THIS SECTION HAS BEEN ENHANCED DUE TO MISUNDERSTANDINGS
As I heard many Muslims are actually involved in football, I browsed around to look for more Muslims in football. The findings were quite shocking. Note that the list excluded known Muslim footballers like Ali Daei (Iran) and Ahmed Hossam Mido (known by name and nationality)
Source: Wikipedia, answers.com, answers.yahoo forum, Farid and Ismadi Ishak. Here goes:
Nicholas “Bilal” Anelka – I didn’t know this until my friend told me. No wonder he moved to Fenerbahce, Turkey. Pics of him visiting a Manchester mosque is easily available.
Bruno Metsu – Former Senegalese National Team Coach. Converted when he was at Senegal. Now coach of Al-Ittihad.
Franck Ribery – as alerted by Ayid Rabbani (Farid le tuh). Converted in 2002. Read the Du’a before taking a free kick against Korea recently. Married to long time Moroccan gf.
Phillipe Troussier – former famous French player. Famously coached Japanese National Team. Lives in Morocco. Changes his name to Omar. Wife Dominique now Amina. Adopted 2 local Moroccan children.
George Weah – Liberian football great. Unsuccesful candidate for 2005 Liberian presidency. Born a Muslim. Went to Muslim children school. Converted to Christianity in the name of his grandmother who raised him. Later reconverted?
Robin van Persie – Arsenal and Holland starlet winger. Married a Morroccan but never talk about his religious position in public.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Has tatoos on both arms but Papa Sefik is a Bosnian-Muslim immigrant and his Mom is of Catholic Croat. Swedish star striker but dubbed ‘overrated’ by Martin O’neill. However, some reports has said that he is following his mother’s religious belief.
Kolo, Yaya and Ibrahim Toure – Ivorian footballers. Devout muslims.
Rami Shaaban – Former Arsenal Swedish keeper who is of Egyptian descent. Mom is English.
Frederick Kanoute – Malian striker. No wonder he celebrates by reciting the du’a after scoring goals. Bought a mosque in Seville.
Mehmet Scholl – German veteran Bayern Munich star midfielder who was denied call-up to the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany National Team although being recommended by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after coming back superbly from a long-standing injury. Has Turkish passport.
Khalid Boulahrouz – Dutch national defender. Born in Nederlands but of Moroccan descent. Nicknamed Khalid der Kannibale (The Cannibal because of his ability to ‘eat up’ oppositions).
Mohammed Allach (Muslim-Dutch football great).
Armand Traore – Arsenal young left full back was seen many times praying before the start of the game.
Nacer Barazite – another Arsenal rising Dutch star of Moroccan descent. Pays tribute to Allah each time he scores a goal.
Lorik Cana – Lorik Cana is an Albanian footballer who plays for the Albanian national football team and Olympique de Marseille of France at a club level. He holds Albanian, French and Swiss citizenship. Lorik Cana was born in Kosovo to Muslim parents, but left as a child to escape the war when he moved to Switzerland.
Lee Won Jae – Lee Woon-Jae is a South Korean football player with the Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the Korean K-League as a goalkeeper. He was part of Korea’s 1994, 2002, and 2006 World Cup campaigns. Lee Won Jae is a convert to Islam.
Others: Bakari Sagna, El Hadji Diouf, Ibrahima Sonko, Sulleyman Ali Muntari, Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema, Ibrahim Afellay, Otman Bakkal, Mohammed Sissoko, Lassana Diarra, Abou Diaby, Pascal Cygan, Hasan Salihamidzic, Joseph Desire-Job, Hamit Altintop, Halil Altintop, Diomansy Kamara, Djimi Traore, Radhi Jaidi, Salif Diao, Amdy Faye, Hameur Bouazza, Abdoulaye Meite, Seydou Keita ARE ALL MUSLIMS.
Shocking isn’t it? However, some have not stepped up as Muslim models having caught drinking, hiring prostitutes and not praying. May Allah guide them to the righteous path Insya Allah.