Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny says players can benefit from fasting during Ramadan

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Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny believes that playing during Ramadan can help Muslim footballers.

Muslim players are fasting during the holy month and Elneny says that doing so gives them satisfaction as it shows that God is happy with them.

Elneny stated that playing during Ramadan doesn’t have a major effect on Muslim players physically.

Elneny said: ‘For us it’s not a big difference. We’re happy because Ramadan comes 30 days every year and you don’t really think too much about how much you will be fasting. We do something for the God and the God is happy for us to do this.

‘Every footballer when he trains he needs to drink. After training we eat food. Ramadan doesn’t give you this but it gives you another thing, it gives you peace that God will be happy with you and the respect you’re going to get from the people.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has continued to score during Ramadan, including a goal against Arsenal and a brace in the 6-1 victory over Leeds on Monday.

Elneny says that this shows that observing Ramadan can have a positive impact for Muslim players.

He said: ‘How many goals has Salah scored? Some players when they are fasting and they are scoring goals you can see them and they’re doing great. This shows it’s actually something really good because God is happy with you.’

Elneny is currently out injured but last year he scored his first Premier League goal for Arsenal against Newcastle while he was fasting.

He said: ‘Last year when I was playing the first Premier League goal for me was when I was fasting, Newcastle away. My body looked different.’

The 30-year-old, who is recovering from a long-term knee problem, says that fasting is more difficult for players who are injured due to the amount of gym work that they have to do.

He said: ‘Now you’re doing gym for four, five hours. In training you train 1 or 2 hours. Maybe you have three hours in the gym.’

‘I have to eat a lot of protein, I have to drink protein shake. Before I sleep I have yoghurts.’

Elneny thanked the Premier League for their co-operation during Ramadan, with players allowed food breaks during evening games.

He said: ‘I thank the Premier League. Teams understand how important it is for the players. It can help you.’

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