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. Megan Rapinoe (30) could be poised for a double celebration on 5 July, as her birthday falls on the day that United States take on Japan in the showpiece match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. If picked to play, the energetic winger – a key figure for the Stars and Stripes – will compete in her second Final at the competition, having ended up on the losing side versus the same opponents four years ago in Germany. Not counting Sunday’s match in Vancouver, she has appeared in a total of eleven Women’s World Cup games, scoring three goals. Rapinoe previously earned a gold medal at the 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and finished third at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2004. At club level, the dynamic American started out at Chicago Red Stars, before turning out for Philadelphia Independence, magicJack, Sydney FC and Seattle Sounders. A move to French giants Lyon saw her claim a French League and Cup double and reach the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. In 2013, she signed for Seattle Reign.
6. Ze Roberto (41) represented Brazil at two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments, reaching the final at France 1998 and suffering a quarter-final exit at Germany 2006, where he was given significantly more playing time. In addition, the holding midfielder lifted two FIFA Confederations Cups and two Copa America trophies. After beginning his career at Portuguesa, he joined Real Madrid, with whom he won a Liga title and a Spanish Super Cup. He went on to star for Flamengo, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich and Santos, where he secured the Campeonata Paulista, and then retraced his steps to Munich in 2007. His two stints with the German heavyweights yielded a copious amount of silverware, in the shape of four Bundesliga titles, four German Cups and two German League Cups. Ze Roberto then spent two seasons at Hamburg, but left European football for good by putting pen to paper with Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, where he lifted the Emir of Qatar Cup. The evergreen South American returned to Brazil in 2012, first performing for Gremio and then for current club Palmeiras.
7. Khalid Ismail (50) scored United Arab Emirates first-ever World Cup goal, against West Germany at Italy 1990. The midfielder also participated in the 1988 and 1992 AFC Asian Cups, scoring two goals at the latter contest, where he and his team-mates finished fourth.
8. Saud Kariri (35) played for Saudi Arabia at Germany 2006, the last time that the Green Falcons appeared on football’s greatest stage. The influential midfield man also took part in four Asian Cups, losing in the final in 2007 and donning the captain’s armband in 2015, and in four Gulf Cup of Nations tournaments, holding aloft the trophy on two occasions. After turning professional at Al-Qadisiyah, Kariri was transferred to Al-Ittihad, where he amassed two Saudi Pro League titles, two Kings Cups and two AFC Champions League crowns over a ten-year period. In December 2005, he participated in the FIFA Club World Cup. In the summer of 2013, the Saudi international committed himself to Al-Hilal, later inspiring his new team-mates to Kings Cup success.
9. Alex Aguinaga (47) helped Ecuador to reach the World Cup for the first time, in 2002, and played in all three of his country’s matches while at the tournament proper. He later contributed to La Tri’s qualifiers for Germany 2006, and ended his international career with a record of nine goals in five qualifying campaigns. The incisive midfielder also showcased his skills at four Copa America contests and a CONCACAF Gold Cup. A product of Deportivo Quito’s youth system, he established himself in the club’s first team, where his performances impressed scouts from Mexican outfit Necaxa, who secured his signature in 1989. Aguinaga would enjoy great success in Aguascalientes, landing three Mexican League crowns, a Mexican Cup, a Mexican Super Cup, a CONCACAF Cup Winners’ Cup and a CONCACAF Champions Cup, a feat that gave Los Rayos access to the 2000 Club World Cup, where they finished third. Following a season with Cruz Azul, the Ibarra native saw out the remainder of his playing days with Liga de Quito, prior to moving into coaching and taking charge of Barcelona (Ecuador), San Luis (Mexico), LDU Loja (Ecuador), Itagui (Colombia) and Deportivo Cuenca (Ecuador).
10. Edmilson (39) played a key role in Brazil’s last World Cup triumph, appearing in six matches at Korea/Japan 2002, where he also scored his one and only international goal. The previous year, the robust defensive midfielder had taken part in the Confederations Cup. After starting off at Sao Paulo, where he won the Recopa Sudamericana, CONMEBOL Cup, Sao Paulo State League and Rio-Sao Paulo Tournament, he exported his talents to Europe, capturing three French Ligue 1 titles, a French League Cup and a Trophee des champions with Lyon and two Spanish La Liga titles, a Spanish Super Cup and a UEFA Champions League crown with Barcelona. Edmilson later pulled on the jerseys of Villarreal, Palmeiras, Real Zaragoza and Ceara.
11. Hugo Sanchez (57) is a living legend of Mexican football, having starred at three World Cups and the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, and emerged victorious from the Pan American Games and the Gold Cup. The prolific striker rose to prominence at Pumas, with whom he clinched two Mexican Primera Division Championships, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and a Copa Interamericana. He made his name in Europe with Atletico Madrid, where he picked up a Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana, and city rivals Real Madrid, where he added five Liga titles, another Spanish Cup, three additional Spanish Super Cups and a UEFA Cup to his CV. The five-time La Liga top goalscorer then returned to Mexico, where he lifted the CONCACAF Champions Cup with Club America. Sanchez would later defend the colours of Rayo Vallecano, Atlante, Linz, with whom he won the Austrian second division title, and Dallas Burn. As a coach, he took the reins of the Mexican national side, as well as Necaxa, Pumas, Almeria and Pachuca.