As a tribute to the legendary footballer Pelé, considered one of the greatest in history, the Mahibadhoo Football Stadium in the Maldives has been renamed the Pelé Stadium. 

Mahibadhoo is known for producing some of the best talents in the Maldivian football. As a result, the island has earned the nickname the Brazil of Maldives.

Reflecting on the notable players hailing from Mahibadhoo who have made significant contributions at national and international levels, two names stand out: former national team goalkeeper Imran Mohamed and former top striker Ahmed Thorig (Tom). Imran holds the distinction of being the only Maldivian player in the Fifa Century Club. He has played an impressive 110 national matches.

Other prominent footballers from Mahibadhu include forward Asadhullah Abdullah (Asakko), Mohamed Hussain Niyaz (Bokuri), Midhuhathu Fahumee (Bichad), goalkeeper Mohamed Jazlaan (Babbe), Izzath Abdul Baree, Ahmed Nuhad (Guppe), Mohamed Sameer, and Ali Nasooh Rasheed (Pilaa). These players have been making waves in the Maldives first division for years now.

Tribute to Pelé

Pelé, who passed away at the age of 82 on December 29, 2022, after a long battle with colon cancer, left a void in the hearts of football fans worldwide.

At his funeral, FIFA President Gianni Infantino urged all countries to dedicate stadiums in honour of Pelé. Respectively, the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) granted Mahibadhu the opportunity to name the stadium after the iconic Brazilian footballer.

After the opening ceremony, a team consisting of youth players from Mahibadhoo engaged in a friendly match against the Maldives national football team later in the evening, resulting in a resounding 5-0 victory for the national team.

Mahibadhoo Sports Club have been competing at the highest level of football in the Maldives for nearly a decade. After earning promotion to the first division in 2013 by winning the promotion playoff, they spent two years in the top tier. However, they were later relegated to the second division, where they currently reside. Notably, they clinched the title in the third division in both  2007 and 2012.