The birthdate of football stars (players or coaches) are often well celebrated but expectedly, it gets a notch more intense when such individuals are born on a special day like Christmas.

As part of the Bounce News Season Celebration Specials, we take a look at 5 Top Football Stars Born On Christmas Day.

Emmanuel Amuneke

Emmanuel Amuneke

We start from the home front with former Super Eagles star now coach in Tanzania.

Amuneke, born on 25 December 1970 was spectacular while playing for Nigeria and he is not doing badly as a coach either.

At the FIFA World Cup in 1994, Amuneke helped Nigeria top Group D en route to being edged by Italy in the Round of 16 at USA 1994.

Still, his performances proved enough to earn him the African Footballer of the Year award that same year, and two years later he scored the winner in a 3-2 defeat of Argentina in the final of the Men's Olympic Football Tournament.

Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister

Gary McAllister, MBE (born 25 December 1964) is a Scottish professional football coach and former player, who is the assistant manager of Rangers.

McAllister played primarily as a midfielder, in a successful career spanning over nineteen years.

He started his career at local side Motherwell before moving south of the border to Leicester City at the age of 20.

He then went on to play for Leeds United, where he won the English league championship in 1991–92. McAllister later had spells at Coventry City intersected by a successful stint at Liverpool.

McAllister also represented his national side for nine years, winning 59 caps and scoring five goals


Ogenyi Onazi

Unfortunately, Onazi is celebrating his birthday this year in the hospital having just undergone a surgery.

The combative midfielder formerly playing for Italian giants Lazio was born on the Christmas Day of 1992.

Onazi started from the bottom with the Golden Eaglets before going all the way to help Nigeria with the 2013 AFCON title and then going to two World Cups in 2014 and 2018.

Gabriel Popescu

The former Romanian footballer was born on 25 December 1973.

Popescu went on to represent the Romanian national team 21 times and scored four goals, he was also capped 37 times for the U-21 side. The undoubted highlight of his international career was his appearances at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where he played in all four Romanian matches, including their dramatic 2-1 victory over England.Jairzinho


Jair Ventura Filho (born 25 December 1944), better known as Jairzinho is a retired Brazilian footballer. A quick, skillful, and powerful right winger, known for his finishing ability and eye for goal, he was a member of the legendary Brazilian national team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup, during which he scored in every game Brazil played.  He is nicknamed as "The Hurricane"

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