1. Nicolas (Bilal) Anelka
Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka converted to Islam in 2004 in the UAE after deep discussions about religion with childhood friends, he took the Muslim name Abdul-Salam Bilal. Anelka was a Manchester City player at the time and considered moving to play his football in the UAE before settling on a move to Turkish club Fenerbache.
2. Franck (Bilal) Ribery
French player Franck Ribery is also a convert to Islam, with his wife French-Algerian wife having been raised a Muslim herself, Ribery was recently quoted as having said “I pray five times a day, I do it because it enables me to be released and I feel better afterwards.”.
3. Kolo (Habib) Toure
Arsenal centre back Kolo Toure was raised in the Ivory Coast and played for ASEC Mimosas before he was bought by the Gunners. Toure is a practicing Muslim, as are his family, and has previously stated his desire to become a role model for young British Muslims.
4. Frederick (Oumar) Kanoute
French born Malian Kanoute, who plays for Seville and the French national team as a striker, has been practising Islam since the age of 20 (he is now 32). He refused to wear the Seville shirt whilst it was sponsored by gambling website 888.com, and therefore wore a brand free version. Kanoute has also purchased a Mosque in Seville for $700k after its lease had expired.
5. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema was born in France to parents of Algerian-Kabyle descent, and is openly a practising Muslim. Benzema currently plays for Real Madrid following a 35 million euro transfer from Lyon, he has also become a regular international player for France.
6. Samir Nasri
The young Samir Nasri has been a revelation at Arsenal and has been hailed by many in France as ‘The New Zidane’. I’m not convinced that Nasri can achieve the same things as Zidane, but he is without doubt a very talented player. Nasri was born to Algerian parents in France and raised as a Muslimm, his girlfriend is non-muslim.
7. Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure is the younger brother of Kolo Toure (number 3) and plays as a defensive midfielder for Barcelona, although he is not a first choice player very often. Like his brother, Yaya is a practising Muslim.
8. Hatem Ben Arfa
Hatem Ben Arfa is a talented French international player of Tunisian descent, and is currently plying his trade at Marseille. His father was a Tunisian international, and his whole family is muslim.
9. Khalid Boulahrouz
Khalid Boulahrouz is a Dutch international defender ofBerber Moroccan descent, he currently plays in Germany for Stuttgart. The Berber people are almost entirely Sunni Muslim, as is Boulahrouz and his family.
10. Abou Diaby
Abou Diaby, like the Toure brothers, is of Ivorian descent. He was raised in France, and has played for their international team. The Arsenal star, who plays as a central midfielder, remains a practising muslim.