England’s World Cup winger Bukayo Saka has publicly expressed that it is “really important” to always have the presence of God in his life.
The Arsenal player, who attends a Pentecostal church in London, told a press conference that he has continued to read the Bible every night during the tournament.
He said that “the main thing for me is keeping my faith, having faith in God so I don’t need to be nervous or worried about any outcomes”.
Saka explained that, because it is his first World Cup, “I could start worrying about different things and different outcomes but instead I just choose to put my faith in God”.
Earlier this year, he told GQ Magazine “when you’re younger you don’t fully understand. But throughout life, you keep exercising your faith, so when you get into different challenges, you decide, ‘this time I’m going to trust God’, and God comes through for you.”
In 2020, the footballer wrote to Year 5 pupils at his former school on the topic ‘Do fame and Christian faith go together?’
He told students at The Edward Betham Church of England Primary School: “I grew up in a Christian family who believe strongly in God. This always made me curious to get to know God more and I have done so by reading my Bible a lot and going to church a lot over the years.”
This year’s World Cup is taking place in Qatar.
Open Doors, a Christian charity working with persecuted believers, notes, “The only churches allowed in Qatar are for foreigners. The small number of Qatari Christians are not allowed to go to those services or have their own church buildings.
“Most converts will keep their Christian faith a complete secret, as Qatar doesn’t officially recognise conversion from Islam.”
Source: The Christian Institute