Former footballer Rio Ferdinand recalls his travel adventures, from playing football on a floating pitch in Madrid to relaxing family holidays in the Maldives

Former footballer Rio Ferdinand, pictured with wife Kate Wright

This week former footballer Rio Ferdinand checks in to our travel Q&A.

He talks about the weirdest place he’s ever played football – a floating pitch in Madrid – and why the Maldives is his favourite destination for some R&R.

Favourite place?

The Maldives, where the children feel like they’re having an adventure, and us parents can just kick back and relax.

What destination is on your travel bucket list?

Safari. It’s one of those experiences you want to share with loved ones.

Food you miss most when travelling?

My Mrs’s Sunday roasts [Kate Wright, pictured above with Rio].

The most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

A durian fruit in Myanmar. It was seriously stinky.

Any memorable travel mishaps?

As a youngster, I was travelling to Las Vegas with mates and we had a lay-over. One of my mates ended up getting too drunk to be allowed on the plane so none of our group could board. 

We had to wait for seven hours but we enjoyed a few more drinks and ended up missing the next flight, too.

Rio said his favourite place is the Maldives, where ‘the children feel like they’re having an adventure, and us parents can just kick back and relax’

Weirdest place you’ve played football?

A mock-up pitch before a Champions League final in Madrid. They made a floating pitch out on the water. Playing on that was crazy.

Ultimate fantasy holiday?

Three types of holidays in one trip — first a beach break, then a week in the mountains enjoying the snow and, finally, a safari.

For information about Rio’s football camps for children, go to

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