Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now

Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now

Football is a prestigious ball game that engages players from all nationalities worldwide. While countries like Nauru, Vatican and Monaco are not recognised by FIFA, they also have amazing football teams. Muslim football players are among the best footballers in the world, who have even reached the biggest leagues in the world.

Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Karim Benzema, Mohammed Salah and Zinedine Zidane (left to right). Photos: Quality Sport Images, Naomi Baker and Quality Sport Images. (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

There are over 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide: a quarter of the world’s population. Most people might immediately recognise Muslim players, while others might not. Because of this, the listicle below features players some might have never known are from the Islamic religion. Is your favourite player a Muslim?

20. Kurt Zouma

  • Date of birth: 27 October 1994
  • Age: 28 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Lyon, France
World's best muslim football players
Kurt Zouma of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on 7 August 2022 in London, England. Photo: James Gill
Source: Getty Images

He is a French centre-back for the Premier League team West Ham and the France National team. He is a great defender whose defensive skills are unmatched by most top-league defenders. Most fans and pundits think his style of play is underrated, as he can manoeuvre through different positions and has skills compared to mid-fielders.

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19. Xherdan Shaqir

  • Date of birth: 10 October 1991
  • Age: 31 years as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Gjilan
Who is the best muslim footballer?
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland gestures during the UEFA Nations League match between Czech Republic and Switzerland at Sinobo Stadium on 2 June 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo: Marcio Machado
Source: Getty Images

Xherdan Shaqir is a Swiss professional footballer who plays for the Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire and the Switzerland national team. He is a Muslim but celebrates Christmas, which is a mainly Christian celebration. This, he said, is because his family used to celebrate it during his childhood.

18. Edin Dzeko

  • Date of birth: 17 March 1986
  • Age: 36 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Edin Dzeko of FC Internazionale smiles during the FC Internazionale training session at Suning Training Center at Appiano Gentile on 18 October 2022 in Como, Italy. Photo: Mattia Ozbot
Source: Getty Images

He is a Bosnian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Inter Milan and captains the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. He has practised Islam since he was born into a Muslim-faith family originally from Turkey, where most people are Muslims.

17. Benjamin Mendy

  • Date of birth: 17 July 1994
  • Age: 28 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Longjumeau, France

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Best Muslim footballers of all time
Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy celebrates with the EPL trophy after the Premier League match against Huddersfield Town at Etihad Stadium on 6 May 2018 in Manchester, England. Photo: Matt McNulty
Source: Getty Images

He is a French professional footballer who plays as a left-back for Premier League club Manchester City and the French national team. The great defender is a devoted Muslim who has performed the Hajj in Mecca.

16. Granit Xhaka

  • Date of birth: 27 September 1992
  • Age: 30 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Basel, Switzerland
Best Muslim players in the world 2022
Granit Xhaka of Arsenal applauds after the Premier League match against Brentford FC at Brentford Community Stadium on 18 September 2022 in Brentford, United Kingdom. Photo: Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

Xhaka is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder and captains the Premier League team Arsenal and captains the Switzerland national team. He is of the Islam faith from a Baklan background alongside most of his Arsenal teammates.

15. Ousmane Dembele

  • Date of birth: 15 May 1997
  • Age: 25 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Vernon, France
Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona v Celta de Vigo at the Spotify Camp Nou on 9 October 2022 in Barcelona Spain Photo: David S. Bustamante
Source: Getty Images

Masour Ousmane Dembele is a French professional footballer who plays as a winger for La Liga club Barcelona and the France national team. He is a practising Muslim who married a Moroccan wife in a traditional ceremony in 2019.

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14. Sadio Mane

  • Date of birth: 10 April 1992
  • Age: 30 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Bambali, Senegal
best muslim football players
Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich looks on during the DFB Cup second-round match between FC Augsburg and FC Bayern München at WWK-Arena on 19 October 2022 in Augsburg, Germany. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein
Source: Getty Images

Sadio Mane is a Senegalese professional footballer who plays as a forward for the Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the Senegal national team. He is a generous man who uses a great amount of his salary for donations and projects. He is a Muslim and is seen making d’ua before the start of each match.

13. Riyad Mahrez

  • Date of birth: 21 February 1991
  • Age: 31 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Sarcelles, France
most popular muslim football players
Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City in action during a training session at Manchester City Academy Stadium on 29 July 2022 in Manchester, England. Photo: Matt McNulty
Source: Getty Images

Riyad Karim Mahrez is a Premier League club Manchester City winger and captains the Algerian national team. Mostly known for his dribbling techniques, the player is a practising Muslim who made the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca.

12. Ilkay Gundogan

  • Date of birth: 24 October 1990
  • Age: 32 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Gelsenkirchen, Germany

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Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on 17 September 2022, in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt
Source: Getty Images

Gundogan captains Manchester City Premier League club and the German national team. The midfielder says that his Muslim family and migrants motivate him to be who he is today.

11. Antonio Rudiger

  • Date of birth: 3 March 1993
  • Age: 29 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Berlin, Germany
Best Muslim football players
Antonio Rudiger of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid and RB Leipzig, Group F, played at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on 14 Sep 2022 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Magma
Source: Getty Images

He is a professional German footballer for the La Liga club Real Madrid and the German national team. Unlike most of his fans know, the centre-back is a practising Muslim born in Berlin to a German father and a Sierra Leonean mother.

10. Eric Abidal

  • Date of birth: 11 September 1979
  • Age: 43 years as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Lyon, France
Who is the best Muslim footballer?
Eric Abidal of Barcelona is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League semi final first leg match between Barcelona and Chelsea at the Camp Nou on 28 April 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images

Eric Sylvain Abidal is a former French professional footballer who played mainly for Lyon and Barcelona. He had a successful career, winning 18 trophies for both teams. The defender was born a Catholic but moved to Islam in his 20s and changed his name to Bilal Eric Abidal.

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9. Nicolas Anelka

  • Date of birth: 14 March 1979
  • Age: 43 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Les Chesnay, Les Chesnay-Rocquencourt, France
World best Muslim football players
Nicholas Anelka of Chelsea in action during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on 6 May 2009 in London, England. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images

Nicolas Sebastian Anelka is a retired professional footballer for mainly Chelsea and the French National team. He is a French football manager who converted from an atheist to Islam in 2004, taking the Muslim name, ‘Abdul-Salam Bilal’.

8. Emmanuel Adebayor

  • Date of birth: 26 February 1984
  • Age: 38 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Lome, Togo
best muslim football players
Emmanuel Adebayor of Arsenal is seen prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match against Villarreal at the La Ceramica on 7 April 2009 in Villarreal, Spain. Photo: Etsuo Hara
Source: Getty Images

Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor is a professional striker for the Togolese Championnat National club Semassi. He converted from Christianity to Islam in 2015, and a video of him taking Shahada or declaration of faith, went viral.

7. Marouane Fellaini-Bakkioui

  • Date of birth: 22 November 1987
  • Age: 35 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Etterbeek, Germany
Who is the best muslim footballer?
Marouane Fellaini of Shandong Luneng Taishan reacts during a friendly match against Shijiazhuang Yongchang on 11 July 2020 in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province of China. Photo: VCG
Source: Getty Images

Fellaini is a former Manchester United player who currently plays as a mid-fielder for the Chinese club Shandong Taishan. He is of Moroccan heritage and a practising Muslim.

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6. Mohammed Salah Ghaly

  • Date of birth: 15 June 1992
  • Age: 30 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Nagrig, Egypt
best muslim players in the world
Mohamed Salah of Liverpool FC looks on during the pre-season friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and FC Liverpool at Red Bull Arena on 27 July 2022 in Salzburg, Austria. Photo: Roland Krivec
Source: Getty Images

Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly is s professional footballer for Liverpool FC in the Premier League and captains the Egypt national team. The Egyptian is one of the most elite African footballers, and unlike some of his fans know, he is a Muslim. This is evident by how he bows down to thank God every time he scores.

5. N’Golo Kante

  • Date of birth: 29 March 1991
  • Age: 31 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Paris, France
best muslim footballers of all time
N'Golo Kanté of France looks on during line up during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Denmark at Stade de France on 3 June 2022 in Paris, France. Photo: Antonio Borga
Source: Getty Images

N’Golo Kante plays for the EPL team Chelsea and France national team. Known for his humble, down-to-earth figure off the pitch, he is widely considered one of the best central midfielders in the world, with an amazing work rate and defensive acumen. He is also a Muslim born to Milan parents who migrated from Mali to France in 1980.

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4. Paul Pogba

  • Date of birth: 15 March 1993
  • Age: 29 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Lagny-Sur-Marne, France
best muslim football players in the world 2022
Juventus player Paul Pogba press conference at Allianz Stadium on 12 July 2022 in Turin, Italy. Photo: Daniele Badolato
Source: Getty Images

Paul Labile Pogba is an amazing midfielder for Serie A club Juventus and the France national team. His prowess in the game can be seen in his ability to switch positions from the central mid-field position to the left winger, attacking midfielder, defensive mid-fielder and deep-laying playmaker. He converted to Islam and said it had made him a ‘better person’.

3. Mesut Ozil

  • Date of birth: 15 October 1988
  • Age: 34 years as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Mesut Ozil of Basaksehir FK during the UEFA Europa Conference League match against Royal Antwerp FC at the Basaksehir Fatih Terim Stadium on 18 August 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: Orange Pictures
Source: Getty Images

Mesut Ozil is an attacking midfielder for Super Lig club Istanbul Basaksehir. Rivalled by few, his soft touch, control and precision, blended with his technical skills, creativity and vision, have made him one of the most successful players in the world. Also, he is a Muslim and is occasionally seen reciting the Quran before his matches.

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2. Karim Benzema

  • Date of birth: 19 December 1987
  • Age: 35 as of 2023
  • Place of birth: Lyon, France
best muslim foolball players right now
Karim Benzema receives the Ballon d'Or award during the Ballon D'Or ceremony at Theatre Du Chatelet In Paris on 17 October 2022 in Paris, France. Photo: Aurelien Meunier
Source: Getty Images

Karim Mostafa Benzema is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker and captains the La Liga club Real Madrid and the French national team. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner is often regarded as a complete player and one of the best strikers of all time. He is one of the world’s best Muslim football players.

1. Zinedine Zidane

  • Date of birth: 23 June 1970
  • Age: 50 years as of 2023
  • Place of birth: La Castellane, Marseille, France
Top 20 best Muslim football players in the world right now
Head coach, Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid, reacts during the La Liga Santander match against Athletic Club at Estadio de San Mames on 16 May 2021, in Bilbao, Spain. Photo: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce
Source: Getty Images

Popularly known as Zizou, he is a Real Madrid legend and one of the most successful coaches in the world. The attacking midfielder was renowned for his ‘attractive attacking style’ with ball control and retention blended with speed as his major weapons. He is an Islam of Algerian Kabyle descent.

Who is the best Muslim footballer of all time?

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Zinedine Zidane is regarded as one of the most popular Muslim footballers of all time, thanks to his prowess in the game. Born in a poor neighbourhood in Marseilles, he became the greatest Real Madrid legend and one of the most successful players in history.

Do Muslim footballers fast?

Fasting for Muslims takes place during Ramadhan. Luckily, the season ends just before the celebration, and fasting can be done during the off-season.

Who are the best muslim footballers of all time
Egypt's forward Mohamed Salah prays during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match against Russia at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on 19 June 2018. Photo: Olga Maltseva
Source: Getty Images

The best Muslim football players have repeatedly proven to be the best in the game. Despite the difference in religion with teammates, they have been able to do their best and bring out the most in others.

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