Four British teams are making history this season, reaching the finals of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League and bringing back the glories of the nation which established the modern rules of the game.
Interestingly, the four English clubs have in their squads a significant number of Muslim players.
Europa League Final:
Tomorrow, May 29, London sides will battle for the Europa League title; Arsenal vs Chelsea.
Arsenal Muslim Players
Mesut Özil, 30, is Arsenal’s top attacking midfielder and winger who hails from Turkey but plays for the German national team. He played for Schalke 04, Werder Bremen, and Real Madrid where he won a countless number of different trophies. He was also a key contributor to Germany’s winning of 2014 FIFA World Cup.
‘The Gunners’ squad includes the Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny, 26, who started at El Mokawloon club then moved to Basel where he won eight honors. Elneny represented Egypt and featured at the 2012 Summer Olympics as well as the 2018 World Cup and several Africa Cup of Nations.
Shkodran Mustafi, 27, of Arsenal, is another Muslim Albanian player who plays as a center back for the German national team which won the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Before Arsenal, he played for Hamburger SV, Everton, Sampdoria, and Valencia.
Granit Xhaka is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Switzerland national team where he won the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He used to play for Basel and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Arsenal’s ‘Hulk’ is Sead Kolašinac, 25, from Bosnia who plays as a left back and represented Bosnia in the 2014 World Cup as well as several German clubs.
Chelsea Muslim Players
N’Golo Kanté, 28, represents the French national team as a defensive midfielder. He played for Boulogne, Caen, and Leicester City where he became an integral member of the English club’s first ever Premier League title. Kanté was also a key member of the team which won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Antonio Rudiger is a German professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Chelsea and the Germany national team. He began his career at VfB Stuttgart, representing their reserves in 3. Liga and the first team in the Bundesliga. In 2015 he joined Roma, initially on loan and a year later for a €9 million fee. He was signed by Chelsea in 2017 for an estimated £27 million.
An article highlighting Muslim players in the Champions League will follow soon.