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.
7. Pizzi (47) was part of the Spain squads that competed at UEFA EURO 1996 and at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™. Born in Argentina, the clinical attacker began his career with Rosario Central, before trying his luck in Mexico with Deportivo Toluca. A move to Europe saw him put pen to paper with Tenerife, where he topped the Liga scoring charts, and then Barcelona, where he collected a Liga title, two Spanish Cups, a Spanish Super Cup, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Super Cup. The Santa Fe native proceeded to return to Argentina, turning out for River Plate and for Rosario once again. After a spell at Porto and a third stint with Rosario, he ended his playing days while at Villareal. Pizzi subsequently moved into coaching, taking charge of Colon (Argentina), Santiago Morning (Chile) and Universidad Catolica (Chile), where his charges won the Chilean Championship. He later took charge of Rosario, San Lorenzo, where he guided his players to the Argentinian title, Valencia and current club Leon.
8. Maxi Pereira (31) represented Uruguay at South Africa 2010, where he reached the semi-finals, and at Brazil 2014. The energetic right-back also finished fourth at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and hoisted the 2011 Copa America. After starting out at Defensor, Pereira joined Benfica in 2007, later clinching three Portuguese League titles, a Portuguese Cup and six Portuguese League Cups, and reaching two successive UEFA Europa League finals.
9. Miroslav Klose (37) played a key role in Germany’s World Cup triumph in Brazil last summer, becoming the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer prior to his international retirement. The prolific striker had previously starred at Korea/Japan 2002, where he reached the Final and was the tournament’s second-top scorer, at Germany 2006, where he and his team-mates finished third but he still won the adidas Golden Shoe, and at South Africa 2010, where Die Nationalelf again secured third place. He also competed at three UEFA European Championships, in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Klose rose to prominence at Kaiserslautern, where his performances piqued the interest of Werder Bremen, who obtained his signature in 2004. After lifting the German League Cup and finishing top scorer in the Bundesliga, he moved to Bayern Munich, with whom he captured two Bundesliga crowns, two German Cups, a German League Cup and a German Super Cup. In 2011, he signed for Lazio, lifting the Coppa Italia two campaigns later. This season just past, the evergreen German helped the Rome-based side to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and attain the final of the Coppa Italia versus Juventus.
10. Vasileios Torosidis (30) donned the colours of Greece at the 2010 World Cup, during which he notched the goal that delivered his country’s first-ever win – against Nigeria – on football’s greatest stage. The right-footed jack-of-all-trades also appeared at Brazil 2014, where the Greeks reached the knockout stage for the first time, only to lose on penalties to Costa Rica. In addition, he took part in the 2008 and 2012 European Championships. At club level, Torosidis came through the ranks at Skoda Xanthi, prior to flourishing at Olympiacos, with whom he bagged six Greek League titles, four Greek Cups and a Greek Super Cup. Seven productive seasons later, he signed for Roma in 2013.
11. Mohamed Abdeljawad (53) is a living legend of Saudi Arabian football, holding aloft two Asian Cups (in 1984 and 1988), participating in the 1984 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Los Angeles, and propelling the Green Falcons to the 1994 World Cup, their first appearance at that level. At the tournament proper in the United States, the Saudis unexpectedly advanced to the Round of 16. Abdeljawad was also one of Al-Ahli’s top players for 15 years, during which time the loyal servant earned winners’ medals in two Saudi Premier League campaigns, four Saudi King Cup finals and one Gulf Club Champions Cup final.
12. Victor Ikpeba (42) took part in Nigeria’s maiden World Cup campaign, at USA 1994, where the Super Eagles managed to reach the Round of 16. The skilful forward also played at the 1989 FIFA U-17 World Cup, at the 1996 Olympic Football Tournament, where the Nigerians won the gold medal, at France 1998, and at four CAF Africa Cup of Nations contests, prevailing at one and reaching the final at another. Ikpeba made his name at RFC Liege, where he brandished the Belgian Cup and earned a move to Monaco, with whom he added a French League crown to his CV. He later pulled on the jerseys of Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla, Al Ittihad (Libya), Charleroi and Al-Sadd (Qatar).
13. Rinat Dasayev (58) appeared at three World Cups in a row with the Soviet Union, at Spain 1982, Mexico 1986 and Italy 1990. In 1980, the gifted goalkeeper picked up a bronze medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in Moscow, while in 1988, he inspired his team to the final of the European Championship, where they lost to the Netherlands. Dasayev turned professional with Volgar Astrakhan, but spent the majority of his career with Spartak Moscow, where he got his hands on several national trophies as well as the 1982 Soviet Footballer of the Year award. The respected Russian also enjoyed a three-year stint with Sevilla prior to hanging up his gloves.