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Arsenal Player Reveals Importance of Islam in His Life

LONDON – Arsenal defender and German international Shkodran Mustafi has revealed the importance of his Muslim faith, adding that Islam has helped him all through his life and career, The Telegraph reported on Wednesday, October 5.

“Being a Muslim is very important to me, more important than anything, although sometimes travel makes it difficult for me to always pray when I want to,” said Mustafi in an interview with German newspaper, Bild.

“The Euros was a problem for me too, because it came in the middle of Ramadan and it would not have been possible to limit my food and fluid intake. But as an athlete I knew that I did not have to comply on that occasion.”

The German international, 24, joined Arsenal in a £35m summer deal and has already settled in well in his short time at the Emirates.

In the absence of Arsenal club captain Per Mertesacker, Mustafi has quickly forged a formidable partnership with France international Laurent Koscielny.

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Mustafi spent three years contracted to Everton before moving on to Sampdoria and then Valencia.

“I study the Qur’an intensively but I also study other religions, too. But it is in the Koran that the prophets are closest to me — there and in the mosque when I go to pray,” he said.

“My religion means so much to me and to my career. It helps me so much.

“At the end of it all, I’m a person like any other who is on the Earth to strive for paradise. That is my main task. And if I play a c**p game it’s not the end of the world.”

Mustafi is not the only practicing Muslim in the Arsenal dressing room.

Mesut Ozil is reported to be observing prayer seconds before the start of every game he takes place in, and he recently posted a picture of himself in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia.