Tahiti face Spain, Uruguay and Nigeria in the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer; will you be giving them your support?
This summer it was the turn of our next generation of footballers to thoroughly disappoint us with their feeble and outdated football proving no match in the European Under-21 Championships; where they finished bottom of their group with a Eurovision Song Contest worthy ‘nil points’.
The tournament in Israel has therefore prepared us long suffering England fans for the future; another group of losers and under-achievers who will never bring back the silverware we so desperately crave.
It is at times like this I sometimes wish I had another nation to follow; in fact I do. Being half-Scottish though is not much of a remedy for footballing disappointment.
So this summer I find myself desperately scrambling for something to follow; to believe in…and here it is.
The Tahiti men’s national football team.
Now I do not have a drop of French Polynesian blood in my body. If I did I would probably be on a Bora Bora beach right now, catching the waves and the rays, living the good life; rather than looking at these grey skies in the Thames Valley corridor.
But this summer I am prepared to go all out Tahitian as the tiny island get ready to face off against the likes of World Champions Spain, Uruguay and Nigeria in the FIFA Confederations Cup; starting tonight against Nigeria.
Tahiti won the OFC Nations Cup in 2012 beating New Caledonia 1-0 in the final after the French territory outdid favourites New Zealand in the semis.
That booked their place in Brazil and now they are ready to embark on their incredible mission.
If the team made up of conservationists, postal office workers, teachers and one professional - 32-year-old former French under-21 striker Marama Vahirua of Nancy - needed a reality check ahead of this epic adventure they got it on Tuesday last week when a Chile under-20 side dealt out a 7-0 thrashing.
The likelihood is that despite the coach Eddy Etaeta’s promise for an ultra-defensive line-up; similar results will follow in the Confed Cup.
Many point to Spain as the big worry but I feel, after watching them tear apart Uruguay at times on Sunday evening, they can almost control the scoreline in any game; and will respectfully keep it tactful.
Nigeria have the ability to inflict a big defeat but my biggest fear is when they face Uruguay; with Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and co unlikely to give much quarter.
So why follow a team destined to fail this summer?
Tahiti should be every neutral’s favourite as they are the ultimate of underdogs.
Sure if England played them we would expect us to put double figures beyond them (which we would probably make a hash of) but the fact is nobody expects Tahiti to do anything but get absolutely spanked this summer; me included.
But without all that over-zealous and fantastical believing that for some reason we have a God-given right to win international competitions I can only imagine how exciting it could be to see your team playing teams like this perhaps just once in a lifetime.
If Tahiti manage to score just one goal in the competition that would likely be a success celebrated across Oceania; and as my adopted nation I will be praying that the likes of Vahirua, Steevy Chong-Hue, or the plethora of Tehau brothers on the side can make that magic moment come true.
Because there will be one house in Berkshire where the celebrations will also kick off - even if Nigeria have scored 10!
Are you planning to get behind Tahiti at the Confederations Cup?
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