Tahiti made their beach soccer breakthrough in 2011 by seeing off perennial Oceania kings Solomon Islands to win through to the world stage for the first time. A spirited showing at Ravenna 2011 was a more than adequate debut amongst the elite, highlighted by a historic 5-2 win over Venezuela in their opening match, before defeats against Nigeria and eventual champions Russia.
Tahiti will be well prepared for their historic hosting of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Though not forced to qualify, the Tahitians prepared with a lengthy series of matches and camps in the lead-up to the tournament. Tahiti also benefitted by hosting and participating in the OFC Beach Soccer Championship three months prior to welcoming the world to Polynesia. A source of inspiration will be player/coach Teva Zaveroni who is a growing figure in the world of beach soccer world, having also represented Tahiti on grass.
Tahiti proved to any doubters at Ravenna 2011 that they are deserving of their place alongside the world’s elite. Though unable to reach the knockout stage, the Tiki Toa played with a spirit and verve that endeared them to onlookers. Their game is based around high-energy and enthusiasm, while also displaying advanced technical skills and tactical concepts. Their rapid development combined with the undoubted legacy that will be left by Tahiti 2013 means beach soccer is in fine shape in this part of Polynesia.