Madrid: An interesting clash between religious beliefs and big money sports and their sponsors occurred in Spain's La Liga on Thursday, after a German Muslim football player in Valencia, asked to remove a bottle of beer placed in front of him in a press conference for promotional purposes, according to media reports.
The incident happened when the bottle was placed in front of the German Defender Shkodran Mustafi, for the Spanish soccer club Valencia CF, as he sat down to take part in a press conference ahead of his side's La Liga clash with Malaga.
The player, who is described by the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung as a devout Muslim, noticed a beer bottle for one of the club's sponsors, Estrella, on the table and moved it several feet away.
A spokesperson for the soccer club then came over, apparently to explain that the sponsor's bottle must remain. According to the report, Mustafi can be heard saying "I do not want this bottle of beer in front of me."
However, Mustafi relented and the spokesperson moved the bottle back.
Born on April 1992, Mustafi is a German professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Spanish club Valencia CF and the Germany national team.
He began his career in the youth ranks of Hamburger SV and English club Everton, where he made one substitute appearance in two-and-a-half-years before leaving to Sampdoria in January 2012. He signed a five-year deal at Valencia in August 2014.
Mustafi made his full international debut against Poland on 13 May 2014, and was part of the German team, which won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.