Paradise Pitch

Séan Garnier (France) – Cocoon – Freestyle World Champion

With the football season winding down, the stars of the pitch will be planning a bit of premier league grade relaxation. The luxury of Maldives will be one of the top destinations for the golden boots (and wallets). Here’s a starting 11 (with an added hat tip to talent scout Bunyamin Ahmed) of footie fashionista in paradise…

  1. Séan Garnier (France) – Cocoon – Freestyle World Champion [ABOVE]
  2. Federico Fazio (Italy) – NIYAMA – AS Roma
    Federico Fazio (Italy) – NIYAMA – AS Roma
      
  3. Ciro Immobile (Italy) – Halaveli – Lazio
    Ciro Immobile (Italy) – Halaveli - Lazio
      
  4. Mykola Matviyenko (Ukraine) – Paradise Island – Shakhtar Donetsk
    Mykola Matviyenko (Ukraine) – Paradise Island - Shakhtar Donetsk
     
  5. Fyodor Smolov (Russia) – Velaa – Krasnodar
    Fyodor Smolov (Russia) – Velaa – Krasnodar
      
  6. Tomás Rincón (Venezuela) – Constance Halaveli – Torino
    Tomás Rincón (Venezuela) – Constance Halaveli - Torino
        
  7. Diego Tardelli (Brazil) – Velaa – Shandong Luneng
    Diego Tardelli (Brazil) – Velaa - Shandong Luneng
      
  8. Kevin Bonifazi (Italy) – Havaveli – Torino
    Kevin Bonifazi (Italy) – Havaveli – Torino 
       
  9. Ricardo Goulart (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli – Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
    Ricardo Goulart (Brazil) – Cheval Blanc Randheli - Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
        
  10. Lanzafame Davide (Italy) – Safari Island – Honvéd
    Lanzafame Davide (Italy) – Safari Island - Honvéd
       
  11. Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia) – St. Regis Vommuli
    Aleksandr Kokorin (Russia) – St. Regis Vommuli

 

Best of the Maldives: Football Camp – Amilla Fushi

Amilla Fushi - football

More “fullback” than “full bodied”, Amilla Fushi introduced its own training programme for guests (who are a bit too young to sample the wine cellar) of a football training camp:

  • Designed and developed by former professional football players, Jason and Glen Trifiro, FUTBOLTEC focuses on the techniques of young footballers in a professional and enjoyable learning environment. Sign up your kids for an exclusive 3-day football camp and let them participate on a field where players have the freedom to play and creativity is the most important thing. Choose from Junior camp for players aged 5-11 years old or Senior camp for players aged 12-16 years old. Each player will receive 9 hours of experienced coaching, training shirt, shorts, socks and training equipment.”

Transfer Indo

Footballers in Maldives - Diana Lissa

If you think a seaplane transfer is expensive, try a Full Back transfer. The Premier League transfer window (and most of the major leagues) close today so expect some late breaking moves as the best and the brightest of the football pitches return from the their summer R&R on the atoll beaches. Here’s a starting eleven of those who chose to stretch out in the Maldives (and few bonus supporters). For even more examples, check out Bunyamin Ahmed’s social media feeds (though they are all airport selfies).

  1. David Beckham (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah – Manchester United
    David Beckham (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah - Manchester United)
      
  2. Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – NIYAMA – FC Barcelona
    Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – NIYAMA - FC Barcelona
      
  3. Jordi Amat (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu – Swansea City
    Jordi Amat (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu - Swansea City
      
  4. Emiliano Martínez (Argentina) – Conrad Rangali – Arsenal
    Emiliano Martínez (Argentina) – Conrad Rangali - Arsenal
      
  5. Victor Lindelhof (Sweden) – Hurawalhi – Benfica
    Victor Lindelhof (Sweden) – Hurawalhi – Benfica
      
  6. Jorge “Koke” Resurrección (Spain) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Atlético de Madrid
    Jorge Koke Resurrección (Spain) – Anantara Kihavah Villas - Atlético de Madrid
      
  7. Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Constance Halaveli – Juventus
    Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Constance Halaveli - Juventus
      
  8. Dmitri Tarasov Buzov (Russia) – Velaa – FC Lokomotiv Moscow
    Dmitri Tarasov Buzov (Russia) – Velaa - FC Lokomotiv Moscow
      
  9. Fabio Borini (Italy) Gili Lankanfushi – Liverpool FC
    Fabio Borini (Italy) – Gili Lankanfushi - Liverpool FC
      
  10. Alejandro Remiro (Spain) – Velassaru – Portero del Athletic Club
    Alejandro Remiro (Spain) – Velassaru - Portero del Athletic Club
      
  11. Santiago Arias (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali – PSV Eidnhoven
    Santiago Arias (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali - PSV Eidnhoven
      

Beach Football goal - Any Salceanu (Italy) - Paradise Island

Best of the Maldives: Football – Mirihi

Mirihi Astro-Turf Football Pitch

If you want to escape everything with your trip to the Maldives except beloved ‘footie’, then the most sympathetically fanatical resort is Mirihi who not only, like many, have their own football team, but also have their own astro-turf foot ball pitch. Guests are welcome to join in the games as reported by ‘librahi’ on this Trip Advisor report.