Leap Year Babies: Barcelona Star and 2014 World Cup Winner Among the Top 4 Stars Born on February 29

Leap Year Babies: Barcelona Star and 2014 World Cup Winner Among the Top 4 Stars Born on February 29

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 29, 2024 at 10:32 AM
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S. Taïder
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  • February 29 comes around only once every four years, with 2024 being the latest
  • Birthday celebrants on this day, including footballers, remain few and far between
  • Sports Brief looks at the top four stars who celebrate their birthdays in Leap Years

Every four years, February 29 arrives, a day that often feels like an extra, unexpected gift.

For millions worldwide, it's a reason to rejoice because those born between February 28 and March 1 are known as leap-year babies.

No longer confined to choosing between the days before or after, they can now authentically celebrate their 'birthday'.

Ferran Torres, Benedikt Howedes, Jesper Lindstrom, Leap Year, leaplings, February 29
Jesper Lindstrom, Benedikt Howedes, and Barcelona's Ferran Torres are among the birthday celebrants on February 29. Photos by Jonathan Moscrop, Ian MacNicol and Ion Alcoba Beitia.
Source: Getty Images

While painter Balthus and rapper Ja Rule stand out as notable 'leaplings', what about footballers? Sports Brief explores those with the rare honour of being born on a Leap Day.

The Top 4 players born on February 29

1. Ferran Torres

Torres turns 24 today. Although being born on a leap day, he technically celebrates his sixth birthday. Four years ago, the Spaniard was gaining recognition as Valencia's rising star.

In 2017, he made waves as the first La Liga player born in the 2000s and later became Valencia's youngest player to reach 50 league appearances. His journey led him to Manchester City in 2020, where he played 43 matches before returning to Spain to join Barcelona.

With over 100 appearances and 25 goals for Barcelona across all competitions, including 11 goals this season, per Transfermarkt, Torres continues to make his mark in the football world.

2. Benedikt Höwedes

Höwedes will be celebrated as one of Schalke's standout talents developed in their esteemed academy, standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer.

Despite his strong connection with Schalke, the German centre-back, who played every match for Die Mannschaft in their victorious 2014 World Cup campaign, eventually moved to Lokomotiv Moscow after a loan stint at Serie A's Juventus.

On a lighter note, as he celebrates his 36th birthday today, it's worth mentioning that it would technically be his ninth birthday, if we count according to leap years.

3. Jesper Lindstrom

Lindstrom featured prominently for Frankfurt in the 2021-22 season, participating in 39 matches across all competitions, including nine appearances in the Europa League, where his team emerged victorious over Rangers in the final.

The subsequent season saw Lindstrom continue his impressive run, making 27 appearances in the Bundesliga, where he contributed to 11 goals. His stellar performances attracted the attention of Italian champions, Napoli, who secured his services last summer.

However, despite his potential, the 24-year-old, or rather, six-year-old in leap years, has struggled to establish himself, starting only once in his 16 Serie A appearances.

4. Saphir Taider

Saphir Taider embarked on his professional football journey in 2010, showcasing his talents across various clubs in five different countries.

One notable stint was his loan move to Southampton in August 2014, which saw Dani Osvaldo move in the opposite direction to Inter Milan.

However, the arrangement was short-lived and terminated just a month later. Taider's most recent club was Saudi Arabian side Al-Ain, but he has been without a club for the past 18 months, remaining a free agent, according to Squawka.

The 6 best footballers born on February 5

In a recent feature, Sports Brief highlighted February 5 as a significant date on the calendar, honouring the birth of several remarkable talents in football history.

This day has witnessed the emergence of influential figures, ranging from legendary coaches to exceptional players, contributing to a noteworthy lineup of stars.

Among the celebrated individuals born on February 5 are globally acclaimed players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Junior, and Carlos Tevez, among other icons.

Authors
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.
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