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Monday, 3 August 2015

Six World-Famous Footballers Who Embraced Islam

There are lots of football players who have decided to convert to Islam during the early or later years of their lives. Naij.com made a list of six most famous footballers who chose to join one of the largest religions in the world. We also verified whether or not Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry are Muslims. Scroll down to the bonus material.
1. Emmanuel Adebayor

A Togolese footballer who plays for English club Tottenham Hotspur and the Togo national team  in a ceremony recorded and a video was posted to YouTube. Apparently, until recently Adebayor was a practising Christian. He used to post pictures of himself with a priest to Facebook with captions praising God. The footballer, however, hasn’t made any public announcements about his conversion.
2. Franck Ribery

Another French professional footballer, who is playing for German club Bayern Munich at the moment, converted to Islam in 2002 because of his wife, Wahiba Belhami, and added Muslim name Bilal. According to Ribery, religion is his privacy and he is feeling physically and mentally stronger since he preferred Islam.
3. Eric Abidal

Eric Adibal is a French retired professional footballer who had to stop playing because of health issues. In March 2011, he had been diagnosed with a tumour in his liver, and a year later he underwent a second operation – his liver was transplanted. Abidal has converted from Catholicism to Islam and changed his name to Bilal Eric Abidal right after his wedding in 2007. A former defender of FC Barcelona allegedly choose Islam because of his Algerian-born wife, Hayet Kebir.
4. Emeka Ezeugo

A former Nigerian football defender and midfielder who played in 1994 World Cup converted to Islam in February 2012. According to Ezeugo, he embraced Islam after being inspired by the life of Prophet Mohammad.
5. Nicolas Anelka

A French footballer who is now a player-manager of Mumbai City FC has converted to Islam when he was sixteen, however, he kept his religious beliefs private for a long time. He went though his formal conversion only in 2004, and adopted the Muslim name of Abdul-Salam Bilal.
6. Danny Blum

A German footballer made an announcement of his reversion to Islam in January 2015. Blum said in an interview he prays five times a day and eats halal food. He also described Islam as a religion of hope and strength.
Bonus:
Robin van Persie

A lot of people believe van Persie, a Dutch professional footballer who plays for Turkish club Fenerbah├že and is the captain of the Netherlands national team, is a Muslim. However, this is far from the truth. He is married to a Moroccan-Dutch wife, Bouchra van Persie, who has embraced Islam, BUT he has once said: “I am not a Muslim nor a Christian, nor a Jew.”
Thierry Henry

Thierry Daniel Henry, a retired French professional footballer, who played for Monaco, Juventus, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and spent eight years at Arsenal, is also believed to be a Muslim. However, this information is highly unconfirmed. There is only one indication that Henry supports Islam. In a video that, apparently, has not been translated into English by a reputable news source. According to the several existing translations, Henry says that he feels closer to Islam than any other religion, that he respects his Muslim friends, and that if he were to convert to a religion, it would be Islam.
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