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.
9. Mikael Silvestre (38) was part of France’s squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, but did not gain any playing time. The solid defender, who also lifted the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003 and appeared at UEFA EURO 2004 and the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup, enjoyed better luck at Germany 2006, where he made one appearance. At club level, he began his career at Rennes, prior to signing for Inter Milan and then Manchester United. It would turn out to be a highly successful nine-season stint at Old Trafford for the robust Frenchman, during which time he claimed a UEFA Champions League crown, an Intercontinental Cup, five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, an English League Cup and two FA Community Shields. Silvestre subsequently turned out for Arsenal, Werder Bremen, Portland Timbers and Chennaiyin (India).
10. Ilhan Mansiz (40) starred in all seven of Turkey’s matches at Korea/Japan 2002, scoring a crucial golden goal against Senegal in the quarter-finals and bagging a brace in the match for third place versus Korea Republic. The clinical striker made his name at Samsunspor and Besiktas, where he earned a Turkish League winners’ medal and topped the national scoring charts. Mansiz later wore the colours of Vissel Kobe and Hertha Berlin.
11. Jose Castro (35) competed for Mexico at Germany 2006, playing in two matches, including El Tri’s Round of 16 defeat at the hands of Argentina. In addition, the pacey full-back finished third at the 2007 Copa America and reached two CONCACAF Gold Cup finals, scoring against USA and lifting the continental trophy in 2009. After rising to prominence with Club America, where he secured two Mexican League titles, a Mexican Super Cup and a CONCACAF Champions League title, and finished fourth at the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup, the tenacious defender pulled on the jerseys of Tigres, Necaxa, Tecos, San Luis and Atlante.
12. Jeongho Hong (26) played in all three group-stage encounters for Korea Republic at Brazil 2014. The towering centre-back had previously participated in the 2009 U-20 World Cup and the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where he and his team-mates finished third. The Korean defender started out in his homeland at Jeju United, but put pen to paper with German outfit Augsburg in 2013.
13. Elodie Thomis (29) is a key player in France’s women’s side, helping Les Bleues to put in a creditable performance at two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments: Germany 2011, where they reached the semi-finals, and Canada 2015, where they bowed out at the quarter-final stage. An attack-minded player, Thomis also took part in the last three UEFA Women’s Championships, the 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament and the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She has tasted international success twice in her career, at the UEFA Women’s U-19 Championship in 2003 and at the Cyprus Cup in 2012. Thomis turned professional with Montpellier, with whom she lifted the Coupe de France, prior to committing herself to Lyon, where she has since landed no fewer than eight French Championships, five French Cups and two UEFA Women’s Champions League titles.
14. Freddy Rincon (49) represented Colombia at three World Cups in a row, namely Italy 1990, USA 1994 and France 1998. The talented midfielder also helped his nation to secure a third-place finish at the 1995 Copa America. He started off at Santa Fe, but soon moved to America de Cali, with whom he clinched two Colombian Championships. A subsequent move to Palmeiras saw the Buenaventura native prevail in the Brazilian Serie A and Campeonato Paulista. Spells at Napoli, Real Madrid and Palmeiras (again) followed, as did a transfer to Corinthians, where Rincon added two further Brazilian League titles, another Sao Paulo State Championship and a Club World Cup to his CV. The Colombian later plied his trade for Santos and Cruzeiro.
15. Lina Magull (21) lifted the U-20 Women’s World Cup with Germany in Canada last year, having reached the final of the same event in Japan two years earlier and also taken part in the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. The gifted midfielder, who was top goalscorer at the 2011 UEFA Women’s U-17 Championship, initially helped Gutersloh to gain promotion to the Frauen-Bundesliga, attracting the interest of Wolfsburg in the process. In three seasons with the German giants, Magull amassed two league titles, two German Cups and two Women’s Champions League crowns. In May 2015, she joined Freiburg on loan.