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10 Great Footballers Who Were Born On February 5th

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF celebrates a goal

The 5th of February seems to have a mythical quality about it. It has produced more of the world's greatest players than any other date.

Here is a count down of the best players born on February 5th.

10. Manuel Fernandes (1986)

Manuel Fernandes

Former Benfica midfielder Fernandes is the first of the 5th of February Footballers. He had a spell in the Premier League with Portsmouth and Everton, but is probably best known for his time at Valencia where he won the Copa Del Rey in 2008.

9. John Aloisi (1976)

John Aloisi

Aloisi was one of Australia's pioneering players. Across the space of a twenty year career, he played across Europe including a four year stay in England with Portsmouth and Coventry.

Now the manager of former club Melbourne Heart, Aloisi scored twenty-seven goals in an eleven year career for the Socceroos, helping them qualify for the 2006 World Cup before retiring in 2008.

8. Rodrigo Palacio (1982)

Rodrigo Palacio

Argentine striker Palacio made his name while paying for Argentinian giants Boca Juniors, earning him a move to the European leagues with Serie A outfit Genoa.

From there, he moved on to current side Inter Milan, after scoring 35 goals in 90 appearances for Genoa.

Palacio has 15 caps for Argentina, scoring two goals.

7. Giovanni van Bronckhorst (1975)

Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Gio van Bronckhorst will probably be best remembered for his spell at Barcelona where he won two league titles. Affectionatley known as Gio, he first joined Barca in a loan deal from Arsenal, joining the Gunners from Rangers after making a name for himself in British football.

It's his performances on the national stage that van Bronckhorst is most remembered for, as he netted a world class goal against Uruguay and helped Holland to the World Cup Final in 2010.

It was to be his final and 106th appearance in an international career that saw him score only six goals for the Netherlands.

6. Ruben Cano (1951)

Ruben Cano

A real cult hero, spanish international Ruben Cano was born in Argentina at a time when talent was flowing out of the South American nation. He was registered as a Spanish citizen by his parents at birth and would go on to have a successful career in La Liga.

After making a name for himself at Buenos Aires' Atlanta, he moved to Elche CF before playing the majority of his career at Atletico Madrid where he scored 82 goals in 167 appearances, helping them to the League title in 1977.

He represented Spain at the 1978 World Cup in the country of his birth, Argentina. He finished his career in 1987 with international goals to his name.

5. Adnan Januzaj (1995)

Adnan Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj is the silver lining in what has been a torrid season so far for Manchester United. The nineteen year old exploded on to the scene after David Moyes gave him his debut against Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield.

He has kept £15m signing Wilfried Zaha out of the team and whispers of an England call up started as early as his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace.

He would not satisfy the criteria needed to play for England and looks set to join a young and exciting Belgium squad who boast the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Vincent Kompany, with hopes of going to Brazil this summer.

4. Gheorghe Hagi (1965)

Gheorghe Hagi

"The Maradonna of the Carpathians", Gheorghe Hagi has been voted Romanian Player of the Year no less than seven times and is thought of amongst the greatest players in his generation.

He represented Romania at three World Cups (1990,1994,1998) after making his debut in 1983, as well as three European Championships (1984,1996,2000) in a career widely regarded as the golden age of Romanian Football.

After making a name for himself with Farul Constanta, Hagi went on to play for some of Europe's biggest clubs, appearing for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Steau Bucharest and Galatasaray.

In 2003, to celebrate UEFA's golden jubilee, he was named Romania's greatest player in the past 50 years. To this day, he still holds the scoring record for his country, albeit alongside Adrian Mutu, with 35 goals in 124 appearances.

3. Carlos Tevez (1984)

Carlos Tevez

A young Carlos Tevez exploded on to the scene after being called up to the Argentina squad for the 2006 World Cup. He had impressed through the youth ranks at international level, winning the 2004 Olympic football gold with argentina alongside Lionel Messi.

A shock move to West Ham United in 2006 proved decisive for the Londoners as he kept them in the league with a winning goal away at Manchester United, leading to a legal battle between his 'employers' and Sheffield United.

A move to Manchester United and then Manchester City solidified Tevez's reputation as one of the most hard working strikers in world football.

A spat with Roberto Mancini led to the Argentinian striker refusing to come off the bench to play for City in a Champions League game away at Bayern and he would move on to Juventus.

Despite the controversy that has surrounded his career, Tevez has racked up an incredible amount of silverwear including three Premier League titles and a Champions League winner's medal.

2. Neymar Jr. (1992)

Neymar Jr.

The subject of huge controversy this year surrounding the deal that brought him to Barcelona from boyhood club Santos, Neymar is undoubtedly one of the world's most gifted footballers.

After making his debut at the age of 17 for the Brazilian giants, Neymar Jr. has made a name for himself as one of the most inventive and skillful players in the world.

He announced himself on the International stage after a series of incredible performances helped Brazil to a 3-0 Confederations Cup win over world champions Spain on home soil.

He is widely tipped to be the star performer at this year's World Cup and looks set for stardom after his performances for Barcelona has seen him score six in goals in 16 appearances.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (1985)

Cristiano Ronaldo

It is merely the presence of Lionel Messi in the modern game that has limited Ronaldo to a mere two Ballon d'Or's in his career thus far.

The current holder of the title of 'World's Greatest Player' is one of the most gifted players of all time and has played for two of the biggest clubs in Real Madrid and Manchester United. It was fitting that he won the award in the same year that Portugal legend Eusebio passed away.

Ronaldo is at the top of his game and will grace this year's World Cup alongside his rival Lionel Messi.

His goalscoring record is incredible, scoring 168 times in 156 appearances for Real Madrid and 47 times in 109 appearances for Portugal.

Source: FTBPro

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