( email yang diterima dari seorang rakan....)
PARIS — A record number of Muslim stars will lead the twice crownedEuropean champions France in the 13th European football championship,Euro 2008, which starts Saturday, June 7.The 23-man squad of Les Bleus (the nickname for the French soccerteam) will feature nine Muslim players.
Leading among Muslim stars is Germany 's Bayern Munich right-sidedwinger Franck Ribery.The 25-year-old Ribery is known for supplicating to God before the game kickoff."Islam is the source of power for me inside and outside the footballfield," Ribery has said."My life was hard enough and I had to find something to take me tosafety and I found Islam."Ribery's reversion to Islam, which was leaked in 2006, was firstnoticed during France 's opener against Switzerland in the 2006 WorldCup in Germany .
The blue-eyed boy of the French soccer fans started his playing careerat his home town club US Boulogne and then moved to Alès, Brest and FCMetz in consecutive seasons.His move to Olympique Marseille has earned him top French playerhonors for the months of August, October and November 2005. He wasselected for the French squad for the FIFA World Cup 2006 in Germany .Muslim StarsA second Muslim soccer star, Eric Abidal, will also appear in Frenchcolors in Euro 2008.The 29-year-old Barcelona defender reverted to Islam five years agoand named himself "Bilal".Abidal, who was considered one of the best fullbacks in the Frenchleague, says his Muslim faith encourages him to spare no efforts toserve his team."I embraced Islam in full conviction," Abidal, who is married to anAlgerian woman, has told Paris Match magazine.Abidal, a father of two, started his professional career with ASMonaco on September 16, 2000, where he earned 22 first-teamappearances.He moved to Lille OSC and at the end of 2004, he returned to hisnative region by joining Olympique Lyonnais .In June 2007, Abidal moved to FC Barcelona, the world's second richestclub, for 15 million sterling pound.
Les Bleus also feature Muslim striker Thierry Henry, who moved toBarcelona from Britain 's Arsenal for 16.1 million sterling pound.Henry usually encourages people to read more about Islam and the NobleQur'an to get more acquainted with the faith.Henry, known as the magician, was twice nominated for the FIFA WorldPlayer of the Year.He led the French national team to win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.Defender Lilian Thuram is also another Muslim star in the French team.There is also super striker Anelka, who reverted to Islam in 1991 whenhe was 16.The French team also features Muslim midfielder Lassana Diarra( Portsmouth ) , striker Karim Benzema ( Lyon ), midfielder Samir Nasri(Marseille) and left-winger Hatem Ben Arfa ( Lyon ).France will play its opener game against Romania on Monday, June 9.Sixteen teams are vying in the tournament, which is jointly organizedby Austria and Switzerland and will run until June 29,The winner of Euro 2008 will represent the continent at the 2009 FIFAConfederations Cup in South Africa .
Seperti biasa, ramai yang kepala ringan untuk bangun awal pagi untuk menonton siaran langsung bolasepak tetapi amat berat untuk bangun malam beribadah, walaupun pada malam ramadhan yang bakal menjelang, apalagi pada malam bulan-bulan lain.
Sukan kini adalah hiburan dan tidak terhindar dari gejala maksiat. Adakah sesuatu yang membanggakan semakin ramai orang Islam menjadi jaguh-jaguh sukan bertaraf dunia??Sedangkan mereka tidak membawa imej seorang muslim ketika bersukan atau di luar!!
Sukan juga menjadi bahan tontonan khalayak yang ghairah menyokong, malah mencemuh tetapi malangnya dia sendiri hidup pasif malah tidak menyimpan kasut sukan di rumah atau bersukan ikut mood dan kelapangan waktu tanpa diari khas dalam mindanya untuk memenuhi hak jasad.
Juga dimana bezanya imej muslim dengan imej yang bukan muslim, kedua-duanya nampak ghairah mengikuti perkembangan sukan di televisyen, di akhbar, internet dan lain-lain. Begitu juga keghairahan kepada dunia hiburan yang lain. Bualnya bola, boraknya akademi hiburan dan sebagainya yang nyata tidak memberi manafaat kepada peningkatan iman. Berbezakah imej muslim sejati dan yang bukan muslim? Atau berbeza bila si muslim berada di masjid? Bila bertudung? Tetapi ketika di hadapan TV, di pasar malam, pusat beli-belah sukar membezakannya?