2014 World Cup: 11 Players Who Profess Christian Faith

Wesley Sneijder of Netherlands in action during the International Friendly match between The Netherlands and Wales at Amsterdam Arena on June 4, 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe)
Wesley Sneijder of Netherlands in action during the International Friendly match between The Netherlands and Wales at Amsterdam Arena on June 4, 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe)

As the World Cup kicks off in Brazil Christian Today presents a (very attacking) XI of players who’ll be representing their countries there, and are open – to varying degrees – about their Christian Faith.

Tim Howard – Goalkeeper, USA
Like team-mate Brad Guzan, with whom he’ll compete for the goalkeeper’s jersey in Brazil, Howard is a strong evangelical Christian who has appeared in various evangelistic films and resources.

David Luiz – Defender, Brazil
Famously used to drive to training at his old club Benfica in a van with a ‘Christ is Life’ sticker on it, then at Chelsea laid hands on team-mate Fernando Torres live on Sky TV. Torres went on to score twice in a 5-0 win.

Thiago Silva – Defender, Brazil
Strong Christian who credits his recovery from tuberculosis to God. He told French channel Canal+ “I almost died from TB in Russia several years ago. God saved me.”

Wesley Sneijder – Midfielder, Holland
The Dutch midfield maestro – one of the stars of the last World cup – was baptised a Catholic after being influenced by his devoutly-religious wife, and Catholic team-mate Javier Zanetti.

Raheem Sterling – Attacking Midfielder, England
On a journey of faith after a wild-child period – he now tweets Bible passages and claims to pray before games. He told the Daily Mail: “When the time is right, I will fully be Christian. My mum is a big help, a big influence in that. Faith is an important thing for me. Every match day I put faith in God.”

Park Chu-Young – Striker, Korea Republic
Exciting attacker who, despite a frustrating period at Arsenal, told the Guardian: “The first and main reason why I play is to evangelize people. It would make me happy if just one person became interested in Christianity because of me.”

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SOURCE: Christian Today
Martin Saunders

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