Sky is the limit for Samoa gloveman

But not even that would satisfy the ambitious 19-year-old.
“I don’t want to put limits on my dreams,” he says.
“I’d like to be the first Samoan to play in a major European league.
“Why couldn’t I become a goalkeeper for Real Madrid,” Matagi laughs.
The charismatic and powerfully built teenager is compiling an impressive resume that already includes his senior debut for the national team at last month’s OFC Nations Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Matagi possesses natural leadership qualities which have been on display during this week’s U-20 Championship Preliminary tournament in Tonga.
However his rise to the top of Samoa’s goalkeeping ranks may have come as a surprise to some, considering that he only discovered the game four years ago.
“I was brought up on rugby and that was the game I’ve always played,” Matagi explains.
“But when I was 15 my school’s football team didn’t have a goalkeeper and the coach, who was also my pastor, convinced me to try it out because I was tall and strong,”
Matagi says he fell in love with the game straight away.
“I immediately enjoyed it much better than rugby.
“I thought it was a less physical but more skilful and I really loved using both my feet and hands.
“I happened to be quite good at it too,” he laughs.
The U-20 Samoa skipper believes that taking up football has been a life changing experience.
“I made a lot of new friends who are now close family to me.
“They are brothers and we have a very strong bond within the team,” he says.
“I’m also seeing the world because of football and I’ve already been to six countries to play in different tournaments.”
Although coming from a traditional rugby family, Matagi’s exploits on the football field are admired by his entire family.
”Before I only had two brothers interested in football but now my whole family is following me.”
“Representing Samoa and singing the national anthem is a special feeling and to captain the team is an honour and privilege for me and my family,” Matagi says.

 

 

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