Still from the video.
Still from the video, showing an alleged former Arsenal FC player imploring others to take up jihad in Syria.

A former Arsenal footballer left behind the promises of wealth and sporting fame to join the "holy war"(jihad) in Syria, it has been claimed.

In comments alongside a video released by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), jihadists claim that the man, who calls himself Abu Issa Al-Andalusi, grew up in Portugal before playing for the north London club.

In the video, Al-Andalusi appears wearing a face mask and urges others to join the jihad.

Al-Qaida breakaway group ISIS has been blamed for the massacre of civilians, and is locked in a struggle with liberal fighters and the army of president of Bashar al-Assad for the control of swathes of northern Syria.

The posting reads: "He grew up with Ronaldo, played for Arsenal, and [then] left football, money and the European way of life for the sake of Allah."

The two videos have been released on jihadist site, and are addressed to recruits from Russian-speaking countries.

One has now been removed by video hosting site YouTube for contravening hate speech policies.

The man, who speaks English with a heavy Portuguese accent, appears by a lake and boasts that ISIS has "conquered many cities" and is "implementing sharia".

He says: "If you have family in these [western] countries what is going to happen probably.

"You don't have control over your children. Maybe in some of countries it's a must for you to put your children in the kaffir schools.

"Who is going to teach your children? It's going to maybe be a gay, maybe a drug dealer, maybe a paedophile.

"It's very important for you to protect your children from these animals, from these dirty people Allah says they are the worst of creatures. So you prefer to live among the worst of creatures rather than among the Mujahideen?"

The posting on the website says "He played for Arsenal in London, [but] realised that [kind of] life was not for him, [so] he left everything and set out for jihad two years ago."

The Middle East Research Institute said that the site has been active for two years, and provides propaganda on the activities of ISIS to Russian speakers.

"At least some of the people behind the site are in Syria themselves," said a spokesman.

"The site regularly brings videos from the field showing video messages and talks of jihad fighters, news reports, scenes and footage of combat, and general jihadi material."

An Arsenal spokesman said: "We do not recognise the individual from the published clips and we don't have any record of an Abu Isa al-Andalusi representing the club at any level."