Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is in full swing this year. The month started on Friday, April 2, in the Gregorian calendar, and according to Islamic traditions, it marked the beginning of 29-30 days of fasting for Muslims.
Thomas Partey, Paul Pogba and other famous players observing Ramadan fasting
The ninth month in the Islamic calendar is a special one for Muslims as it is a month they get to observe a fast for 29-30 days, depending on the sighting of the moon.
The annual practice is one of the Five pillars/tenets of Islam, and it is to be observed by every Muslim of age unless the person has a health challenge.
Footballers are not left out, although it could be stressful for them as they have to do without water and food for the most part of the day.
Also, they have to do away with all social vices and sexual relations during this period.
Nonetheless, these players still partake in the fast. With the fact established, we take a look at some of the famous footballers observing the ongoing Ramadan fasting.
Partey was not born a Muslim, judging by his first name-Thomas. The Arsenal midfielder just converted to Islam after taking Arabic classes in London.
The midfielder was seen with an Islamic cleric following his conversion to Islam.
Partey is already in the spirit of fasting after wishing his followers on his Instagram story 'happy Ramadan.'
Like Partey, Pogba also converted to Islam. The Manchester United midfielder revealed he found peace after converting.
"It's everything. That's what makes me thankful for everything," Pogba told The Times' new Life Times podcast
"It made me change, realise things in life. I guess, maybe, it makes me more peaceful inside.
Pogba also added that he converted to Islam after speaking to his friends who are Muslims and also doing his research.
"It came because I have a lot of friends who are Muslim. We always talk.
"I was questioning myself in a lot of things, then I started doing my own research. I prayed once with my friends, and I felt something different. I felt really good.
Since converting, Pogba has been public about his faith. He has made many trips to the holy city of Mecca.
The 29-year-old is currently observing Ramadan fasting, wishing his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters' Ramadan Mubarak.'
Unlike Pogba and Partey, Benzema grew up as a Muslim. Born in France to Algerian parents, Benzema is one of the most fashionable footballers in the world.
His love for flashy cars is well known, and he has graced the cover of many magazines.
However, like every other Muslim, Benzema also takes the holy month of Ramadan seriously.
Speaking in a recent interview with Esquire magazine, Benzema said:
"It has no impact. Ramadan is part of my life, and my religion makes Ramadan an obligation. For me, it's very important, and I feel good when I fast."
Salah is the most popular player in the Arab world, and he also takes his religion seriously. The 29-year-old Egyptian celebrates his goals by bowing down to pray in the Islamic way.
Although he did miss a day of fasting in 2018 ahead of the Champions League final against Real Madrid, Salah is a staunch Muslim, and it is unlikely he will miss Ramadan this year.
Salah's teammate at Liverpool, Mane, is also another dedicated Muslim. Like Salah, Mane also celebrates his goal by praying in the Islamic way.
Like any other Muslim worldwide, Mane is already in the Ramadan spirit after wishing his brothers and sisters a happy Ramadan on his Instagram page.
He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but you cannot question Ozil's love for Islam. If he is not helping disadvantaged Muslim children, he is wishing his followers Jumma Mubarak.
Ozil's relationship with his faith is strong, and he will not miss Ramadan for anything.
His pre-match ritual involves praying before the whistle. Ozil has also wished his followers on social media a happy Ramadan.
Born in Germany to Sierra Leone immigrants, Rudiger is another player that takes his religion seriously.
Like Ozil, his pre-match ritual involves praying with his palms opened. Rudiger is a key player for Chelsea this season, but that has not stopped him from observing the holy month.
Kante is Rudiger's teammate at Chelsea, and he is also partaking in the Ramadan fast.
Born in Paris to Malian parents, Kante is a practising Muslim. He has a shy personality, but he is one of Chelsea's most important players.
The World Cup winner is a workaholic on the football pitch, covering every inch of the grass.
But despite the energy he spends on the pitch, Kante takes part in the annual Ramadan fast.
Fofana received praises from Leicester City's manager Brendan Rodgers following their 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Saturday evening.
The Frenchman just returned from a broken leg, but more importantly, he played against the Red Devils while fasting.
It was an act that impressed Rodgers, who praised the 21-year-old's strength.
"He has just started Ramadan," Rodgers said. "He hasn't eaten or drunk a thing.
"To play like that shows what a player he is."
The Super Eagles captain will be disappointed over Nigeria's failure to qualify for the World Cup, but that will not stop him from fulfilling his religious obligations.
Along with Musa, players like Sadiq Musa, Zaidu Sanusi and Abdullahi Shehu are other Nigerian players observing the Ramadan fast.