Monday, May 2, 2011

Famous Muslim Football Players

By Iyliaa Fahmi Ishak

1. Zinedine Zidane - Former Juventus & Real Madrid Player. Regarded as one of the best football player of all time. He won the FIFA World Cup with France in 1998 & the European Championship in 2000. Zidane was three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winner & 1998 European Player of the Year. He retired from football after the 2006 World Cup Finals.

2. Nicolas AnelkaChelsea striker Nicolas Anelka converted to Islam in 2004 in the UAE after deep discussions about religion with childhood friends, he took the Muslim name Abdul-Salam Bilal. Anelka was a Manchester City player at the time and considered moving to play his football in the UAE before settling on a move to Turkish club Fenerbahce.

3. Franck RiberyFrench player Franck Ribery is also a convert to Islam, with his wife French-Algerian wife having been raised a Muslim herself, Ribery was recently quoted as having said "I pray five times a day, I do it because it enables me to be released and I feel better afterwards.". He currently plays for Bayern Munich.

4. Karim Benzema Karim Benzema was born in France to parents of Algerian-Kabyle descent, and is openly a practising Muslim. Benzema currently plays for Real Madrid following a 35 million euro transfer from Lyon, he has also become a regular international player for France.

5. Samir NasriThe young Samir Nasri has been a revelation at Arsenal and has been hailed by many in France as 'The New Zidane'. Nasri was born to Algerian parents in France and raised as a Muslim.

6. Yaya &  Kolo Toure - The two brothers from Ivory Coast are currently playing for Manchester City in England. They both represent Ivory Coast at International Level. They are practising muslims, as are their family. Kolo has previously stated his desire to become a role model for young Muslims.

7. Frederic KanouteFrench born Malian Kanoute, who plays for Sevilla and the French national team as a striker, has been practising Islam since the age of 20 (he is now 32). He refused to wear the Seville shirt whilst it was sponsored by gambling website, and therefore wore a brand free version. Kanoute has also purchased a Mosque in Seville for $700k after its lease had expired.

8. Eric Abidal - He is a French international footballer of Martniquan descent. Currently plas for FC Barcelona.

9. Mesut Ozil - A young German international footballer of Turkish descent who currently plays for Real Madrid. It is known that he recites the Holy Quran before every match. Talking to the Berlin-based daily Der Tagesspiegel on Saturday, Ozil said, "I always do that before I go out (on the pitch). I pray and my team-mates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period." A third generation Turkish-German, Ozil has become one of the superstars at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

10. Sami Khedira - Khedira was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a Tunisian father &  a German mother. He joined Real Madrid from VFB Stuttgart in after 2010 World Cup & regularly called up for International Match which he represents Germany.

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