Happy Birthday to you!

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.

31. Antonio Conte (47) has enjoyed considerable success in his ten-year coaching career, and recently guided the Italian national side to the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2016, where they were defeated on penalties by Germany. The Lecce-born tactician, who was handed the reins of Chelsea this summer, had previously taken charge of Arezzo, Bari, whom he steered to the Serie B title, Atalanta, Siena and Juventus, where his charges won three Serie A crowns and two Italian Super Cups. As a player, Conte took part in the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA™, where La Nazionale reached the Final, and EURO 2000, where they again reached the showpiece match but lost to France in extra time. The versatile midfielder is regarded as a legend at Juventus, having amassed five Serie A Championships, an Italian Cup, four Italian Super Cups, a UEFA Champions League title, a UEFA Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and an Intercontinental Cup while starring for La Vecchia Signora.

1. Fahad Al-Ghesheyan (43) took part in Saudi Arabia’s maiden World Cup campaign, in 1994, playing in two matches and finding the net against Sweden, becoming the first player from his country to score in the knockout stages in the process. The skilful Saudi later competed at the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup, having previously appeared at the 1993 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Al-Ghesheyan began his career at Al-Hilal, prior to turning out for AZ Alkmaar and Riyahd-based Al-Nassr.

2. Nacer Chadli (27) made four appearances for the Belgium team that made a welcome return to the World Cup stage at Brazil 2014, but could not prevent them from bowing out in the quarter-finals. The dynamic winger turned professional at Apeldoorn, then in the Dutch second division, but made his name at Twente, where he lifted the Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup and piqued the interest of Tottenham Hotspur. After signing for the London club in 2013, Chadli went on to finish third in the most recent English Premier League campaign, gaining the opportunity to play in the Champions League during this coming season.

3. Gary Medel (29) helped Chile to claim back-to-back Copa America titles, playing in all of his country’s matches in both 2015 and 2016, and scoring against Bolivia at the former tournament. The rugged defensive midfielder also participated in South Africa 2010, the 2011 Copa America, and Brazil 2014. After starting out at Universidad Catolica, he pulled on the jerseys of Boca Juniors, Sevilla and Cardiff City. In 2014, Medel, named Chilean Footballer of the Year in 2008, joined Inter Milan.

4. Ilian Kiriakov (49) was part of the Bulgaria XI that made history by reaching the semi-finals of USA 1994. The energetic full-back also showcased his defensive skills at the 1987 U-20 World Cup, and at EURO 1996. Kiriakov began his career with Bulgarian outfit Etar Veliko Tarnovo, before defending the colours of a number of clubs abroad, including Deportivo La Coruna, Merida, Anorthosis and Aberdeen.

5. Stefanie Gottschlich (38) appeared six times for Germany during their first FIFA Women’s World Cup™ triumph in 2003, scoring one goal. The defender had earlier earned a bronze medal at the 2000 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney. Gottschlich was later forced to retire prematurely due to a series of injuries.


6. Edu (67) was a member of the Brazilian golden generation that held aloft the World Cup at Mexico 1970 and finished fourth at West Germany 1974. The Sao Paolo native made one appearance at both those tournaments, having previously been an unused substitute at England 1966. At club level, Edu represented Santos, where he brandished a number of national trophies, Corinthians, Internacional and Mexican side Tigres.

Source link