Football is one of the most engaging sports in the world that represents players from all nationalities and with different religious backgrounds. Many Muslim soccer players have been contributing to football over a long history. Their spectacular performance dazzles their fans. Do you know the best Muslim football players in the world 2020?
Here is a list of the top 10 Muslim football players in the world.
A list of the best Muslim football players in the world
We would like to present to you the top 10 best Muslim footballers we believe everyone should be a fan of. We are sure you know all these names.
1. Zinedine Zidane (France)
Zidane is one of the greatest footballers ever known in the football world. Since he won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid, Zidane has been successfully working in the field of management.
Zidane is known to be a Muslim though he doesn’t show his religious beliefs publicly or speak much about them. According to Zidane, he is a ‘non-practicing Muslim’. Though, his wife, Veronica, is believed to be a Christian. Some people say that Zidane often prays before every match.
In 2016, Zidane was ranked one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan which noted:
“[Zidane’s] modest character has endeared him to the wider public”.
Before he retired, he was very much respected and admired for being a Muslim who “made it” in the world.
2. Mesut Ozil (Germany)
Özil is currently playing as an attacking midfielder for Arsenal. One of the top German active footballers on our list, Mesut Ozil is often seen praying to Allah on the football pitch. Özil always recites from the Quran before matches as he is a devoted practising Muslim.
Özil once said,
“I always do that before I go out [on the pitch]. I pray and my teammates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period.”
As a sign of his religious beliefs, Özil adheres to all the rules of Islam. Once, he was filmed picking up a piece of bread that was thrown at him by an opposition supporter during a match between Arsenal and Spanish side, Atlético Madrid.
He kissed and tapped the bread on his forehead before placing it by the side of the field. This gesture was made in respect to Islam which teaches not to waste food.
3. Karim Benzema (France)
Karim Benzema was born on 19 December 1987. He is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Real Madrid and the France national team. Karim Benzema is another football star who is practising Islam.
One of the most successful players, Benzema is also a devoted Muslim who prays before every match and follows all the fasting rules during Ramadan.
4. Paul Pogba (France)
Paul Labile Pogba is a French professional footballer who was born on 15 March 1993 to Guinean parents. Paul Pogba is considered one of the most marketable football players in the world. Also, he is known to be a devoted Muslim from birth.
As of now, he is only 27 but his potential and talent make many people think that he is a future Ballon d’Or recipient. In the past, Paul Pogba played as a central midfielder for Manchester United and Juventus.
In 2016, he returned to former club Manchester United on a five-year contract for £89.3 million. He is known for his extraordinary hairstyles and creative goal celebrations.
Pogba is also a religious football player; he recites a prayer before each match and is known to perform his pilgrimage in Mecca.
5. N’Golo Kante (France)
N’Golo Kante is a professional footballer who was born on 29 March 1991 in France. He made his senior debut at Boulogne, then, he played for Caen, Leicester City, and, in the end, Kante played as a defensive midfielder for English club Chelsea and the France national team.
Kante was Muslim from birth. His parents migrated to France from Mali in 1980, and he grew up in a small flat in Rueil-Malmaison, Hauts-de-Seine.
6. Mohammed Salah Ghaly (Egypt)
Mohammed Salah was born 15 June 1992. He is an Egyptian professional football player who plays as a forward for English club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team.
Mo Salah‘s advantage is his pace. When playing for Liverpool, he forms a great team with Mane on the flanks.
Mo Salah was awarded the 2017/2018 English Premier League Player of the Year and Golden Boot (awarded to the highest goalscorer in a season). Salah always celebrates his goals by performing the Sujud, which is the Islamic act of prostration.
Mohammed Salah is known to be not just a Muslim, but a good ambassador of Islam as well. The character of his religious beliefs can be understood based on some uplifting football songs hugely popular in Liverpool. Here are a few lines from one of them:
“If he’s good enough for you/He’s good enough for me/If he scores another few/Then I’ll be Muslim too,” and ends with the words: “He’s sitting in the mosque/That’s where I want to be”.
7. Marouane Fellaini-Bakkioui (Belgium)
Marouane Fellaini was born on 22 November 1987 in Morocco to Muslim parents. Fellaini is a Belgian professional football player who plays as a midfielder for Manchester United and the Belgium national team.
Marouane Fellaini has played mostly for Manchester United, proving to be one of the most effective professionals. He is famous not only for his performance which makes him a remarkable midfielder but also for his extraordinary hairdo.
8. Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo)
One of the greatest African players was born on 26 February 1984 in Togo. Emmanuel Adebayor has built a great football career in a few top European clubs including Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur. Since he left these clubs, he has been playing as a striker for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir.
Adebayor converted to Islam just recently, in July 2015. The former Togo footballer took part in the Shahada, a ceremony in which everybody declares belief in the oneness of Allah and acceptance of Muhammad as his prophet.
You can even watch the ceremony on YouTube. Before converting to Islam, Adebayor was a devoted Christian which can be proved by pictures of himself with a priest on Facebook with captions praising God.
9. Nicolas Anelka (France)
Nicolas Anelka was born on 14 March 1979 in France. Currently retired, Anelka was a French football manager and forward who played for the France national team. Anelka is known for his stunning technique, speed, ability to both score and assist goals, to be the main striker and a second striker.
Nicolas Anelka is known to be a convert to Islam from Christianity. He accepted Islam when he was 16. Anelka adopted the Muslim name Abdul-Salam Bilal.
10. Eric Abidal (France)
Eric Abidal was born on 11 September 1979. He is a retired French professional football player who played as a left-back and a central defender in Barcelona.
In March 2011, Eric Abidal was diagnosed with a liver tumor. The football legend came back from cancer to win plenty of trophies all over Europe.
In 2007, Abidal converted from Christianity to Islam. The possible reason for his conversion was the marriage to a former gymnast of Algerian origin, Hayet Kebir.
Hope you enjoyed reading! These most popular Muslim football players have won numerous trophies and, of course, the love of their fans.
Apart from Messi, De Jong, Dembele, Semedo, Ter Stegen are a few others who will stay beyond this summer.