Solomon Islands rising star Raphael Le’ai is one of the biggest prospects from Oceania. The 16-year-old forward still has a long way to go as a footballer but his talent make us thinking about how far he can go.
Le’ai has a very impressive career for a 16-year-old player: he led his team in 2018 OFC U-16 tournament and played FIFA U-17 World Cup last year. He made his debut in OFC Champions League this year and scored an amazing goal against Lae City from Papua New Guinea in his first ever match in the tournament. He also scored 24 goals in seven matches for Henderson Eels in 2019-20 Telekom S-League, the major football league from Solomon Islands.
Raphael Le’ai: the impressing profile of a 16-year-old star;
Lea’alafa and Le’ai: present and future of Solomon Islands National Team attack.
Raphael is still a teenager but we can not close our eyes to what he has done so far. Some legendary players from Pacific Islands like Benjamin Totori, Henry Fa’arodo and Roy Krishna were not at this level when they were 16 years old.
These three legendary players mentioned above have something in common: all of them played in A-League, the main football league from Australia – and we can see Le’ai playing there once he turns 18 as he has already two opportunities to be with A-League clubs: Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix.
Raphael is very talented and a true hard worker. If he keeps his focus on his career and take right decisions, the A-League will become a reality to open the doors of the world to him.