Maleb the sensation in Oceania

Despite Vanuatu's unfortunate misfortune in the recent Oceania Olympic Qualifying tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, there was no doubt a player within the ranks of Juan Carlos Buzzetti's own upgbringing that caught the eyes of all Oceania football officials and media.

Jean Emmanuel Maleb, or Victor as he is commonly called, was a sensation for his team performing brilliantly for the Vanuatu Under 23 squad at the age of 17. He scored four goals in their first game against Tonga, a hattrick against Cook Islands, and after a break in their game against American Samoa, he came back scoring Vanuatu first opener against New Zealand nine minutes into the first half. Victor scored again in the 88th minute, but unfortunately the goal that would have seen his team through to the play off stage with Australia, was disallowed in what was later confirmed to be a wrong decision by the referee and his assistant.

Victor was an outstanding player in the Vanuatu national Under 17 squad, and has represented his country in the Under 20 qualification tournament, and has also represented Otago Soccer Club from New Zealand, at the Milk Cup in Ireland in 2003. After playing teams like Manchester United and Panatinaikos, he was invited to spend two week trials at the Southampton Football Academy.

Unfortnately he was unable to get a transfer to England because of his age. Under FIFA rule no player under the age of 18 can be transferred.

"But following his outstanding record at the recent Olympic Qualification, and the approach that were made by agents and scouts, there is no doubt that he would be given another chance in Europe in the near future", says Vanuatu national coach Carlos.


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