SHAFAQNA- Arsenal FC’s new sign up Shkodran Mustafi has revealed how Islam plays a big role in his performance on the football pitch.
Shkodran Mustafi (born 17 April 1992) is a German professional footballer who plays as acentral defender for English club Arsenal and the Germany national team. The 24-year-old defender joined Arsenal in a £35million transfer from Valencia during the summer transfer window.
Mustafi told Sport Bild that Islam had a big role in his performance.
He said: “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.
“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.
“I study the Koran 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.
“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.”
In 2015, Mustafi protested after he was instructed to conduct a press conference for Valencia with a beer bottle in front of him.
The defender was forced to speak to reporters with the bottle in clear view due to a sponsorship deal between Valencia CF and Estrella.
“I did win the battle in the end, you know,” Mustafi said. “I did not want people thinking I’m doing this for beer advertising.
“At the end, the bottle remained standing but the club and the brewery apologised to me because they understood that as a Muslim alcohol is not acceptable in any form.
“And the moral is that such beliefs are now respected in Valencia.”
Source: Sport Bild