If you have ever wanted to know about some famous Muslim footballers who converted to Christianity, this is a list of a few of them.
- George Weah
- Kevin Prince Boateng
- Djibril Cisse
- Sean Davis
- Sammy Kuffour
- Linvoy Primus
Soccer is way beyond the games, and we fans by a very small margin talk about the faith of these players. However, let’s get to know them.
1. George Weah
George Weah is the most famous Muslim footballer who converted Into a Christian In the history of soccer. Weah is not just one of the African best footballers of all time, but also a Liberian politician. He recently completed his term as the president of Liberia, holding office from 2018 to 2024.
Before stepping into the role of the president, Weah contributed as a Senator from Montserrado County where he showed his dedication to public service.
Let’s take a brief look Into his soccer career. He Started in Liberia with Young Survivors at just 15, and he showed promise early on.
Weah was known for some Incredible tight-angle goals. He also had a stint with Bong Range United before joining one of Liberia’s giants, Mighty Barrolle.
But it didn’t stop there. In 1986, he moved to Invincible Eleven, and he helped them clinch the 1987 Liberian Premier League title.
Before crossing borders, Weah worked at the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation, a far cry from the grand stadiums he’d later grace.
Then came a great moment, a match against Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1987 that caught the eye of Arsène Wenger, who was Monaco’s manager then.
That was how Weah’s journey to Europe began, with a £12,000 transfer fee sealing the deal. At Monaco, Weah was super great, and he was named African Footballer of the Year in 1989.
He also tasted victory in the 1990–91 Coupe de France. George’s dazzling performances attracted Paris Saint-Germain, where he claimed more titles, including the Coupe de France and Division 1.
AC Milan also made a gesture in 1995, they sealed a deal with Paris and Weah became a key figure. His solo goals and memorable runs are something supporters cannot forget about.
In 1995, he made history, after he won the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year who happens to be the first African to do so.
That was a huge credit for his development. Controversy found Weah in 1996 when a clash with Portuguese defender Jorge Costa led to a six-match ban. Yet, he still received the FIFA Fair Play Award.
Weah’s journey continued with a loan to Chelsea, he made himself one of the fans’ favorites. Also, he had spells at Manchester City, Marseille, and Al Jazira followed before his retirement in 2003 at age 37.
2. Kevin Prince Boateng
Boateng is another popular player who converted from a Muslim to a Christian. Kevin began his club career early, joining Reinickendorfer Füchse when he was six years old.
By the time he was seven, he was already announcing himself as a star at Hertha BSC. However, he started with the feeder teams, and he worked his way up, making his Bundesliga debut against Eintracht Frankfurt in 2005.
His career continued with time at Tottenham Hotspur and a loan to Borussia Dortmund. Many fans would remember his time with Portsmouth in the English Premier League which saw Boateng make headlines, scoring against Bolton Wanderers and making his mark in the 2010 FA Cup Final against Chelsea.
Also, he went to Genoa and subsequently moved to AC Milan. Boateng made his name in Serie A history with a remarkable hat-trick in just 14 minutes.
His career path took him to Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, where he continued to shine, scoring crucial goals and earning the appreciation of fans.
However, in 2015, Boateng faced suspension alongside teammates for poor behavior, which led to his departure from Schalke.
He returned to AC Milan in 2016. His career meandered through Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, Sassuolo, and a surprising stint at Barcelona on loan in 2019.
Boateng’s football career was fun If you ask me. From Fiorentina to Beşiktaş, and then to Monza in Serie B, he continued to display his skills and passion for the game.
In a surprising turn, Boateng returned to Hertha BSC in 2021, closing a full circle in his football career. As of August 11, 2023, Boateng announced his retirement from playing, which concluded a remarkable career that spanned different clubs, and countries.
3. Djibril Cisse
Cisse, the great man with so much passion for the game is a famous Muslim footballer who converted to Christianity. His soccer career started with Nîmes Olympique, but his breakthrough came when he signed with AJ Auxerre at the age of 15.
A young Cissé won the Coupe Gambardella, the French equivalent of the FA Youth Cup, in 1999. Moving to 2001–02, he became the top scorer in Ligue 1 with 22 goals, pushing Auxerre to the UEFA Champions League.
His success continued in the 2003–04 season, where Cissé’s goal tally reached its peak at 30, earning him the Golden Boot for the second time.
With 70 goals in 128 league games for Auxerre. In 2004, Liverpool came calling, sealing a deal worth over £14 million.
However, his time at Liverpool took an unexpected turn in 2004 when a freak accident during a match against Blackburn Rovers left Cissé with a broken leg.
Miraculously, he returned to the field in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final in 2005, scoring vital goals, including one in the final shootout against AC Milan.
Cissé went to Marseille in 2006, but it was both highs and lows for him. However, despite breaking his leg in a warm-up match for France in 2006, he made a strong comeback, and he scored great goals for Marseille and helped them secure a Champions League spot.
He also has time at Panathinaikos, Lazio, and Queens Park Rangers. At Panathinaikos, he became the Super League’s top scorer.
He also spent some time playing for Lazio in Serie A and Queens Park Rangers Post-retirement considerations saw Cissé join American side Panathinaikos Chicago in 2021 and in 2023, the Spanish seven-a-side team Los Troncos FC.
Djibril Cissé’s football career was a rollercoaster, filled with goals, and challenges, a narrative that goes beyond the pitch.
4. Sean Davis
Davis was converted to Christianity during his time at Portsmouth, which was influenced by teammate Linvoy Primus and the Faith and Football organization.
His story was a famous one Indeed. Sean Davis was a guy who went from the streets of Clapham, London, to making history on the soccer field.
He was born and raised at Ernest Bevin College in Tooting. Sean is a product of the Fulham youth system, and he’s one of the very few players In the game to play at all four professional levels with the same club.
At 17-year-old Davis made his debut for Fulham in 1996. In 2002–03, he was named Player of the Season. Everton and Middlesbrough were vying for his signature but an unfortunate knee injury derailed his transfer plans.
Injury or not, Davis remains dedicated, returning to the pitch in 2003 for Fulham’s reserve match against Watford. He withdraws his transfer request, signs a new contract, and becomes the only player in Fulham’s history to grace all four divisions.
Tottenham Hotspur also wanted him in 2004, but injuries played a spoiler. Portsmouth steps in, and Davis, despite fitness concerns, becomes a key player in their 2006 survival campaign, when he scored some incredible goals.
2007–08 sees Davis part of Portsmouth’s FA Cup-winning team. A rejected bid from Bolton Wanderers in 2009 doesn’t shake him; instead, he joins Bolton on a three-year deal.
Injuries plagued his time there, and after a loan stint at Bristol City, Davis hung up his boots in 2012 following Bolton’s relegation.
5. Samuel Kuffour
Samuel is one of a few of the famous Muslim players who converted to Christianity. In the history of Ghanaian football, Samuel Osei Kuffour is one of the best players, and he is known for his prowess as a center-back.
Kuffour’s story begins in Ghana, where he was spotted by Torino F.C. at the tender age of 15 to be precise. After a stint with the Italian club, he went to FC Bayern Munich in 1993.
For over a decade, Kuffour had a great time with Bayern, winning 14 honors and making close to 250 appearances. He was also part of the squad that clinched the UEFA Champions League in the 2000–01 season.
However, his career wasn’t without heartbreak, like during the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final against Manchester United.
Kuffour’s emotional reaction endeared him to Bayern supporters. In 2005, Kuffour bid farewell to Bayern and headed to A.S. Roma in Italy.
He also had loan spells, trials with Premier League’s Sunderland, and a brief time with AFC Ajax. In 2009, he returned to Ghana, signing a three-month deal with Asante Kotoko FC before retiring later that year.
As a Ghana international for 13 years, Kuffour wore the national colors with pride. He marked his presence from a young age, winning the 1991 FIFA U-17 World Championship and earning a bronze at the 1992 Olympics, this made him the youngest Olympic Football Champion ever.
In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Kuffour faced setbacks but remained a stalwart for Ghana. His performances earned him a spot in the Top 30 African Players of All Time by the Confederation of African Football.
In addition, In 2003, he expressed a desire to become a priest or missionary post-football. His Christian faith provided comfort, especially during tough times, like the loss of his daughter Godiva in a drowning accident.
6. Linvoy Primus
Primus emerged as the first child of Newton and Pauline Primus, his roots extending to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Raised in a Christian household, Primus, despite finding a church cold as a child, credits it for instilling a strong moral.
His early football ambitions sparked after witnessing Ricky Villa’s iconic goal for Tottenham Hotspur in the 1981 FA Cup Final Replay.
Embarking on his football quest, Primus moved through local clubs like Pretoria and eventually earned a spot at Charlton Athletic’s associate schoolboys.
Without being affected by initial struggles, he signed a two-year deal with Charlton after rejecting an offer from West Ham United.
Primus’ versatility had him playing various positions until coach Colin Clarke saw his potential as a center back. His professional debut for Charlton in 1992 showed his promise, which won him the Man of the Match accolade.
After a brief spell at Charlton, Primus went to different clubs, facing relegation with Reading, and eventually made progress at Portsmouth.
His impactful performances contributed to Portsmouth’s Division One title win in the 2002–03 season. Off the pitch, Primus faced personal challenges, including battles with depression, addiction, and a knee injury that threatened his career.
It was during these struggles that he found relief in Christianity, undergoing a transformative journey that inspired his autobiography, “Transformed.”
Beyond his playing days, Primus embraced a philanthropic role, engaging in charity work across Africa and India. His involvement with the Christian charity ‘Faith and Football’ and contributions to various causes made him an MBE in the 2015 New Year Honors.
Pataka is a consistent and avid follower of the round leather game. He communicates his passion by editing soccer posts for various soccer platforms.