Tahiti’s greatest moment in the nation’s football history came at the 2012 Oceania Nations Cup which doubled as the penultimate stage of Brazil 2014 qualifying. A perfect five-match winning run ensured Tahiti topped the eight-nation event with a victory over Francophone rivals New Caledonia in the final. Although they were subsequently eliminated in the hunt for 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualification, their continental victory – the first by a Pacific Island nation – guaranteed an appearance amongst some of the world’s elite at Brazil 2013.
The current crop
Like many Oceania nations, Tahiti has suffered from a paucity of matches in recent years meaning limited opportunities to gain experience in the international arena. However, the national team are the beneficiaries of Tahiti’s historic qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009, with a number of players since progressing to the senior team.
The key players
Several graduates from the Egypt 2009 side offer much promise with names such as Lorenzo Tehau and Stephance Taatiarau set to complement the senior squad. Coach Eddy Etaeta will look to the likes of Raimana Lee Fung Kuee, Axel Williams and Xavier Samin for leadership. Tahiti's hopes will receive a massive boost should they be able to field former OFC Player of the Year Marama Vahirua, who plays for Nancy in France.
Coach: Eddy Etaeta
Best performance in a FIFA competition: FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 (Group stages)
Former stars: Naea Bennett, Felix Tagawa