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.
12. James Rodriguez (24) rose to global prominence with Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, where his goal tally of six earned him the adidas Golden Boot award. One of those strikes, a long-range volley versus Uruguay, was voted the most impressive goal of the tournament by FIFA.com users, and later earned him the FIFA Puskás Award. As a younger man, the dynamic attacking midfielder starred at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the FIFA U-20 World Cup, and he recently made his Copa America debut in Chile. At club level, he began his career with Envigado, where he won the Colombian second division, before moving to Argentinian side Banfield, where he gained a Primera Division winners’ medal. In 2010, the Colombian playmaker exported his skills to Porto, with whom he claimed three Portuguese League titles, a Portuguese Cup, three Portuguese Super Cups and a UEFA Europa League crown. A season at Monaco followed, as did a high-profile transfer to Real Madrid, where he has since added a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup to his CV.
13. Guillermo Ochoa (30) made a huge impression at the 2014 World Cup, pulling off a series of spectacular saves that helped Mexico reach the Round of 16, where they eventually lost to the Netherlands. After remaining on the bench at Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, the athletic goalkeeper played in four matches in Brazil, having previously taken part in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. In addition, he participated in three CONCACAF Gold Cups, lifting the trophy twice, and in the Copa America. Ochoa turned professional at Club America, where he secured a Mexican League Championship, a Mexican Super Cup and a CONCACAF Champions League title, which enabled him to play at the 2006 Club World Cup. The Mexican custodian signed for Ajaccio in 2011, but committed himself to Malaga in August 2014.
14. Pablo Forlan (70) was part of the Uruguay squads that competed at England 1966 and West Germany 1974, where he made three appearances. The defender enjoyed great success with Penarol, landing numerous trophies including the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup, prior to joining Sao Paolo, where he won the Campeonato Paulista three times. Forlan, the father of 2010 adidas Golden Ball recipient and 2011 Copa America winner Diego Forlan, later turned out for Cruzeiro, Nacional and Defensor.
15. Yuki Ogimi (29) has competed for Japan at three FIFA Women’s World Cup™ competitions: China 2007, Germany 2011, where the Asians emerged victorious, and Canada 2015, where they finished as runners-up to a rampant USA side. The free-scoring striker also appeared at the 2008 and 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, picking up a silver medal at the latter contest. Ogimi started out in her homeland with NTV Beleza, where she obtained three Japanese League titles, four Japanese Cups and a Japanese League Cup. A transfer to Turbine Potsdam saw her capture two Frauen-Bundesliga crowns and a UEFA Women’s Champions League title, and finish top scorer during the 2012/13 campaign. After a spell at Chelsea, the Japanese attacker put pen to paper with Wolfsburg, hoisting the German Cup with her new club a few months later.
16. Carli Lloyd (33) will celebrate her birthday with a broad smile on her face this year, having recently held aloft the 2015 Women’s World Cup, a trophy she helped USA to bag by scoring an unforgettable hat-trick versus Japan in the Final. Indeed, the energetic midfielder’s impact for the Stars and Stripes in Canada was such that she was awarded the adidas Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament and the adidas Silver Boot for finishing second in the scoring charts behind Germany’s Celia Sasic. She had previously starred at the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cups, finishing third at the former and losing in the Final at the latter. The New Jersey native has also enjoyed Olympic success, scoring in the final at Beijing 2008 and at London 2012, as the Americans collected the gold medal on both occasions. During her club career, Lloyd has pulled on the jerseys of, among others, Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue and Western New York Flash. In October 2014, she was traded to Houston Dash.
17. Marcos Senna (39) represented Spain at Germany 2006 and at UEFA EURO 2008, which were both won by La Roja. The Brazil-born star also took part in numerous qualifying matches for South Africa 2010, but was not selected for the final Spanish squad. After initially experiencing success at Corinthians, with whom he scooped a Sao Paulo State League title, a Brazilian League title and a Club World Cup, he had brief spells at Juventude and Sao Caetano, where he attracted the interest of Villarreal. Senna would go on to spend over a decade with the Spanish outfit, netting two UEFA Intertoto Cups, finishing second in Spanish La Liga and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup (twice) during that time period. The veteran midfield man moved to New York Cosmos in 2013.
18. Eugenio Mena (27) was a member of the Chilean squad that recently prevailed at the Copa America for the very first time, having previously made four appearances at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The tireless left-back wore the colours of Santiago Wanderers, Santos and Universidad de Chile, winning three Chilean Championships, a Chilean Cup and a Copa Sudamericana with the latter-named club. In January 2015, Mena secured a contract with Brazilian side Cruzeiro.