Egyptian professional footballer Mohamed Salah is considered one of the best players in the world. Known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed, he plays for the Premier League club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team. He has been named the CAF African Footballer of the Year twice. His fans and the press have nicknamed him "The Pharaoh."
Marcus Rashford is a prominent football player for the Manchester United Football Club and England national team. He became the youngest British footballer to score in his debut match for England. He uses his popularity to fight against issues like child food poverty and homelessness in the United Kingdom. He is often praised for his political activism.
Brazilian footballer Marcelo Vieira, who now captains the Spanish club Real Madrid, is known as one of the world’s best left-backs. The Rio-born football star has previously had a successful stint with the Brazilian club Fluminense. He also won Brazil a team bronze and a team silver at the Olympics.
Considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Manuel Neuer is a German football player. He is the captain of German national team as well as his club Bayern Munich. Described as a sweeper-keeper due to his unique playing style, Neuer was part of the German team that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was adjudged the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020 by IFFHS.
Marco Reus is a German football player who plays for the Germany national team and the popular Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. Known for his speed, versatility, technical skills, and shooting ability, Reus was named the Footballer of the Year (Germany) in 2012. In 2013, 2014, and 2019, Marco Reus helped Borussia Dortmund win the prestigious DFL-Supercup.
Dutch footballer Memphis Depay is best known as a forward for Barcelona. Starting his senior career with PSV Eindhoven, he later also played for Manchester United and Lyon. He was also part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup third-place-winning Dutch squad and was the Eredivisie top scorer in 2014-15.
Dutch footballer Matthijs de Ligt currently plays for Serie A club Juventus and the Netherlands national team as a center-back. Making his debut in 2016, he became the youngest player ever to play in a major European final the following year. Football pundits consider him to among the most highly regarded young prospects in world football.
Mateo Kovačić is a Croatian football player who plays as a midfielder for the Croatia national football team and Premier League club Chelsea. He has represented Croatia at the World Cups and the UEFA European Football Championships. A versatile midfielder, Mateo Kovačić has also won several titles for Chelsea.
Mario Mandžukić is a Croatian former footballer who played as a striker for the Croatia national team from 2007 to 2018. In 2018, he helped his team win the silver medal at the World Cup. As a player, he became renowned for his aerial prowess and aggressiveness. In 2012 and 2013, Mario Mandžukić was adjudged Croatian Footballer of the Year.
Argentine footballer, Mauro Icard,i plays as a striker for Ligue 1 club, Paris Saint-Germain, and the Argentina national team. He began playing football as a boy and made his senior debut in 2012. He is known for his excellent attacking movement, positioning, and eye for goal. His marriage to a teammate’s ex-wife is a subject of controversy.
Mario Gómez is a German former footballer who played for the Germany national football team between 2007 and 2018, during which he represented Germany in two FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Championships. He was also an important member of the popular club Bayern Munich as he helped the team secure several trophies, such as the UEFA Champions League.
Marek Hamšík is a Slovak football player who has captained the Slovakia national team in important tournaments such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship. In 2018, Marek Hamšík became the most capped player for Slovakia and marked the occasion with his 22nd goal, becoming the second-highest goalscorer for his country.
Michel Platini is a former football player, administrator, and manager. Widely considered one of the greatest football players of all time, this French footballer won the prestigious Ballon d'Or award three times during his glorious playing career. Michel Platini also played a key role as France's national team coach before he was banned from football by the FIFA Ethics Committee.
Moussa Sissoko is a French professional footballer. He plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Watford and the France national team. He is known for his ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder in the center of the pitch. He initially played for local clubs and made his professional debut in the 2007–08 season.
Best known as a central midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain and the Italian national team, Marco Verratti was part of his country’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. He began his career with Pescara and worked his way up with hard work. He was knighted by the Italian government.
Born in Ghana, Marcel Desailly first gained attention after moving to the Olympique de Marseille and winning the UEFA Champions League. He then gained fame with AC Milan and Chelsea, and was part of the 1998 World Cup-winning French squad. A BBC Sport pundit post-retirement, he also represents UNICEF.
French midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, who also plays for the Greek club Olympiacos, is known as le petit vélo, or the little bike, for his short stature. In 2015, he was dragged into a sex scandal, where fellow footballer Karim Benzema had blackmailed him and attempted to extort money over a sex tape.
Marc Overmars is a Dutch retired footballer who played as a midfielder for the Netherlands national football team from 1993 to 2004. He was part of the 2000 and 2004 UEFA European Championship, helping Netherlands win bronze medal on both occasions. Renowned for his technical skills and speed, Marc Overmars was also part of the 1994 and 1998 World Cup.
Mario Lemina is a Gabonese football player who has represented the Gabon national football team at the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He has also played for popular clubs, such as Juventus Football Club and Southampton Football Club. Renowned for his technical skills, Mario Lemina is regarded as a strong, powerful, and dynamic midfielder.
Mohamed Aboutrika is an Egyptian former footballer who helped his national team win the 2006 African Cup of Nations. In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, he played a key role in Egypt's success by scoring the winning goal in the finals. A controversial figure, Aboutrika's association with the Muslim Brotherhood has earned him a place in a terror list.
Iranian footballer Mehdi Taremi is best known as a striker for Porto. While he began his senior career with the Iranian club Shahin Bushehr, he has also played for the Qatari club Al-Gharafa and the Portuguese club Rio Ave, winning the Qatari Stars Cup with the former.
American soccer player and Chelsea defender Matt Miazga has previously also represented the New York Red Bulls. Born to Polish immigrant parents in the U.S., Miazga is a staunch Christian and often expresses his religious views on social media. He was part of the American Olympic campaign in 2016.