Preeti Rai’s Inspiring Journey to Success: Rising Football Sensation

Preeti Rai, a rising football star from Solukhumbhu, Eastern Nepal, marked her debut for the national team at just 16 years old. In a memorable friendly match against Bangladesh in 2021, Rai not only debuted but also scored her first goal for the team, earning praise from then-national team coach Garry Phillips. Alongside Rai, Sabita Rana, Srijana Singh, and Rashim Kumari also made their debut in that match, contributing to Nepal’s 2-1 victory.

Despite previous setbacks in the 2019 SAFF Women’s Championship and the 13th South Asian Games, Rai remained determined and continued to work hard to achieve her goals. She has shown her leadership skills by captaining Nepal’s U15, U18, and U20 national teams.

Standing at 4 feet 10 inches tall, Rai is renowned for her exceptional foot control and dribbling skills, drawing comparisons to players like Lionel Messi. Since her debut, she has been a consistent presence in prestigious tournaments such as the Asian Cup Qualifier, SAFF Championship, Asian Games, and WAFF Women’s Championship, contributing significantly to the team’s performance.

Rai’s football journey began at the age of six, fueled by her passion for the sport and family support for physical fitness. She honed her skills in local competitions like the Coca-Cola Inter Football Competition and the Upa-Mayor Cup before winning the National Women’s League with APF.

Although her participation in the Indian Women’s League with Kickstart Football Club was cut short due to injury, Rai remains resilient, stating, “This is a small setback. I will come back stronger.”

Preeti Rai’s talents and determination have garnered recognition both nationally and internationally, solidifying her position as a valuable asset to Nepal’s national football team.

Preeti Rai’s Goal Against Lebanon: WAFF Championship 2024

Rai scored a crucial goal in the semi-final match against Lebanon, which boosted her popularity. The goal came in injury time and secured victory for the team. Rai’s impressive volley from outside the penalty area stunned Lebanon and earned her recognition as a world-class player. This goal made her a well-known figure in Nepal’s football community. This was also her second goal for the senior team of Nepal.

Also Read: Deepa Shahi: Making her National Team Dream a Reality
Also Read: The Journey of Nepal’s Goal Machine, Sabitra Bhandari: The Guardian

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