In this guide, we’ll break away from the usual football headlines and discuss seven incredible female Muslim players you need to know about. These ladies are super talented and have been fantastic, tearing up the football field. In no time, let’s dive right In.
1. Asisat Oshoala
Asisat Lamina Oshoala, the Nigeria football sensation is one of the best female Muslim footballers and one you need to know about.
She’s currently playing for Barcelona as a striker In Spain. Asisat is a big deal in the world of football. Some even call her one of the greatest African female footballers ever, and it’s not just hype.
She’s bagged the African Women’s Footballer of the Year award a whopping six times. Before becoming a Barcelona player, Asisat showed her skills in England with Arsenal and Liverpool, in China with Dailan, and back home in Nigeria with Rivers Angels and FC Robo.
She’s got a trophy cabinet to envy, FA Women’s Cup, league championships, cup titles, you name it. Asisat made history as the first African (and Nigerian) player to score in a UEFA Women’s Champions League final.
She helped Barcelona win the UEFA Champions League title in 2021. Remember the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2014?
Asisat not only won hearts but also the Golden Boot as the highest goal scorer. She’s a true trailblazer, even becoming the first African woman nominated for the Ballon d’Or.
Away from the pitch, she’s not just a footballer; she’s a celebrity with massive Instagram followers. After her standout performance in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she hit a million followers, which made her the first African female footballer to reach that milestone.
In 2021, Forbes recognized her talent, naming her in their 30 Under 30 list. Funny enough, she’s fondly known as “Àgba Baller”, meaning “Legendary Footballer” in her local language.
2. Nouhaila Benzina
Nouhaila Benzina is a Moroccan player who has been great both on and off the field. She’s not just a defender; she’s a trailblazer in the world of women’s football.
Nouhaila is the spine of AS FAR and proudly represents the Morocco women’s national team. In July 2023, she made her name in history as the first female player to sport an Islamic headscarf (hijab) at the senior-level FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Her journey in football includes stints with ASFAR in Morocco, where she’s proved her mettle as a formidable defender.
She’s also been a key player for Morocco at both under-20 and senior levels. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup marked a special moment for Nouhaila and Moroccan football.
It was their debut on the world stage, and Benzina was at the forefront. In the match against Germany, she made headlines globally as the first player on the team roster to wear a hijab, a momentous occasion that resonated far beyond the pitch.
On 30 July, Nouhaila played in a World Cup match wearing a hijab, contributing to Morocco’s 1–0 victory against South Korea.
However, her courageous choice faced criticism from the French media, particularly L’Équipe, with Islamophobic comments. Despite the challenges, Nouhaila Benzina stands tall as a role model for Muslim female footballers worldwide.
3. Hawa Cissoko
Hawa Cissoko is a French football maestro who is also another female Muslim player you need to know about. She was born in Paris, and she’s a defender; the pillar of the English Women’s Super League club West Ham United.
Also, she’s got Malian citizenship too, she’s got that double-team going on. Let’s rewind to her early days, Cissoko is one of 15 children, I’m talking about a bustling household.
Her football career kicked off at the age of 12 when she joined FC Solitaire. In 2012, she got the opportunity to join Paris Saint-Germain’s youth team, and she made her senior career debut during the 2014–15 season.
She later strutted her stuff with Olympique de Marseille in 2017, then onto ASJ Soyaux in 2018, and finally landed at West Ham United in July 2020.
On 15 October 2022, there was a bit of on-field drama, a scuffle that got Cissoko a five-match ban after she struck an opponent during a match against Aston Villa.
Regardless of the hiccup, she bounced back with style, scoring her first senior career goal on 11 December 2022 in a 2–0 league win against Tottenham Hotspur.
Cissoko represented France at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and made a couple of friendly appearances for Les Bleues in 2017.
READ ALSO: Top 10 Best Muslim Players In La Liga
4. Hanane Aït El-Haj
Hanane Aït El-Haj is a defensive powerhouse from Morocco, and she is one of the Muslim female footballers you need to learn about.
She plays as a right back, and she’s an important player for AS FAR and a force to be reckoned with in the Morocco women’s national team.
Starting her club career in 2016 with AS FAR in the Moroccan Women’s Championship, Hanane made her mark.
She even took a turn aside to Zaragoza CFF in Segunda División Pro for the 2020-21 season, returning to AS FAR with experiences under her belt.
Winning the league six times and clinching the Throne Cup four times with AS FAR, she’s been an integral part of the team’s success.
Internationally, Hanane Aït El Haj represented the Moroccan during the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualification.
She played an important role in Morocco’s journey to the runners-up position in the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, hosted in her homeland.
Also, she played a significant part in securing Morocco’s ticket to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a historic first for the nation.
Despite a tough 6-0 loss to Germany in the group stage, Hanane’s contributions go beyond the scoresheet. She even provided the assist for Morocco’s maiden World Cup goal, celebrated in a 1-0 victory over South Korea.
5. Ghizlane Chebbak
Here’s another incredible female Muslim player you need to know about, Ghizlane Chebbak. She’s a rising star in Moroccan women’s football.
Ghizlane is a forward, and she’s a force to be reckoned with, currently playing for ASFAR. Chebbak comes from a football lineage, her dad, Larbi Chebbak, was a player for the Morocco men’s national team back in the 1970s.
Beginning her journey with Ain Sebaa, Ghizlane’s career took her to Rachad Bernoussi, Wydad AC, Raja CA, and the Municipal Club of Al-Ayoun before heading to Egypt to play for Misr Lel Makkasa SC.
Political instability cut short her experience in Egypt, prompting a return to Morocco to play for Al Nassim (Sidi Moumen) and eventually landing at AS FAR in 2012.
Ghizlane’s trophy cabinet is impressive, boasting 10 Moroccan Women’s Championship wins and 9 Moroccan Women’s Throne Cup victories with AS FAR.
In the 2013-14 season, she set a club record, after scoring 54 goals in 20 matches and clinching the top scorer title five times.
Her international career includes representing Morocco in the CAF Women’s Champions League, where AS FAR finished third in 2021 and secured a historic 4-0 victory in 2022.
Although Ghizlane missed the latter due to injury, her impact on the team is undeniable. In 2023, she was nominated for the prestigious titles of African Player of the Year and Interclub Player of the Year by CAF.
6. Ouleymata Sarr
Ouleymata Sarr, the French forward caught my attention with her incredible on-field performances. She’s the real deal, and currently playing for the Washington Spirit in the American National Women’s Soccer League.
Ouleymata started with Paris Saint-Germain, where she scored in the UEFA Women’s Champions League against Frankfurt, a memorable debut on the big stage.
After four seasons, she moved to Lille, and there, she scored a jaw-dropping hat-trick in her first game. The 2018–19 season saw her netting 17 more goals.
In 2019, she took her talents to Bordeaux and later joined Paris FC in 2021. In June 2023, Ouleymata made a move to join the Washington Spirit.
After her contract with Paris FC was completed, she officially signed a three-year deal with the Spirit. Internationally, Sarr has been making waves since 2014.
She was part of the French U19 and U20 teams, showing off her skills at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. In 2017, she notched the opening goal for the French senior team in an impressive 8–0 victory against Ghana.
While she missed out on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she didn’t let that setback hold her back, playing in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.
However, the 2020–21 season with Bordeaux was marred by injuries, which limited her to just three matches. But true to her resilient spirit, she bounced back and secured a spot with Paris FC before crossing the Atlantic.
7. Khadija Shaw
Khadija Monifa “Bunny” Shaw is a Jamaican Muslim female football sensation, and she’s currently playing for Manchester City in the Women’s Super League.
Bunny Shaw is a goal-scoring machine, and she holds the title of Jamaica’s all-time top goalscorer for both men and women.
She’s an integral part of Jamaica in the 2019 and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Bunny comes from Spanish Town, Jamaica, and she was born into a family of 13 siblings.
Her love for carrots earned her the nickname ‘Bunny,’ a cute little story from her brother Kentardo. She started her football journey at age 10 when she started playing with her older brothers, and by 13, she was representing Jamaica U15s.
Bunny impressed at the University of Tennessee, graduating with a degree in communication. She is good as a striker, earning honors and catching the eye of scouts. Club-wise, she’s been all over.
From playing for Florida Krush in 2018 to a stellar performance in France with Bordeaux, where she snagged the Division 1 Féminine Player of the Month not once but twice.
In 2021, Manchester City scored big by signing Bunny from Bordeaux. In her first season, she made a mark, scoring a hat-trick and helping clinch the FA Women’s League Cup.
However, bunny Shaw’s second season at Manchester City was legendary. She became the club’s highest-scoring women’s player in a single season.
She even bagged the 2022 CONCACAF Female Player of the Year, a historic moment for Caribbean players. As if that’s not enough, she signed a two-year contract extension with Manchester City, promising more goal-scoring magic until 2026.
Pataka is a consistent and avid follower of the round leather game. He communicates his passion by editing soccer posts for various soccer platforms.