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Jun 102013

The term “minnows” may not adequately describe the Tahiti squad that will play in Group B of the 2013 Confederations Cup with Spain, Uruguay, and Nigeria.

Tied for 138th with Syria in the latest FIFA rankings, Tahiti has already been eliminated from 2014 World Cup qualifying. With limited international exposure, Tahiti will use the Confederations Cup as opportunity to get their players some exposure for the rest of the world.


Despite failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup out of the Oceania region, Tahiti used a 1-0 victory over New Caledonia in the final of the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup to qualify for the Confederations Cup. The Tahitians won all five matches, including the final, and looked to be a force to reckon with come World Cup qualifying. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.


They won’t.

But if they did, they would need a lot of help just as the United States did in their run to the 2009 Confederations Cup final. They would definitely need to beat Nigeria (not entirely impossible given the inconsistent play of the Super Eagles) and hold on for draws against Uruguay and Spain and hope for mixed results in the remaining matches between the other three nations.

Never underestimate the power of the proverbial underdog. Many try to play this card, but Tahiti truly embodies the spirit of your traditional plucky upstarts.

(But seriously, they cannot win. Sorry.)


Because they’re Tahiti.

Only one player in this squad plays outside of Tahiti as a full time professional. More on him in a moment.

A decent chunk of this roster is still very young, having worked their way up to the senior team from the team that participated in the 2009 U-20 World Cup. This tournament could wind up being a coming out party for a few of those individuals, but other than that don’t expect much from the team as a whole.


The 33 year old forward has had a pretty successful career in France ever since he joined the academy team for Nantes at the age of 18 and progressed to the senior team by the age of 21. After six years with Nantes, he went to play for three seasons at both Nice and Lorient. After a couple brief spells with Monaco and Nancy, he now finds himself at Panthrakikos of the Greek first division.

The only player from Tahiti to win Oceanie Player of the Year, Vahirua will need a few gulps from the fountain of his youth to score some timely goals and lead this team to an upset or two; should the football gods desire it.

Adam Uthe

VP of Content Development for GFT and proud supporter of Columbus Crew (MLS) and Liverpool FC (EPL). @AUtheGFT

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