Many football players have made the decision to convert to Islam in their early or later years of life.
We’ve compiled a list of six of the world’s most famous footballers who have chosen to join one of the world’s greatest faiths.
1. Emmanuel Adebayor
The former captain of the Togo Hawks recently converted to Islam in a ceremony that was videotaped and shared on YouTube.
Adebayor was reportedly a devout Christian until lately. He used to use Facebook to publish images of himself with a priest with messages thanking God.
2. Franck Ribery
Another professional player from France, currently playing for Bayern Munich in Germany, converted to Islam in 2002 as a result of his wife, Wahiba Belhami, and took the Muslim name Bilal.
Ribery claims that religion is his own space, and that he feels physically and mentally stronger after converting to Islam.
3. Eric Abidal
Eric Adibal is a retired professional footballer from France who had to quit due to health concerns.
The footballer was diagnosed with a liver tumor in March 2011 and underwent a second procedure a year later to have his liver transplanted.
After his wedding in 2007, Abidal converted from Catholicism to Islam and changed his name to Bilal Eric Abidal.
Hayet Kebir, a former FC Barcelona defender, is said to have converted to Islam because of his Algerian-born wife.
4. Nicolas Anelka
When he was sixteen, a French footballer who is now the player-manager of Mumbai City FC converted to Islam, but he kept his religious beliefs hidden for a long time.
Only in 2004 did he complete his formal conversion and take the Muslim name Abdul-Salam Bilal.
5. Danny Blum
In January 2015, a German player announced his conversion to Islam. In an interview, Blum stated that he prays five times a day and eats halal meals. Islam, he added, is a religion of hope and power.
6. Robin Van Persie
Many people assume that Robin van Persie, a Dutch footballer who plays for Fenerbahçe in Turkey and is the captain of the Netherlands national team, is a Muslim.
This, however, is not the case. He is married to Bouchra van Persie, a Moroccan-Dutch woman who has converted to Islam, but he has stated that he is neither a Muslim, Christian, nor a Jew.