AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Dive into the magic, flair, and skill of AFCON 2024 as we look at the best Muslim footballers to watch at the tournament.

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

He aims to guide his team to another AFCON triumph

As the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament of 2024 approaches, the excitement among football enthusiasts is palpable.

fans are eagerly anticipating the skills, strategies, and sheer brilliance that will unfold on the pitch.

Among the myriad of talented players set to grace the tournament, a particular group stands out.

We delve into the world of the best Muslim players who are poised to leave an indelible mark on AFCON 2024.

Their dedication to their craft, combined with their unwavering commitment to their faith, adds a unique layer to the tournament, making it a showcase of skill, diversity, and unity.

Mohamed Salah

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Hailing from the land of the pyramids, Mohamed Salah has become a global football icon.

His electrifying pace, clinical finishing, and dazzling dribbles have made him a constant threat on the pitch.

Salah’s journey with the Egyptian national team has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by crucial goals and historic achievements.

From propelling Egypt to the FIFA World Cup to clinching individual accolades, Salah is more than a player; he’s a symbol of inspiration for millions.

The Liverpool forward will be looking to recreate his club form with the Egyptian team during AFCON 2024. 

Riyad Mahrez

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Riyad Mahrez’s footballing magic has cast a spell on fans worldwide.

A key figure in Algeria’s triumph at AFCON 2019, Mahrez’s ability to weave through defences with finesse has left a lasting impact.

As the captain of the Algerian national team, Mahrez leads with both skill and charisma.

His journey from the streets of Sarcelles to the pinnacle of football is a testament to hard work, determination, and an unwavering belief in his abilities.

Sadio Mane

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Sadio Mane’s electrifying speed and technical brilliance have made him a standout player for the Senegalese national team.

Whilst he struggled to perform for Bayern Munich, and now plays in Saudi Arabia, he is still the go-to man for the national team.

Instrumental in Senegal’s run to the AFCON final in 2019, Mane’s dedication to his craft is matched only by his humility off the pitch.

A talisman for Senegal, Mane’s ability to change the game in an instant makes him a player to watch in AFCON 2024.

Islam Slimani

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Known for his aerial prowess and goal-scoring ability, Islam Slimani provides a formidable presence in the Algerian attack.

A veteran with experience in top European leagues, Slimani’s physicality and knack for finding the back of the net make him a vital asset for Algeria.

His strength, physicality, and ruthlessness will be vital for Algeria. 

As he aims to guide his team to another AFCON triumph, Slimani’s imposing style will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.

Achraf Hakimi

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Achraf Hakimi’s rise to prominence as one of the best full-backs in the world is a testament to his exceptional talent.

The Moroccan international’s speed, defensive prowess, and attacking flair make him a dynamic force on the pitch.

With an eye for goal and the ability to shut down opponents defensively, Hakimi adds a layer of unpredictability to Morocco’s game, making him a standout player to watch in AFCON 2024.

He’s also a skilled attacker, as many know from his long-range strikes for PSG.

So, teams will have to try and take the game to Hakimi to keep him quiet. 

Ahmed Musa

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

As the former captain of the Nigerian national team, Ahmed Musa brings leadership and blistering pace to the forefront.

Musa’s memorable performances in past tournaments, including his historic brace against Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, have solidified his status as a Nigerian football legend.

At only 31 years old, he has over 118 appearances for Nigeria. 

With an innate ability to seize crucial moments, Musa’s role in AFCON 2024 will be pivotal for Nigeria’s aspirations.

Mohamed Elneny

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

In the heart of Egypt’s midfield, Mohamed Elneny orchestrates the game with precision and poise.

His passing range, work rate, and ability to control the tempo make him a linchpin for both club and country.

Elneny’s journey from El-Mahalla El-Kubra to the grand stages of European football is a testament to his determination.

As Egypt eyes AFCON glory, Elneny’s midfield mastery will play a crucial role in their quest for success.

Naby Keita

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Naby Keita’s box-to-box brilliance has made him a standout player for both Guinea and Liverpool.

Known for his tenacity, vision, and goal-scoring prowess, Keita brings a dynamic element to the Guinea midfield.

Whilst his time at Liverpool has been hit with injuries, he will be looking to bounce back impressively.

The team will need to utilise his football IQ to get the best out of him. 

As one of the most highly regarded midfielders in African football, Keita’s impact in AFCON 2024 could be a defining factor for Guinea’s campaign.

Hakim Ziyech

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Hakim Ziyech’s silky skills and playmaking abilities have illuminated the footballing landscape.

As a key player for both Morocco and Galatasary, Ziyech’s vision, creativity, and ability to score from a distance make him a player to watch in AFCON 2024.

Whether threading the perfect pass or unleashing a thunderous shot, Ziyech’s influence in the attacking third is bound to leave the opponents on edge. 

Kalidou Koulibaly

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Kalidou Koulibaly stands tall as Senegal’s defensive stalwart.

With his power and aerial ability, he commands the backline with authority.

Renowned for his strength and impeccable tackling, Koulibaly is a nightmare for opposition forwards.

As Senegal aims to secure AFCON glory, Koulibaly’s leadership will be crucial in thwarting the best attackers the continent has to offer.

Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Nicknamed after the legendary French striker, Trezeguet has carved his legacy as a winger for the Egyptian national team.

His flair, quick feet, and ability to score crucial goals have endeared him to fans.

Trezeguet’s performances in major tournaments, including the UEFA European Championship and AFCON, highlight his big-game mentality.

As Egypt’s creative force, Trezeguet’s contributions will be instrumental in their pursuit of AFCON glory.

Wahbi Khazri

AFCON 2024: 12 Best Muslim Players to Watch

Wahbi Khazri’s ability in dead-ball situations and versatility in attack make him a vital asset for Tunisia.

Known for his ability to score from free-kicks and corners, Khazri’s set-piece deliveries add an extra dimension to Tunisia’s attacking arsenal.

With experience in top European leagues, Khazri brings a wealth of knowledge to the Tunisian squad.

With over 70 appearances and 24+ goals, Khazri is a player to watch. 

As the African Cup of Nations 2024 unfolds, the stage is set for a footballing spectacle that transcends borders, cultures, and faiths.

The Muslim players mentioned above not only showcase their incredible talents on the pitch but also bring a unique narrative to the tournament.

Whether it’s the goal-scoring prowess of Salah, the midfield mastery of Keita, or the defensive solidity of Koulibaly, each player adds a layer of excitement and anticipation to AFCON 2024.

As the tournament kicks off, fans can look forward to witnessing these Muslim players creating historic moments.

Balraj is a spirited Creative Writing MA graduate. He loves open discussions and his passions are fitness, music, fashion, and poetry. One of his favourite quotes is “One day or day one. You decide.”

Images courtesy of Instagram, Sebastian Frej/Imago Images, Twitter & Reuters.

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