In football, talent knows religious boundaries, and while some are devoted Christians likewise some are committed Muslims.
Few of these players practically show their faith on the soccer field, while some don’t make their religion public. However, In this guide, I will share with you the top 11 best Muslim Football players In the world.
Let’s dive In.
1. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema is a French football maestro that has been magical over the years. Currently, he’s the star striker and captain at Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League.
Before his Saudi adventure, Benzema had a great time with Real Madrid. He’s the second-highest goal-scorer in Real Madrid’s history.
Benzema’s trophy cabinet at Real Madrid is massive with 24 trophies, including four La Liga and five UEFA Champions League titles.
He started his soccer career with Olympique Lyonnais. In 2009, he became a big deal with a €35 million move to Real Madrid.
It took him a bit to find his ground, but once he did, there was no stopping him. Ever heard of the BBC trio? That’s Benzema, Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The trio that made magic happen on the field. During the Ronaldo era, Benzema took the lead at Real Madrid and nailed it.
He won the La Liga Best Player and Pichichi Trophy, the guy was on fire. In 2022, he even won the Champions League top scorer title.
Internationally, he won the UEFA U-17 Championship in 2004 and earned 97 caps for the senior team. However, life threw him a curveball when he got tangled in a scandal, which led to his temporary retirement from the French squad.
But, he made a return before retiring in 2022. He bagged the UEFA Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or in 2021 and 2022.
At 34 years and 302 days, Benzema is the third-oldest Ballon d’Or winner, proving that age is just a number when you’re as good as him.
2. Mohamed Salah
Meet Mohamed Salah, the football sensation whose moves on the field are as smooth as his nickname, Mo Salah. Salah is like the Beyoncé of football, a global icon. And he has been one of the best players in the Premier League.
Salah didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. He kicked off his career in 2010, playing for Al Mokawloon. Then, he journeyed to Basel, winning two Swiss Super League titles.
He went to Chelsea in 2014, but Salah didn’t quite find his rhythm, which led to some loan moves to Italy with Fiorentina and Roma.
In 2017, Liverpool spotted his magic and broke the bank with a £36.9 million transfer. The rest is history, Salah set a Premier League record with 32 goals in a single season and helped Liverpool clinch the 2018 UEFA Champions League title.
He’s part of the attacking trio that’s the Avengers of football, Salah, Firmino, and Mane. Individual accolades? Salah’s got them all.
Two PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards, three Golden Boots, Player of the Season, Playmaker of the Season, and he even finished fifth in the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Internationally, Salah’s the pride of Egypt. He’s been a runner-up in the Africa Cup of Nations and rocked the CAF awards. He’s not just a football star; he’s a national hero. They even call him the “Fourth Pyramid” in Egypt.
3. N’Golo Kanté
N’Golo Kanté is the unsung hero of football, a French midfielder with so much affection from the fans. I would hardly believe that Kante has an enemy In the game or from the fans because he is just one player I have never seen before In terms of good personality.
However, he is now the defensive maestro at Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League. Kanté’s football career started with Boulogne in 2012., and In 2016, he became the driving force behind Leicester City’s miraculous Premier League win.
Imagine being the guy who helps the underdog take home the biggest trophy, that’s Kanté for you. The following year, he moved to Chelsea for £32 million and yet he won another league title, which made him the first player to achieve back-to-back titles with different clubs since the legendary Eric Cantona.
Seven seasons with Chelsea, and Kanté’s shelf is groaning with trophies with the FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup.
Individually, Kanté is a decorated player, winning the Premier League Player of the Season, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, UEFA Men’s Midfielder of the Year, and the Trophées UNFP for Best French Player Abroad. He’s good at what he does.
4. Mesut Ozil
Mesut Özil is one of the best-attacking midfielders I have ever seen play the game, and he is a devoted Muslim. He has got beautiful plays with his technical prowess, creativity, and incredible passing skills.
That said, Mesut started his soccer adventure in his hometown Gelsenkirchen, and kicked off his pro career with Schalke 04 before moving to Werder Bremen in 2008.
His skills quickly caught the eye, which led to a big move to Real Madrid in 2010. With them, he snagged a La Liga title and topped the league in assists for three seasons straight.
In 2013, Arsenal broke the bank to sign Özil for a whopping £42.5 million. He made quite the impact, helping Arsenal clinch three FA Cups and ending a nine-year trophy drought.
Plus, he holds the record for the second-highest assists in a Premier League season, 19 assists. In 2021, Özil waved goodbye to the English rain and joined Fenerbahçe on a free transfer.
After a brief time at İstanbul Başakşehir, he decided to hang up his boots in 2023, leaving a legacy of beautiful football behind.
For Germany, Özil was a mainstay for over nine years, earning the most German National Team Player of the Year awards (5).
5. Franck Ribery
Franck Ribéry is the French football wing wizard who used to own the left wing. Ribéry’s style on the field was fast, tricky, and an absolute maestro with the ball.
If football had a dance floor, he would be the star. His journey began in 1989 with FC Conti Boulogne, and after a bit of jumping around, the football world saw his potential.
Zinedine Zidane himself dubbed Ribéry the “jewel of French football,” quite the compliment from a legend. Ribéry’s club experiences took him from Lille to Galatasaray and back to France with Marseille, where he made waves in the Coupe de France.
But the real game-changer came in 2007 when he joined Bayern Munich for a record €25 million. He won nine Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokal, a UEFA Champions League, and a FIFA Club World Cup there.
Do you even remember the term “Robbery”? No, not the crime, it’s Ribéry and Arjen Robben tearing up wings for Bayern.
A football bromance that fans loved. In 2019, Ribéry bid farewell to Bayern and went to Italy, joining Fiorentina. And just when you thought he’d hang up his boots, he’s now acting as a technical collaborator for Serie A club Salernitana.
6. Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez, the football sensation we can’t help but admire, has a story that’s as impressive as his skills on the pitch.
Rewind to his early days, and you’ll find a young Mahrez with ball skills that turned heads, even though he wasn’t the beefiest player around.
His career kicked off in 2004 with AAS Sarcelles, and a short time in Scotland at St Mirren was cut short by the chilly weather.
In 2009, he found himself at CFA side Quimper, sharing digs with Mathias Pogba. In 2010, Mahrez joined Le Havre, dodging offers from PSG and Marseille because he fancied Le Havre’s youth setup.
Leicester City wanted him in 2014, and they signed him for a mere £450,000. In his debut season, he included a noteworthy equalizer against Nottingham Forest.
Leicester cruised to the Championship title, and Mahrez was officially on the Premier League map. The 2015–16 season was his masterpiece.
With a fresh four-year contract, he lit up the Premier League, scoring goals like it was child’s play. Mahrez’s magic didn’t go unnoticed; he bagged the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and became the first African to earn that accolade.
In 2018, he made a splash at Manchester City, becoming their record signing. The 2018–19 season saw him win the Premier League and the EFL Cup, which made him the second African player to clinch both with different clubs.
In the 2021–22 season, Mahrez was a goal-scoring machine in the Champions League, breaking records left and right.
His 24 goals in all competitions got him a spot on the Ballon d’Or shortlist. The 2022–23 season brought more success, a contract extension with City.
A historic hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final, and a Champions League triumph against Inter Milan. However, the summer of 2023 saw Mahrez embark on a new adventure with Al Ahli in the Saudi Pro League.
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7. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mané, the Senegalese sensation, didn’t have a smooth ride to football glory. He was born in Bambali, Senegal, to Guinean parents; his dad, an imam, initially said no to his football dreams.
Fate stepped in when tragedy struck, his father passed away when he was just seven. At 15, fueled by ambition and with a friend’s help, Mané left home for Dakar, to chase his football dreams against all odds.
His pro career kicked off in M’Bour caught the eye of scouts, and landed him at Génération Foot, a club that got promoted due to his skills.
The experience continued with Metz and then a move to Red Bull Salzburg, where he wowed with hat-tricks and a domestic double.
But when the football world saw his best was when Southampton picked him up in 2014 for £11.8 million. Mané lit up the Premier League, scoring, assisting, and setting records.
Southampton’s loss was Liverpool’s gain in 2016 when they signed him for £34 million. He became the most expensive African player at the time.
The Liverpool years saw Mané’s star rise. His hat-trick against Aston Villa broke records, and he was a crucial part of the “Fab Three.”
The 2018 UEFA Champions League final saw him score, making history as the first Senegalese to do so. He kept on his golden run, sharing the Premier League Golden Boot in 2019–20 and lifting the Premier League trophy in 2019–20.
In 2022, a new chapter unfolded as he joined Bayern Munich, dazzling with goals. Despite setbacks, including an injury sidelining him from the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Mané returned stronger in 2023.
The Bayern time ended with Bundesliga glory, and now he’s up with a new challenge with Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.
8. Edin Dzeko
Edin Džeko, the Bosnian powerhouse, started as a midfielder with Željezničar, but back then, people thought he was too tall and lacked skills.
Lucky for him, his coach saw potential and recommended him to Teplice, and the rest is history. Željezničar agreed to a bargain deal of €25,000, and as one director put it, they felt like they won the lottery.
Fast forward to his time at VfL Wolfsburg, and Džeko became a sensation. He scored goals like water, helping Wolfsburg clinch their first-ever Bundesliga title.
The guy was on fire, forming the “magic triangle” with Misimović and Grafite. They even beat Bayern Munich 5-1, a match that sealed Wolfsburg’s historic championship.
His journey continued at Manchester City in 2011, with a hefty transfer fee of £27 million. Džeko made an impact, winning the FA Cup and scoring crucial goals, including one against QPR that secured City’s first Premier League title in 44 years. Talk about ending a drought!
Then came his Italian affair with AS Roma, where he became a goal-scoring machine. He won the Capocannoniere, finishing as Serie A’s top scorer, and led Roma to a stunning comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Even though they didn’t win it all, Džeko’s heroics were legendary. Now, he’s taking on a new challenge at Inter Milan, and still scoring goals at 36 and breaking records.
Recently, he became the oldest goalscorer in the Supercoppa Italiana. Also, Džeko is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s all-time leading goalscorer, notching up 65 goals and counting.
He’s been a key player in their historic journey, reaching milestones like scoring his 50th international goal and making his 100th appearance.
9. Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri is a French football legend who lit up the field as an attacking midfielder and winger. He is one of those players who love to dance with the ball and can pull off Incredible passes that can make you scream.
Starting his football journey in Marseille, Nasri joined Olympique de Marseille at just nine. He spent seven years sharpening his skills at La Commanderie, the club’s training center.
Nasri made his professional debut at 17, and soon, he became the talk of the town with his dazzling performances. In 2008, Nasri moved into the Premier League with Arsenal, making fans fall in love with his style.
He was like the wizard of the field, winning the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month three times and finding a spot in the Team of the Year.
The French Player of the Year title in 2010 was the cherry on top. A change of scenery led Nasri to Manchester City in 2011, where he won his first major trophy, the 2011–12 Premier League.
However, his career hit a bump in 2017 with an eighteen-month suspension for a doping violation. Nasri called it a day in 2021, retiring from professional football.
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10. Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka is a football maestro whose skills were appreciated, and he’s one of the best Muslim players In the world of all time. He is a retired French player turned football manager.
Anelka began his career at Paris Saint-Germain but quickly moved to Arsenal, where he won the 1997–98 Premier League and FA Cup double.
He won awards like PFA Young Player of the Year. Real Madrid signed him for a £22.3 million deal in 1999. Although part of the UEFA Champions League-winning squad, he felt a bit out of place and returned to PSG for £20 million.
Never one to settle, Anelka had his eyes on the Premier League again. He had a loan spell at Liverpool and a £13 million move to Manchester City.
After also spending some time in Turkey and England, he went to Chelsea for £15 million. He bagged a Premier League title, two FA Cups, and a shot at the UEFA Champions League in 2007–08.
Also, he won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2009. After leaving Chelsea, Anelka moved to Shanghai Shenhua, Juventus, West Bromwich Albion, and Mumbai City FC.
11. Antonio Rudiger
Antonio Rüdiger’s football career has been fantastic and started back in 2011. In 2012, went to the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart’s first team, facing Borussia Mönchengladbach.
It wasn’t the best debut, ending in a 3–0 defeat, but hey, we all start somewhere. The guy wasn’t just a one-season wonder; he extended his contract with Stuttgart until 2017.
Despite a tough loss in the 2013 DFB-Pokal final against Bayern Munich, Rüdiger’s star kept rising. The next season saw him battling injuries but also displaying his skills with Serie A club Roma, where he made a permanent move in 2016.
He went to Chelsea in 2017 for a reported £29 million. And became an Important figure in the defense. Chelsea fans won’t forget his Incredible goals, especially in the UEFA Champions League. Rüdiger was instrumental in their 1–0 victory over Manchester City in the 2021 final.
However, life at Chelsea had its challenges. In 2019, he reported racist abuse during a match against Tottenham Hotspur.
The incident sparked discussions on racism in football, although no evidence was found after a police investigation. In 2022, Rüdiger made a surprising move to Real Madrid. As a free agent, he joined the club for the 2022–23 season. He even scored on his debut game.
Pataka is a consistent and avid follower of the round leather game. He communicates his passion by editing soccer posts for various soccer platforms.