Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek
By Peter Zoleveke (SIFF)
Solomon Islands inspirational skipper Elliot Ragomo received an emotional farewell in his final playing minutes in futsal at the OFC Futsal Nations Cup 2023.
The 32-year-old bid farewell in front of a packed Bruce Pulman Arena in Auckland as the famous Kurukuru legend was given a tribute as Oceania’s most decorated Futsal player.
It was a stage for Ragomo’s fitting ovation that goes back more than a decade, beginning his national career at the early age of 12 and taking the country onto the global stage.
“I want to firstly thank God for this journey. It’s always pure love and the passion for futsal and I will never regret my contribution to futsal,” Ragomo said.
“Today, is a memorable day for me. I’m so proud to not only representing my country but representing Oceania.
“I want to thank everyone. There are so many people I’ve crossed paths with through futsal and whoever has stood beside me from the beginning until now, I just want to say thank you,” Ragomo said, fighting back tears.
It has been a flamboyant career donning the number three jersey – a contribution that has also influenced the political sphere nationally, with the country’s government working to form bilateral relationships in the construction of a first-ever, multi-purpose futsal stadium in Honiara.
“Now I can only look back and reflect on a beautiful story I have left for the next generation of futsal players and people in my country,” Ragomo said.
The 32-year-old had a message to aspiring players back home.
“Keep working hard. Whatever we do always must have that pure love and passion in anything you do in life and just keep going, the sky is the limit and I’m very proud to see the growth of futsal in the Pacific and my country.
“My biggest achievement is to see a futsal stadium built back at home – we started with nothing and now it’s time to continue working hard and to achieve great things in the future.”
Ragomo puts away the shoes after a record of attending four FIFA Futsal World Cups and with six OFC Futsal Nations Cup titles to his name, as well as a FIFA fastest goal record, against Tuvalu in 2009.
Ragomo is also the only Pacific islander that has played professional futsal in Spain and Brazil.