Taiarui has been an instrumental figure in the development and rise of beach soccer in recent years. Amongst his career achievements, he secured the adidas Golden Ball at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015, where the Warrior Gods were edged out by the host nation in the final.
Taiarui kicks off the interview by sharing how he became involved in beach soccer and the pivotal role played by Angelo Schirinzi in the early stages of his career. He then comments on how his participation in the Swiss and Italian leagues had a profound impact on how the form of the game was perceived by those in his homeland. The Tahiti star believes that his meteoric rise can serve as an inspiration to young people pursuing their dreams.
The Tahitian then goes on to reflect on his FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup experiences. He reveals that the fourth-place finish achieved on home sand in 2013 owed much to the rigorous preparations overseen by the team’s head coach, Schirinzi, in the two years leading up to the finals. Tahiti built on that semi-final finish by claiming the runners-up spot at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015, where the former fisherman collected the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament’s standout player. After again missing out on glory at the final hurdle in 2017, the Tiki Toa talisman confirms that he remains fully focused on accomplishing his lifetime dream of lifting the coveted world crown. When asked whether beach soccer has had a transformative influence on his life, Taiarui comments that it has allowed him to leave behind his career as a fisherman and relocate to Switzerland with his family, where he admits to being happy.
Towards the end of the interview, Taiarui shares some valuable advice for aspiring beach soccer players. In his view, the keys to success are to have at least one role model and to display unwavering commitment to one’s goals.
Looking to his future, Taiarui sees himself as a coach, possibly even at national-team level. As for the future of the format of the game, he underscores the importance of expanding its reach by organising more international tournaments and introducing it into schools to allow children to embark on their beach soccer journey from a young age.