Tahiti made their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying debut in 1992, with Fiji the only Pacific Island nation to feature earlier, having done so during the Spain 1982 campaign. With a deep history in the game through the nation’s French roots, Tahiti immediately showed their natural ability with Australia forced to work overtime to triumph on aggregate. Tahiti’s best result was three wins in Korea/Japan 2002 qualifying although New Zealand edged into the Oceania play-off.
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 set to be 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