Soneva welcomes star-studded line-up of sporting legends

Pioneering luxury resorts brand Soneva is inspiring a lifetime of rare experiences through its Soneva Stars calendar, an ever-changing roster of visiting experts and one-of-a-kind guest experiences at its resorts in the Maldives. This year is shaping up to be exceptionally exciting for sports fanatics in particular, with a highly anticipated line-up of football, rugby and cricket legends from around the world landing on the shores of Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives, including World Cup champion David Villa, former FC Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez and football freestyling sensation Marcel Gurk.

As part of the upcoming summer 2022 programme, international sporting superstar David Villa will be at Soneva Jani from July 20 – 31. Hailed as one of the best football strikers of all time, Villa is a FIFA World Cup champion, UEFA Champions League winner and the Spanish National Team’s all-time leading goal scorer. After his retirement, he founded his own company, DV7 Group, offering football camps, clinics and other curricula to boys and girls around the world.

Regarded as one of the best Mexican players of all time, Rafael Márquez also recently joined the summer roster at Soneva Fushi. The current youth coach of Spanish Tercera División club Alcalá, he will be putting Young Sonevians through their paces during a series of football camps from July 25 – August 8.

Adding to the high-flying excitement, football freestyling sensation Marcel Gurk will be hosting daily workshops from July 1–13 for both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani’s youngest guests too.

Looking ahead to the October half-term break, from October 15 – 30 world cup-winning English rugby player Ben Cohen will be helping guests stay in shape during his renowned fitness workshops at both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani.

Following his visit to Soneva Fushi during Easter, Soneva Stars’ regular Mikaël Silvestre will be making a welcome return to the Maldives to host his ever-popular children’s football camps during the October half-term and December festive breaks at Soneva Jani. The former French international player will later be returning to Soneva Fushi too as a commentator for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is set to take place in Qatar this year from November 21 – December 18.

Joining him in the commentators’ booth but from the sandy shores of Soneva Jani is professional footballer Yaya Touré. Born in Côte d’Ivoire, he has represented his country at an international level since 2004 and has become one of the most influential players from the continent of Africa.

Kicking off the star-studded roster, Rohit Sharma recently shared his experiences and leadership lessons during a one-off Talkers’ Table at Soneva Jani. The current captain of the Indian Men’s National Team and captain of IPL’s Mumbai Indians, Rohit is widely acknowledged as one of cricket’s most outstanding and gifted batsmen.

Launched in early 2020, the annual Soneva Stars programme promises that every Soneva stay is utterly unique, curating an eclectic and thought-provoking line-up that includes legendary sportsmen and women, Michelin-starred chefs, leading wellness specialists, acclaimed artists, best-selling authors and more. No matter what time of year they visit, guests can enjoy an array of unforgettable experiences, from intimate dinners hosted by the world’s top chefs and engaging talks with luminary experts to one-on-one coaching from sporting heroes or healing sessions with leading wellness therapists.

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