The Top 10 most religious footballers starring Javier Hernandez, Kaka, Carlos Roa and, er, David Icke?

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has revealed that prayer power is behind his prolific prowess in front of goal.

“I always pray on the pitch before a game. It is an important routine for me but it is not superstition,” he explained.

But who are football's most renowned God botherers? Here's our divine Top10.

10) Jack Charlton
Charlton was invited to meet John Paul II along with his Republic of Ireland squad ahead of his side's World Cup quarter-final against Italy in Rome in 1990. He might decide to pass on a similar audience with Pope Benedict as Big Jack admitted that at one point during the service at St Peter's he fell asleep.

9) Kaka
The world's second-most expensive footballer is also one of the most religious. Indeed the Brazilian is so pious that he famously took off his shirt to reveal the message 'I belong to Jesus' after AC Milan won the Champions League in 2007. The Real Madrid star, who decided at the age of 12 that "faith decides whether something will happen or not," has donated millions to his Evangelist Church and plans to become a pastor once he retires.

8) Gavin Peacock
One of the nicest men in football, Peacock also has designs on becoming a pastor after kicking his promising career as a football pundit into touch in preference for a holier calling. Peacock, who played for QPR and Chelsea, took a course in Theology at Cambridge before moving to Canada last year to begin a three-year Masters course in Divinity.

7) Diego Maradona
Perhaps not the most squeaky-clean of religious figures, Diego Armando nonetheless became inextricably linked with the guy upstairs when he claimed that his blatant handball - sorry, opening goal - for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, was scored by 'the Hand of God'. El Pibe d'Oro, who has been twice suspended from football by FIFA for drugs offences and who owes the Italian taxman £28m, is quite literally worshipped in his homeland. The first Maradonian Church was established in 2002 and attracts hundreds of new members every year.

6) Peter Knowles
The Wolves midfielder was one of the most promising players in English football in the mid-1960s, producing performances that belied his obvious lack of experience after being thrust into the first team at the age of 18. Knowles scored 61 goals in 174 appearances but while competing in a FIFA initiative to raise the profile of football in America, he became a Jehovah's Witness. When he returned to Britain he quit at the age of just 24, citing a loss of love for the game.

5) Claudio Taffarel
Taffarel is the most capped Brazilian goalkeeper, boasting two Copa America winners' medals as well as one from the 1994 World Cup. After spells at Parma, Reggiana, Atletico Mineiro and Galatasaray, Taffarel was on his way to his first day's training at new club Empoli in 2003 when his car broke down en route. The breakdown, he claimed, was a sign from God that he must, like his motor, give up on his footballing path. And so he terminated his contract with immediate effect and hung up his gloves for good.

4) Marvin Andrews
The tale of Marvin Andrews' knee is the stuff of folklore in Scotland. During his time at Rangers, the Jamaican refused to have an operation on a cruciate ligament injury, insisting to medical staff that God would heal him. “People said I was mad," recounts the defender. "An entire nation was telling me I was crazy. Ex-players whose careers had been ended by such an injury told me to listen to the doctors. I was supposed to be out for a year. I was back in six weeks." A devout Pentecostal Christian, Andrews practices faith healing at the Zion Praise Centre International in Kirkcaldy when not turning out for Hamilton Accies. 

3) Milienko Kovacic
Kovacic turned his back on football in 1998 when he was still in his prime. The Croatian striker tore up a £250,000-a-year contract with Brescia to "milk cows and pray". He explained: "My grandfather will teach me to become a good farmer. I will plough the fields and milk cows. The life of a footballer isn't for me. I want to go and preach the word of the Lord."

2) Carlos Roa
Goalkeeper are odd fish at the best of times, but Roa marked himself out from the crowd very early on due to a strict vegetarian diet that earned him the nickname Lechuga (that's Spanish for 'lettuce'). The Argentinian distinguished himself at the 1998 World Cup, famously saving penalties from Paul Ince and David Batty in the shoot-out win over England, but with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal strongly rumoured, the 30-year-old decided his salad days were over. He became a Seventh Day Adventist, refusing to sign for any club as he believed the world was coming to an end. When it turned out that it wasn't, Roa returned to Real Mallorca, where he was welcomed with open arms by team-mates, largely because they could now say to him, "Lettuce pray"...

1) David Icke
Icke started out as a goalkeeper before his career was cut short by arthritis in 1973. The former Coventry and Hereford shot-stopper was only 21 when he was forced to leave the game for good, but he soon forged a new career as a BBC sport presenter. That also came to an abrupt end when, following an encounter with a spiritual medium, Icke appeared on Wogan in 1991, claiming to be 'the son of God' and adding that the UK would be ravaged by earthquakes and tidal waves. Televised snooker's loss has been spiritual philosophy and apocalyptic conspiracy theories' gain as Icke has since gone on to publish more than 20 controversial books including The Biggest Secret: The Book that Will Change the World , in which he identifies extraterrestrial prison warders as reptilians from the constellation Draco. Well, can you prove he's wrong?

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