A list of Muslim footballers who converted to Christianity

A list of Muslim footballers who converted to Christianity

Kevin Omuya
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:24 PM
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Every time they score, players look for a method to show their faith, whether it is by pointing to the sky or lowering their heads in worship. It is not unusual to see footballers of varying beliefs, and today we will look at a few football players who converted to Christianity.

Football players who converted to christianity
Liverpool's Djibril Cisse (R) vies for the ball with Total Network Solution's Thomas Holmes at Wrexham's Racecourse ground Wales, 19 July 2005. Photo: Martyn Harrison
Source: Getty Images

Famous soccer players are increasingly coming out as Christians after having previously identified as Muslims. They were devout Muslims for a considerable period before they finally accepted Christ. A brave decision that stands as a significant witness to one's faith in Jesus. Several famous Muslim players have recently converted to Christianity; here is a short list:

1. Djibril Cisse

Footballer converted to christianity
Marseille's forward Djibril Cisse jubilates after scoring vs Valenciennes at the velodrome stadium, 19 January 2008 in Marseille. Photo: Michel Gagne
Source: Getty Images

Cisse is a former France international who, in his prime, was regarded as one of the best strikers in Europe. Djibril has been a part of several illustrious European teams, including AJ Auxerre, Olympique Marseille, and Liverpool FC. The latter is the team the French striker won the UEFA Champions League in 2005, after a tense penalty shootout in which he scored.

Cisse was raised a Muslim by his Ivorian and Guinean parents after being born in France. Sometime after his divorce from Jude Littler, the footballer converted to Christianity (Roman Catholicism) and remarried.

2. Sammy Kuffour

Muslim convert footballers
Samuel Kuffour during a Champions League game of Arsenal vs Bayern Munich FC on Dec 05, 2000. Photo: Sandra Behne
Source: Getty Images

Former Ghana international and Bayern Munich defender who was among the league's greatest players. During his time with the Bavarian giants, Kuffour won multiple league titles, cup titles, and the UEFA Champions League. Sammy attributes his recovery from despair to his newfound Christian faith, which he embraced shortly after the untimely passing of his daughter.

3. George Weah

Muslim footballers that converted to christianity
George Weah during Netherlands' Ajax vs Italy's AC Milan on August 08, 1996. Photo by Andreas Rentz
Source: Getty Images

The current president of Liberia is a former member of the national team. He is widely considered to be among the continent's top athletes. To this day, Weah is the only player from Africa to have won the annual Ballon d'Or. Additionally, George played for several prestigious teams and won several championships. While his family was Christian, Weah was one of the Muslim convert footballers before he again converted to Christianity.

4. Linvoy Primus

Footballers converted to Christianity
Linvoy Primus, Portsmouth. Photo: Mike Egerton
Source: Getty Images

Primus is a former English football player most known for his stint with Portsmouth FC during their time in the English Premier League. Linvoy teamed up with Sol Campbell, a former England international and stalwart of the defence, during his spell at the port city club. Primus's wife and some family friends are responsible for his conversion to Christianity. Primus is one of the Muslim footballers that converted to Christianity.

5. Sean Davis

Football players who converted to christianity
Sean Davis, Portsmouth. Photo: Neal Simpson
Source: Getty Images

Former English professional footballer Sean is best known for his time with Fulham FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, and Portsmouth FC. Davis says that his former teammate, Linvoy Primus, was instrumental in leading him to Christ. He is one of the footballers who converted to Christianity.

7. Kevin Prince Boateng

Footballer converted to christianity
Kevin-Prince Boateng of Hertha BSC reacts during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and 1. FC Köln at Olympiastadion on November 12, 2022, in Berlin,⁄ Germany. Photo: Boris Streubel
Source: Getty Images

According to popular belief, a Ghanaian international footballer shortlisted for African Footballer of the Year is a devout Christian. Some say the teenage footballer converted to Islam due to his Turkish friends and girlfriend, but he later returned to Christianity after meeting his future wife, Jenny.

8. Qadry Ismail

Footballers who converted to Christianity
A close-up of Qadry Ismail #87 of the Baltimore Ravens as he looks on during the game against the Cleveland Browns at the PSINet Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo: Doug Pensinger
Source: Getty Images

For his football skills, Qadry is known as "The Missile" Ismail. A younger sibling to Raghib, he entered the world in 1970. He played professional American football for several teams, including the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, and Indianapolis Colts.

With the Baltimore Ravens, he won Super Bowl XXXV. Before visiting his grandmother with his brother, Qadry was reared as a devout Muslim. He became a Christian at the same time as his sibling.

9. Raghib Ismail

Muslim footballers that converted to Christianity
Wide receiver Raghib Ismail #86 of Los Angeles Raiders during the game vs the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 14, 1993, in Los Angeles, California. Photo: George
Source: Getty Images

Raghib was born in 1969. He was well-liked by fans of both the American and Canadian Football Leagues. During his career, he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys, the Carolina Panthers, and the Los Angeles Raiders.

His adoring public calls him "Rocket" Ismail. Raghib is now recognised as one of the best college football players ever. The Qur'an was essential to his upbringing since his Muslim father taught him essentially.

At 13, he made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ while attending a concert by Christian musician and Evangelist Leon Patillo. He now runs a ministry where he shares his Christian testimony.

10. Tunch Ilkin

Muslim convert footballers
Offensive lineman Tunch Ilkin #62 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Three Rivers Stadium on October 28, 1984, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo: George Gojkovich
Source: Getty Images

Tunch Ilkin was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1957. When he was only two years old, he moved to Chicago with his Muslim parents. His professional career began when he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Following his retirement from football, he served as vice president of the NFLPA for five years. Tunch converted to Christianity and is now the pastor of the Men's Ministry at Bible Chapel in the United States.

11. Akbar Gbaja-Biamila

Footballer converted to christianity
Akbar Gbajabiamila of the San Diego Chargers poses for his 2006 NFL headshot at photo day in San Diego, California. Photo: Getty Image
Source: Getty Images

A younger sibling of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Akbar was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. As a professional American football player, he rose to prominence while suiting for the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Miami Dolphins.

Her mother was a devout Sunni Muslim who became a Christian. She was a holy Christian who assured Akbar that God would direct his path. While at university, Akbar decided to convert to Christianity.

12. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila

Football players who converted to christianity
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila of the Green Bay Packers poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Kabeer was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1977. His Nigerian parents were both devout Muslims, and he received a Muslim upbringing. He linked up with the Christian woman who would eventually become his spouse. She prayed that he would come to know Jesus as his Savior.

In the year 2000, he decided to become a Christian. Kabeer volunteered as a financial advisor at his church, where he taught members how to handle their finances through Christian teachings.

Who is the most famous Muslim footballer?

Soccer player Karim Benzema is the most famous Muslim footballer. The 2022 Ballon d'Or winner is widely considered a legend on the pitch and a model of consistency. He is widely regarded as one of the best footballers of his faith.

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of Muslim footballers who converted to Christianity. They were devout Muslims for quite some time before finally converting to Christianity. A brave decision that stands as a testament to one's conviction in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Kevin Omuya
Kevin Omuya is a Content Writer with 4 years of experience who joined Sports Brief in 2022. In 2019 he held a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Digital Media from KCA University.