Kuda Villingili, Thulusdhoo host football match with Chelsea legend John Terry

By Shamman Zahir

Kuda Villingili Resort Maldives and Thulusdhoo island has organised a friendly futsal match between the two, in association with the Secretariat of the Thulusdhoo council. John Terry, the former England and Chelsea FC captain who is in the Maldives with his family, was invited as the guest of honour along with the tourism minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom for the special match on Sunday.

The family was greeted upon arrival at the Thulusdhoo jetty by members of the council and the tourism ministry, to be escorted by the sound of boduberu (traditional Maldivian drums) and youth in traditional attire.

The event was kicked off by Bandiyaa jehun – a traditional Maldivian dance. Terry greeted both teams and wished them luck prior to the match. He was presented token of appreciation in the form of traditional Maldivian woodwork on behalf of the council. Terry himself chose the man of the match going to Kuda Villingili.

Speaking after the match, the tourism minister thanked the island council and Kuda Villingili for organising such an event which is beyond expectations, with a great crowd turnout as the Maldives continues to do its best in showcasing tourism as the country celebrates 50 years of tourism. Terry spoke a few words, that it was an excellent match hinting at the fact Maldivians should aim to go to the top level of football. He thanked all parties involved in making the event a success.

After the event, John took the time to sign jerseys and pose for pictures with fans and children alike before being escorted to the Seasons Paradise guesthouse in Thulusdhoo where a refreshment was hosted for the parties involved with the Terry family.

When asked by media how Chelsea FC were doing and his predictions for this season, Terry said it’s just the start of the season and the hope is always for the best possible outcome. Terry currently works as a development coach with the Chelsea Academy at Cobham. Since his retirement, his focus has shifted to football management at the topflight having been the assistant manager for the premier league side Aston Villa prior to changing to his current role at Chelsea FC. We asked Terry, what he hopes to achieve at Cobham and what this means to his coaching career.

“The current role provides a good balance of life for me now with my family. I wait to see where my coaching career takes me. With regards to Chelsea, I hope Chelsea continues under the new ownership and continue to win trophies,” he said.

Asked about the famous video of Chelsea FC’s new signing, Kalidou Koulibaly, calling to ask permission to use the number 26 which had not been used since Terry retired in 2017, the Chelsea legend initially thought it was perhaps a prank call.

“It an iconic number for me and for him as well since he has played at Napoli with the number 26. I respect him calling me because it means a lot to me, and I am pleased to see him scoring on his debut,” Terry said.

Chelsea FC is now under new ownership, led by the Ted Boehly – Clearlake consortium.

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