Leap year: Seven footballers born on February 29

07 | Mike Pollitt

Mike Pollitt was in Man Utd’s youth set-up around the time Alex Ferguson took over the reins at Old Trafford, but the goalkeeper would never play a league game for the Red Devils.

Instead, he’d enjoy a journeyman career that would see him turn out for several clubs across England. Since hanging up his gloves, Pollitt has moved into coaching and he can now be found helping Preston’s goalkeepers.

06 | Darren Ambrose

Ambrose brought a 15-year playing career to an end in 2016 after turning out for Colchester United, not far away from where it all began for him at Ipswich Town.

There, he enjoyed three different spells. Since breaking through, he’d notably play for Newcastle United and Charlton as well as curiously spending part of 2014 at Greek outfit Apollon Smyrni.

05 | Taylor Twellman

One of the most recognisable faces in US media coverage of football, Taylor Twellman made 30 appearances for the USMNT but never played at a World Cup final. 

A brief spell in Germany with 1860 München’s reserve team made way for a move to New England Revolution, where he bagged 101 league goals across 174 appearances which places him among the most prolific MLS players in history.

04 | Saphir Taider

Saphir Taider turned professional in 2010 and has so far played for seven clubs across five different countries.

He notably joined Southampton on loan in August 2014, with Dani Osvaldo going the other way to Inter Milan, but the agreement would be terminated a month later. 

03 | Benedikt Höwedes

Höwedes will go down as one of the very best to have come through Schalke’s esteemed academy, an academy that also includes Mesut Ozil and Manuel Neuer. 

And just when it seemed he’d be a lifer with Die Knappen, the World Cup-winning German centre-back would find his way to Lokomotiv Moscow, via a loan spell at Serie A giants Juventus.

02 | Jesper Lindstrom

Jesper Lindstrom came through the academy at Brondby, and made 65 appearances for the Danish club before getting his move to Eintracht Frankfurt.

It was in Germany that Lindstrom started to become more known, playing 39 times for the Eagles across all competitions in 2021/22 including nine in the Europa League as they went on to beat Rangers in the final.

01 | Ferran Torres

What a difference four years make. On his 20th birthday (or fifth if you want to look at it that way), Ferran Torres was still at Valencia, making a name as the club’s boy wonder. He made headlines in 2017 when he became the first 2000s-born La Liga player.

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In the summer of 2020, Torres made the switch from Valencia to Manchester City, hoping to take a step up. The Spaniard played 43 times for the Citizens and struggled to make an impact in a stacked and constantly rotated attack. He returned Spain two years later.