There are several Christian footballers who have converted to Islam. Some did it early in their careers while others converted after retiring. The reasons for their decisions are often unknown. AfrikMag introduces you to 5 football superstars who have changed their faith.
1. Emmanuel Adébayor
The former captain of the Éperviers of Togo recently converted to Islam during a ceremony that was shared on social networks. Prior to this conversion, Adébayor was a practicing Christian and used to post pictures of himself and priests on Facebook, praising God.
2. Franck Ribery
The French footballer who currently plays for the German club Bayern Munich, converted to Islam in 2002 thanks to his wife, Wahiba Belhami. He says he feels physically and mentally stronger since he converted.
3. Eric Abidal
Abibal is a French footballer who retired due to health problems. In March 2011, he was diagnosed with a liver tumor, and a year later he underwent a second operation and his liver was transplanted. Abidal converted from Catholicism to Islam and changed his name to Bilal Eric Abidal right after his marriage in 2007.
4. Nicolas Anelka
The retired French footballer converted to Islam at the age of sixteen, but he has long kept his religious beliefs secret. It underwent a formal conversion in 2004, adopting the name Abdul-Salam Bilal.
5. Danny Blum
This German footballer announced his conversion to Islam in January 2015. Blum said in an interview that he prays five times a day and eats halal food.