since arriving in Catalonia, Alves has amassed two UEFA Champions League crowns, two UEFA Super Cups, four Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, four Spanish Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.
7. Sydney Leroux (25) competed for United States at three FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups in a row, brandishing the trophy in 2008. The talented striker picked up an Olympic gold medal at London 2012, and was recently named in the American squad bound for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Leroux has turned out for Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders, Boston Breakers, Seattle Reign and current employers Western New York Flash during her club career.
8. Andrea Barzagli (34) appeared at two World Cups with Italy, triumphing in 2006 and suffering a disappointing group-stage exit in 2014. The powerful defender also took part in the 2013 Confederations Cup, where La Nazionale finished third, and in two UEFA European Championships, reaching the final in 2012. As a younger man, he enjoyed success at the 2004 UEFA European U-21 Championship and finished third at the Olympic Football Tournament that same year. The composed centre-back started out at Rondinella, before pulling on the jerseys of Ascoli, Chievo and Palermo. In 2008, he joined Wolfsburg, where he clinched the Bundesliga title and attracted the attention of Juventus. Thus far, Barzagli has won three Serie A crowns and two Italian Super Cups with the Turin side, and could add a fourth league title and a Coppa Italia in the coming weeks.
9. Marek Jankulovski (38) donned the colours of the Czech Republic at the 2006 World Cup, the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament and the 2000 European U-21 Championship. He also represented Czechoslovakia at the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The versatile left-back turned professional at Banik Ostrava, but it was at Napoli and Udinese that he later rose to wider prominence. Until putting pen to paper with AC Milan in 2005, he had not yet got his hands on any silverware, but he made up for that with I Rossoneri in the shape of a Serie A Championship, a Champions League title, a UEFA Super Cup, a Club World Cup and a Czech Footballer of the Year award (in 2007). Jankulovski subsequently moved back to Banik Ostrava, where he saw out the remainder of his career.