For the aspiring young footballers, One & Only Reethi Rah offers a special beach football pitch at its kids club. If there is one thing that rivals hours of snorkelling to tire out active youngsters (for that relaxing evening), it’s then running around (on the sand!) kicking their favourite ball.
A bit delayed and with a “new normal” skewed experience, both Maldives Tourism and Premiere League football have recommenced with this weekend being the starting whistle for most leagues like the Premier League. So to celebrate the return of football (albeit with a few safety tweaks), here is the Maldives Complete starting XI…
- Óliver Torres (Spain) – NIYAMA – FC Porto [ABOVE]
- Alberto Serrán Polo (Spain) – Bengaluru
- Guillaume Philippe Renault (Italy) – Atalanta BC
- Dwight Eversley Yorke (United Kingdom) – Kooddoo – Aston Villa
- Mauroi Cardi (Agentina) – Baglioni – Paris Saint Germain
- Brian Mengel (Denmark) – Kandima – Kolding
- Joel Pereira (Switzerland) – LUX North Male Atoll – Manchester United
- Marcos Llorente (Spain) – Joali – Real Madrid
- Tobias Karlsson (Sweden) – Paradise Island – Falkenbergs
- Daniel Agger (Denmark) – Liverpool
- Rio Ferdinand (United Kingdom) – Kudadoo – Manchester United
And the prize for the best football fanatic bed decoration goes to Anantara Dhigu…
As the football season winds down caped by Liverpool’s win last night, more and more footie stars are heading to the Maldives for some post-season recuperative therapy. Bunyamin’s legendary feed is packed recently with star players invading paradise over the past week.
If they start to miss kicking around the ball, then the most idyllic venue would be Kandima’s seaside pitch. Kind of evokes the luxurious coastal cachet of AC Monaco’s Stade Louis II (while the infrastructure is undoubtedly more modest, one could argue that the scenery is even better). Yes, most of the players are resident staff, but guests are always welcome to join in. Most of the time, these football grounds are sequestered in the interior of the island in the staff area. But Kandima has kindly situated its pitch right by the beach. So for the spectators, if the match gets boring (like most of last nights Champions League final), they can always gaze out on the picturesque ocean. Of maybe, amble over to the adjacent badminton court with the same seaside positioning some racquet fun.
- “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.”
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).
- David Beckham (United Kingdom) – One & Only Reethi Rah – Manchester United
- Luis Suarez (Uruguay) – NIYAMA – FC Barcelona
- Jordi Amat (Spain) – Anantara Dhigu – Swansea City
- Emiliano Martínez (Argentina) – Conrad Rangali – Arsenal
- Victor Lindelhof (Sweden) – Hurawalhi – Benfica
- Jorge “Koke” Resurrección (Spain) – Anantara Kihavah Villas – Atlético de Madrid
- Claudio Marchisio (Italy) – Constance Halaveli – Juventus
- Dmitri Tarasov Buzov (Russia) – Velaa – FC Lokomotiv Moscow
- Fabio Borini (Italy) – Gili Lankanfushi – Liverpool FC
- Alejandro Remiro (Spain) – Velassaru – Portero del Athletic Club
- Santiago Arias (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali – PSV Eidnhoven
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.