Tahiti’s only professional footballer Marama Vahirua has enthused at the support the team have had and acknowledged the running their expect against Spain.
The Tahitians managed a goal in their opening Confederations Cup game against Nigeria and a performance that, despite the 6-1 defeat, has given them heart heading into facing Spain tonight.
“We are proud. We have managed to improve our level,” Vahirua told reporters this week.
“We love football and did not expect to play as good a game as we did against Nigeria.
“We wanted to write our name into history and with the goal scored we have. When we returned to the dressing room, I told my teammates: ‘We won!’
“We took to the field with an image of a team that was not afraid to face up to professionals and we gave everything.
“We are a team of amateurs, yes, but are able to make things happen. It is clear that there is a gulf between them and us.
“I wanted to thank the public for their support that gave us strength. The public have adopted us. Having heard 20,000 fans chanting ‘Tahiti, Tahiti’, I had chills. It is good to have won the hearts of the Brazilians.
“We watched Spain’s game against Uruguay on the television, and our legs were sore.
“We are going to have to run many kilometres but we are looking forward to playing them.”