11 World Cup stars who are also Christians...

Published 12 June 2014  |  

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."

Daniel Sturridge - Striker, England

Makes no secret of his Christian faith, regularly crediting heaven when things go his way.

Javier Hernandez - Striker, Mexico

The Manchester United forward is famous for praying on the pitch before kick-off.

Shola Ameobi - Striker, Nigeria

The former Newcastle striker and his brother Sammy are two of the Premier League's most vocal Christians. Shola told The Guardian: "It's hard for any Christian in a secular world not to conform to the pressures to do things other people are doing. That's one of the things I've been dealing with, or trying to deal with, most of my career."

And then there's...

Wayne Rooney - Striker, England
Self-confessed God TV viewer who found Todd Bentley's revival services 'powerful and touching' - has his strike partner Sturridge been having a word?

and even...

Cristiano Ronaldo - Attacking Midfielder / Forward, Portugal
Arguably the world's best player in the last year, Ronaldo is a practicing Catholic, who told the Daily Mirror in 2013 that faith was 'one of his priorities'.

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