Solomon Islands futsal talent Elliot Ragomo has made his ultimate dream come true after being officially unveiled as a Minas Tenis Clube player.
Ragomo’s achievement sets all kinds of records from being the first Solomon Island or Pacific Islander to play in the Liga Nacional de Futsal in Brazil, and the first international to play professionally with the club.
The 2016 OFC Futsal Championship Golden Ball winner and Kurukuru captain said finally becoming a professional is a surreal feeling.
“After 20 years of hard work and sacrifice, my dream is finally achieved,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable, and I would like to thank those people who helped me a lot during my tough times.
Ever since I first came to Minas I only had one goal and that was to wear the Minas shirt and have my name written behind it.”
Club director Taveira said the club is delighted to be adding the Solomon Islander to its books.
“Minas Tenis Clube is very pleased to have Elliot Ragomo in the team, we are looking forward to work with him, we believe he will add considerable quality to our squad.”
Ragomo has had a lot of support from Solomon Islands to help him make his dream of playing professionally a reality.
Yoshiyuki Sato of Ystao Marine, a key sponsor of the 26-year-old, wished Ragomo all the best.
“Dreams do come true, congratulations Elliot. You deserve this for the discipline, hard work and commitment that you’ve shown and may be an example for everyone in Solomon Islands,” Sato said.
Juliano Schmeling, who led the Kurukuru to victory in the regional championship and at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2016, played a role in linking Ragomo with the Brazilian club and acknowledged that talent alone wasn’t enough to get signed, it was the hard work he put in during trainings which has paid off in the best way possible.
“Congratulations Elliot on this wonderful achievement,” Schmeling said.
“Thank you also to Yoshiyuki Sato for giving him this opportunity. Let’s keep going, go Solo go.”
For Ragomo, this isn’t just his achievement, but one for every Solomon Islander.
“Even though I am very far away from home, I still remember one thing very clearly and that is I am from Solomon Islands and this is my country,” he said.
“I would like to dedicate this achievement to my people and every kid back in the Solomon Islands.”
Additional reporting: Marist Football