Muslim trio among highest-paid soccer players

Arguably the biggest and most important sporting event on planet Earth kicks off next month. With all due respect to the Olympics and the Super Bowl, the men’s FIFA World Cup draws global attention on a level unlike anything else on the sports landscape.

From November 20 to December 18, soccer’s marquee event descends on the Muslim-majority Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, where the world’s best players and national squads will vie for the coveted gold trophy.

Many of the players in the World Cup are professionals, however, for this tournament they will be suiting up for their national teams to represent their respective countries — and possibly playing against some of their pro teammates along the way.

Some of the top pro soccer stars in the world are Muslim, and a few of them hold a spot on the list of the 10 highest-paid soccer players in the world, according to RadioTimes.

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10. Sadio Mane

Born and raised in Senegal, the 30-year-old Mane is a practicing Muslim who, like many Muslim soccer players, often performs dua prayers on the pitch — either before or after a match, or to commemorate scoring a goal. Mane plays forward for Bayern Munich in Germany, where he earns about $390,000 per week on his contract as the country’s highest-paid footballer.

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9. Mohamed Salah

The 30-year-old Egyptian forward has been playing for Liverpool in England’s Premier League since 2017, scoring 120 goals in 187 matches. Like Mane, the ultra-talented Salah reportedly makes about $390,000 per week. He’s earned it by helping Liverpool win the Premier League championship in 2020, and the UEFA Champions League title in 2019. Salah’s 32 goals in the 38-game 2017-18 season is a Premier League record.

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6. Eden Hazard

The 31-year-old native of Belgium converted to Islam as an adult, after he’d already established himself as one of the best soccer players in the world. Hazard currently plays midfield for Real Madrid in Spain, where he’s been beset by injuries in recent years. Prior to Real Madrid, he had significantly more successful stints with Chelsea (England) and Lille (France). Hazard reportedly makes about $423,700 per week.

(Since you’re probably curious, French national Kylian Mbappe, who is not Muslim, tops the list as the world’s highest-paid soccer player. The 23-year-old phenom earns a reported $1.78 million per week from the Paris Saint-Germain club in France’s Ligue 1.)

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