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.
24. Saad Al-Hutti (61) made history by captaining Kuwait at the 1982 FIFA World Cup Spain™, which remains the diminutive nation’s only appearance on football’s greatest stage. In addition, he propelled Al Azraq to glory at the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, four years after losing in the final versus Iran. The influential midfielder also lifted three Gulf Cups and reached the quarter-finals of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in 1980. At club level, Al-Hutti starred for Kuwait SC for the entirety of his career, during which he captured four Kuwaiti Premier League titles and four Kuwait Emir Cups.
25. Eder (52) was part of one of Brazil’s most talented footballing generations, taking part in five matches at Spain 1982 and scoring two goals, one of which – the winner against the USSR – will last long in the memories of those who witnessed it. The gifted striker defended the colours of many different clubs during his nomadic career, including Santos, Atletico Paranaense, Palmeiras, Botafogo and Fenerbahce. He got his hands of silverware with three clubs: Atletico Mineiro (seven Minas Gerais State Championships), Gremio (two Rio Grande do Sul State Championships) and Cruzeiro (one Brazilian Cup).
26. Nenad Stojkovic (59) competed at Spain 1982 and UEFA EURO 1984 with Yugoslavia, having previously triumphed at the 1978 UEFA European U-21 Championship. The composed defender started out at Partizan Belgrade, where he won three Yugoslav First League titles, before joining Monaco, with whom he held aloft the Coupe de France and the Trophee des champions. Stojkovic subsequently helped Montpellier to regain their place in France’s top flight as second division champions, a feat he remarkably repeated with Mulhouse. After a spell with Nancy, the 1978 Yugoslav Footballer of the Year saw out the remainder of his playing days with Amiens.
27. Mile Sterjovski (36) represented Australia at Germany 2006 and at two FIFA Confederations Cups, finishing third in 2001. He also appeared at the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2007 Asian Cup, and brandished the OFC Nations Cup in 2004. The versatile winger rose to European prominence at Lille and then Basel, bagging a Swiss Super League crown and a Swiss Cup with the latter outfit. Sterjovski also turned out for Hacettepe (Turkey), Dalian (China) and Derby County (England), as well as Australian sides Perth Glory, Parramatta Power, Sydney United and Central Coast Mariners, with whom he clinched the 2013 A-League Championship.
28. Frantisek Straka (64) participated in Italy 1990 with Czechoslovakia. The commanding defender made his name at Sparta Prague, where he scooped four Czechoslovakian First League Championships and three Czechoslovak Cups, prior to exporting his defensive nous to Germany, where he pulled on the jerseys of Borussia Monchengladbach and Hansa Rostock. After hanging up his boots, Straka moved into coaching, taking charge of, among others, Sparta Prague, the Czech national team, Slavia Prague and Slovan Bratislava, whom he steered to a Slovak Super Cup in 2014.
29. Tobin Heath (27) was a member of the various American teams that finished fourth at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, emerged victorious from the 2008 Women’s Olympic Tournament, and lost the Final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™. The skilful midfielder made up for that dispiriting defeat at the hands of Japan by earning another gold medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012. She has also ended up on the winning side at no fewer than four Algarve Cups. Heath, who has played for Portland Thorns since 2013, previously plied her trade for Atlanta Beat, Sky Blue, New York Fury and Paris Saint-Germain.
30. Steven Gerrard (35) appeared at three World Cups (12 matches, three goals) with England before announcing the end of his 14-year international career: Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. The dynamic midfield man also starred at three European Championships, in 2000, 2004 and 2012. A product of Liverpool’s youth academy, he made his first team debut in 1998, and would remain loyal to the Reds until the end of the 2014/2015 season, when he decided to try his luck in MLS with LA Galaxy. During that lengthy period the well-rounded box-to-box midfielder – named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year in 2005 and FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009 – provided the grateful Anfield faithful with numerous trophy-winning moments, including an incredible UEFA Champions League triumph over AC Milan in 2005, a UEFA Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, two FA Cups, three English League Cups and an FA Community Shield.