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A detailed list of footballers who have converted to Islam
Faith is an important part of every human being's life. Several prominent footballers have converted to Islam in the last few years. Join us today as we discover who they are and when they converted.
Sometimes some people ask if it is haram for a Muslim to become a football player. Many prominent soccer players already come from Muslim backgrounds. Some prominent names include French international Ngolo Kante, former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, and Liverpool forward Mo Salah, among others. This list will focus on soccer players from other religious backgrounds who converted to Islam.
1. Clarence Seedorf
On the pitch, Clarence remains one of the greatest midfielders to play the game. He is the only man to win the UEFA Champions League trophy with three different teams. In 2022, Clarence announced to the world that he had become a Muslim after researching and learning about the faith through his wife, Sophia.
2. Franck Ribery
Ribery had a distinguished career in Europe, winning the UEFA men's player award in 2013 after a great time at Bayern. Ribery announced his conversion to Islam in 2002 after marrying his Algerian wife, Wahiba Belhami. In an interview, Ribery credited the Islamic faith with strengthening him physically and mentally.
3. Thomas Partey
The Arsenal and Ghana midfielder has been one of Europe's best defensive midfielders in the past few years. Thomas converted in 2022 and took up the Islamic name 'Yakubu'.
4. Paul Pogba
French star Pogba has played for big clubs like Juventus and Manchester United. The World cup winner converted to Islam early in his career and even went for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in 2017.
5. Nicholas Anelka
Anelka was one of the world's best strikers during his playing days. He converted to Islam when he turned 16 and took up the name Abdul Salim Bilal.
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6. Emmanuel Adebayor
Togo's all-time top scorer had an accomplished career playing for big clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid. He converted to Islam in 2016, citing similarities between Jesus Christ and Mohammed.
7. Eric Abidal
Abidal was a long-time Barcelona and France captain during his playing career. He converted to Islam from catholicism in 2007 when he married his wife and took up the name Bilal Eric Abidal.
8. Frederic Kanoute
Former Malian international Fredereid Kanoute converted in 1999 while still playing in France. In 2020, he raised over $1 million in funds to build the first mosque in 700 years in Seville.
9. Danny Blum
Former Germany U20 international Danny Blum became a Muslim in 2014 after entering a mosque and feeling a sense of belonging. He plays in the second tier of German football with FC Nurnberg.
10. Nathan Ellington
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Ellington is a former premier league striker who played for West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic. He became a Muslim in 2005 after marrying his Bosnian wife, Alma. In 2011 he formed the Association of Muslim Footballers to represent the interests of Muslim footballers. He is also key among footballers who have gone for the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Faith is an individual choice every player makes, depending on their feelings. Many players who convert to different religions do it to fulfil their spiritual needs. That was our detailed list of footballers who converted to Islam.
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