Muslim Players of the World Cup 2014

Muslim Players of the World Cup 2014

A lot of the teams will have Muslim players in this year’s World Cup 2014 which started on Thursday 12th June 2014. It should be much more in number than the Muslim footballers in the Premier League.

Updated: Thanks to all those who commented, there are now 98 muslim football players in this years world cup in Brazil.

Muslims are obviously anticipating the arrival of Ramadan more than the World Cup, with Ramadan due to start at the end of the month.

Non the less all football fans will be glued to their television sets watching their favourite team play in the World Cup 2014. Among them will be many muslim players.

muslim football players world cup 2014

Because I watch the Premier League more than any other league, I am not too familiar with the other football players around the world who are muslims. I’ve tried my best to add all the Muslim footballers from the world cup 2014 here, I went through all the squads and picked out all the muslim players from all 32 teams. Some were obvious, others not so much so if I have missed any let me know by leaving a comment so I can add them to the list.

Muslim Players of the World Cup 2014 by Continent

There are 32 countries competing for the world cup and each country has a squad of 23 players so, we’ll do a run down by continent and see who and how many of them are muslims in each squad.

Europe

A total of 13 teams from Europe are competing in this years World Cup, this is the most teams from a continent. Most of the players despite being from other nations they play their league football in Europe, England and Wales leading with 124 players alone. So how many of them are muslim players?

Belgium

This Belgium team has some very good world-class players in their squad.

Midfielders: Nacer Chadli (Tottenham), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Man United), Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United).

Bosnia-Hercegovina

There should no surprises if a lot or all of the Bosnian players are muslims, as they are a predominantly muslim country.

Update: thanks to Mahmud, most of the Bosnian Players in the team are Muslim.

Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Jasmin Fejzic (VFR Aalen).

Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg).

Midfielders: Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Anel Hadzic (Sturm), Tino Susic (Hajduk), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Avdija Vrsaljevic (Hajduk).

Strikers: Vedad Ibisevic (VfB Stuttgart), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB).

France

France has many North African descendants, there are a lot of muslim players from France who are playing in various leagues around the world. With the omission of Samir Nasri from the French squad and Bilal Ribery injured; let’s have a look at how many muslims footballers have made it in the France squad for World cup 2014.

Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool).

Midfield: Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Paul Pogba (Juventus).

Strikers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid).

Germany

Another European nation with many muslim migrants especially from Turkey.

Defenders: Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria).

Midfielders: Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal).

Switzerland

The Swiss squad has a few muslims, although they are Swiss citizens some of them are of Albanian descent. Among them is one player, the former Fulham defender who became muslim in 2012.

Defenders: Philippe Senderos (Valencia).

Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Napoli), Blerim Dzemaili (Napoli), Gokhan Inler (Napoli), Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich).

Forwards: Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg), Haris Seferovic (Real Sociedad), Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach).

Muslim Football Players from Africa

Africa have the 3rd highest amount of teams (5) competing for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil, most of their players play in foreign leagues across the world. Africa also has a high number of muslims especially in North Africa.

Algeria

Will you be surprised if the entire squad is Muslim?

Goalkeepers: Rais Mbolhi (CSKA Sofia), Cedric Si Mohamed (CS Constantine), Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche (USM Alger).

Defenders: Essaid Belkalem (Watford, on loan from Granada), Madjid Bougherra (Lekhwya Club), Faouzi Ghoualm (Napoli), Rafik Halliche (Academica Coimbra), Aissa Mandi (Stade Reims), Djamel Mesbah (Livorno), Mehdi Mostefa (AC Ajaccio).

Midfielders: Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), Yasine Brahimi (Granada), Medhi Lacen (Getafe), Saphir Taider (Inter Milan), Hassan Yebda (Udinese).

Forwards: Abdelmoumene Djabou (Club Africain), Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia), Nabil Ghilas (Porto), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Hilal Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).

Ghana

Another African nation which has a good population of muslims in their country. The Ayew brothers, despite having names which are not traditional muslim names are actually muslim.

Defenders: Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).

Midfielders: Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).

Forwards: Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux).

Ivory Coast

The West African nation has 5 muslim players in their squad, among them is Yaya Toure who is one of the best footballers in the World!

Updated list thanks to bin Khalid’s good observations.

Defenders: Kolo Toure (Liverpool F.C), Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor).

Midfielders: Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle), Diomande Ismael (Saint Etienne), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover).

Forwards: Gervinho (Roma), Salomon Kalou (Lille).

Nigeria

A very large muslim nation from Africa, not expecting many muslim players in their squad though.

Midfielders: Ramon Azeez (Almeria)

Forward: Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow)

Asia

Asia has 3 teams competing in the World Cup this year, Korea Republic, Japan and Iran. No prizes for guessing which nation has Muslim players in it.

Iran

Iran should have an all muslim squad because they are a muslim country.

Goalkeepers: Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan).

Defenders: Hossein Mahini (Persepolis), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis).

Midfielders: Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Haddadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan).

Forwards: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Saz, on loan from Persepolis), Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal).


So there you have it! All of the muslim footballers competing in this year’s World cup in Brazil. In total there are 87 98 of them from 10 teams spanning 3 Continents, no players are Muslim from North America, South America and Australia in this year’s World Cup.

World Cup 2014 squad data taken from the BBC.

Cover Image and Nations Picture from Vector Open Stock

By | 2014-07-18T00:46:51+00:00 June 13th, 2014|Football|80 Comments

About the Author:

A Computing teacher by profession Abu teaches children aged 11-18. His background is in Computer Science. Currently writing for Top Islamic blog as the main editor. His passion is to disseminate computing and Islamic concepts to the willing ... Connect on Facebook.

80 Comments

  1. Aatif 15/06/2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    What about Raheem Sterling of England , Ben Arfa of France, Frank Reibery of France

    • Abu Zainab 15/06/2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Raheem Sterling isn’t muslim, Ben arfa and Ribery (injured) aren’t in the squad. Bu thanks for your comment.

  2. bin Khalid 15/06/2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    There are othet Muslim players in the Ivory Coast team too. Souleyman Bamba (Trabzonspor) and Ismael Diomande (St Etienne) also have Muslim names. Furthermore, another player named Didier Ya Konan (Hannover 96), I saw praying with raised hands on the side of the pitch in yesterday’s match against Japan, implying that he is also Muslim.

    • Abu Zainab 15/06/2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Ah yes, excellent observation! Thank you for that I’ll update the list. Didn’t know Sol Bamba was actually Souleyman. Thanks for your excellent input.

      • bin Khalid 15/06/2014 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        No problem brother, just doing my bit 🙂

        • Abu Zainab 15/06/2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

          I’ve updated the list and made a reference to your comment on the actual post. Barak Allahu Feek.

          • bin Khalid 15/06/2014 at 7:31 pm

            Alhamdulillah feels good to be recognized (Y)

  3. M. Nazrie 15/06/2014 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    You forgot to mention Granit Xhaka and Johan Djourou for Switzerland!

    • Abu Zainab 15/06/2014 at 8:51 pm - Reply

      Didn’t know they were Muslim, can you confirm how you know?

  4. saahir 15/06/2014 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Robin van persie also is muslim Alhamdulillah.

    • Hanad 16/06/2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Roben van persie is not a muslim bro

  5. maamahmud@gmail.com 16/06/2014 at 12:55 am - Reply

    anyone who is a Bosniak (with a “k”) is (by definition) a Bosnian muslim – so I looked two more players up – Sead Kolasinac and Vedad Ibisevic – both bosniak, aka muslims. You might want to check the rest of the squad as well.

    • Abu Zainab 16/06/2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

      Thank you for that vital piece of info, I’ve updated the entire Bosnian team.

      • Muhammad Al Ghiffary 11/10/2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

        iranian people aren’t muslim, they are shias

  6. mohammad mahmud 16/06/2014 at 1:07 am - Reply

    please also add miralem pjanic,

  7. Muhammad Ekbaal 16/06/2014 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Please some detail about robin van persie when he converted to islam please…

    • Yassine 15/11/2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      His wife is a muslim and when you are a woman you have to marry a muslim guy

  8. Ahmed 16/06/2014 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Please check on Osman Chavez from Honduras?

    • Abu Zainab 16/06/2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Couldn’t find anything obvious, thanks for pointing it out. Let me know if you find anything about him Muslim.

      • ahmed 17/06/2014 at 12:04 pm - Reply

        OK, found out that
        osman chavez is an evangelist

  9. SHEHU ABUBAKAR KAFI 16/06/2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    How do you know that Ahmad Musa and Ramon Azeez from Nigeria are muslims?

    • Abu Zainab 16/06/2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. There’s an article about Ahmad Musa fasting in Ramadan and Ahmad Musa’s Twitter page, you can see his activities there.

  10. Mohammed 16/06/2014 at 9:42 pm - Reply

    Masha allah good see so many muslims playing the 2014 world cup. May Allah bless them the best health and let the play to best of their abilities.

  11. Raji 17/06/2014 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    From south America, there is Dani Alves

  12. Ronni 18/06/2014 at 7:35 am - Reply
  13. Md. Akimuddin 19/06/2014 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Granit Xhaka is a muslim. You can check the Wikipedia list of muslim sportsperson. Its a good compilation. best of luck.

  14. Mishkat 20/06/2014 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your informations.. (From BANGLADESH)

  15. Hamza Ali 20/06/2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    what of POGBA france and PJANIC

  16. ezekielab 21/06/2014 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Any proof of Paul Pogba being muslim ? Paul is not a muslim first name afaik …

    • Abu Zainab 21/06/2014 at 10:59 pm - Reply

      Yes there an image of him making dua on the field just search for it online 🙂

  17. Shahismyname 23/06/2014 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I’ve been reading that Fred (Brazilian striker) are muslim.

  18. shahed 23/06/2014 at 9:09 am - Reply

    good job….feel really proud to all of them

  19. B 23/06/2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Fred from Brazil?

  20. a 25/06/2014 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    I dont’t think Kevin-Prince Boateng of Ghana is a Muslim! Recheck this list, bro.

    • Abu Zainab 25/06/2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment, I saw a list of muslim sportsmen on wikipedia (undisputed article) which lists him as Muslim and on his profile page there are references, and Allah knows best.

  21. shaikali 26/06/2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    where Zinedine Zidane.he also a muslim

  22. Sheich Imam H. Natioanal Chief Imam Germany 27/06/2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Fatau Dauda the goalkeeper of GHANA is a muslim. Dauda means Nabiyullah Dawood Fatau Abdul Fatah so join the name

  23. Joewono Indonesia 30/06/2014 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Paul Pogba was born as muslim like his mother. He usually raises hands for dua’ before a match and chooses “halal beer”. How about Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)? are Gervinho and Salomon Kalou moslem? Can you share the data? Jazakumullahu khayran

    • Muslim Blog 02/07/2014 at 11:12 am - Reply

      I couldn’t find any info on Asamoah Gyan so not sure however there are lots of articles on Gervinho and Salomon Kalou being Muslim, here’s one. You can find the info about Gervinho on daily mail.

      • Joewono Indonesia 03/07/2014 at 2:22 am - Reply

        Thank you, jazakumullahu khayran. It would be better if you give us more official or journalistic data. I think it was a personal opinion from Younis Nur blogg even though He was/is a journalist. Anyway, thank you.

  24. Paul 30/06/2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    This is hoax and highly fabricated.. from the best of my knowledge no Muslim goes by the name of Paul, Frank, Johan, Fellipe and many other. However perhaps there are many Christians in your list but because assumptions is corner stone to register Muslims is not surprisingly you end up saying “All Iran, Bosnia, Algeria should all be Muslims…

    • Altair Ibn La Ahad 05/12/2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Frank BILAL Ribery is his name

    • Ibrahim 03/04/2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

      You can convert and still keep your christian name.. thats what my father did..

  25. Joewono Indonesia 01/07/2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    The factual information is not for narrow minded ones. One of the data (about Paul Pogba) is from L’Equipe Fr (french magazine) 27/06/2014 17h59. In Indonesia there are so many celebrities (converts to Islam), they still use their original names like Christian Gonzales, Diego Mitchel, Marcus Horizon, (all footballers). Christian Sugiono (actor), Sophia Latjuba (actress), etc.

  26. lola 09/07/2014 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    i belive fred is a muslim ,and edan hazard from belgium

  27. lola 09/07/2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    i belive alot camaroon player are muslim

  28. lola 09/07/2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    what bout omar rodriguez from USA?

  29. Joewono Indonesia 10/07/2014 at 1:29 am - Reply

    a muslim should base his/her believes on al-haqq (al-Qur’an wa al-Sunnah) in the way of life, may use credible and accountable information (clear and reliable al-rawi and al-sanad) for daily living, and never spread or publish a “said so” (qa-la wa qi-la), never base believes on allegation or delusion (al-ra’yu) but use sound reasons and conclusions (al-‘aqlu). Wallahu a’lam

  30. sabina 14/07/2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Not whole Bosnian team is Muslim. I can’t be sure about anyone’s religious beliefs of course, but looking at their names, Sunjic, Vranjes and Misimovic are not Muslim.
    I know that because I am a Muslim from Bosnia.
    I don’t really understand the point of these lists, but at least be more careful when making them.

    • Abu Zainab 14/07/2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Thank you sister for the comments, I thought that all Bosnia(k)s were Muslim?

      • sabina 14/07/2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

        I wouldn’t completely agree with that, because someone who is not a Muslim can also declare him/herself as a Bosniak if he/she wishes to.
        Also, Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs. If you do a little google search, you will find that 45% of the population identify religiously as Muslim, 36% as Serb Orthodox, 15% as Roman Catholic…
        I hope you will update the list after this.

  31. Fahad Farooq 30/07/2014 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Was switzerland not in the world cup, where’s Xherdan Shaqiri and yes Paul Pogba is muslim, he had converted from christianity but did not change his first name

  32. Fahad Farooq 30/07/2014 at 6:48 am - Reply

    Philippe Senderos is a muslim as well, he converted in 2012, he’s from Switzerland

  33. Fahad Farooq 30/07/2014 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Switzerland’s Gökhan Inler and Valon Behrami are muslims as well, I think this list’s gonna cross 100

  34. kone 07/10/2014 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hazard

  35. kone 07/10/2014 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Hazard is muslim

  36. Redahost 09/10/2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    hello you forgot Fred from brazil is muslim too 🙂

  37. Mustakim 21/10/2014 at 6:26 am - Reply
  38. Brendan 23/12/2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

    are eden hazard is a moslem? i have the literature and joined with much discussion and deal with it …

  39. cahya 26/04/2015 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Fred the striker from brasil is a mulim bro

  40. mushfiq 02/05/2015 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    the list u put on, u think or did u researched them all well

  41. Ishaga 02/07/2015 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Salam Aleykum how about Those players Didier Drogba Samuel Etoo Kaka Ronaldinho and Van persie are they Muslims?
    Jazakumulullahu Khayran

  42. Agnostic Germanic Guy 13/07/2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Fred isn’t a Muslim. He is a devout Christian. Eden Hazard and van Persie neither.
    One player in the Iranian squad was a ethnic Armenian and not muslim.
    There are probably more muslims in the Ivory Coast and Nigeria squad.
    You can ask some questions about the muslims in Bosnia squad too. Those ancesters has to choose to get killed or convert to Islam during Ottoman Empire.

    Bruno Martins Indi is muslim, converted.

    I’m not sure about Carl Medjani, he got tattoos and his name isn’t islamic. French mum and Algerian dad.

    • Sabina 14/07/2015 at 1:39 am - Reply

      ‘Those ancesters has to choose to get killed or convert to Islam during Ottoman Empire.’ This is not true. If it was like that, there wouldn’t be ANY Catholics or Orthodox or Jews in Bosnia. Quite the contrary, they lived there and had many freedoms during the Ottoman Empire. Check your facts.

      • Abu Zainab 14/07/2015 at 1:52 am - Reply

        Yes it is better to check the facts first. There is no compulsion to become muslim. Jazak Allahu khayran.

  43. Josh 05/01/2016 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    So many of these suggestions are about devout Christians. Raising hands and praying doesnt prove Islam as many religions adopt similar positions when praying. But respect to you all.

  44. Muhammad 24/02/2016 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Christians make a cross sign on there body

    • Max 10/03/2016 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Not just the sign of the crucifix also open palms or arms raised to the air. The way you pray doesn’t automatically make you a Christian Muslim etc.

  45. Mohammad Sohaib 03/04/2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Please can any one confirm about Dani Alves? Is he a convert Muslim? I have been reading about him alot. Need to confirm the news…… Thank you…Jazak Allah

  46. Bello 08/06/2016 at 12:00 am - Reply

    What about Kareem Sterling of England?

  47. Sayed Mustaffa Kamal 15/11/2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    I saw so many muslim player have tattoo at their body so how to classified that person? tattoo is haram and laknatullah in Islam

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