Tahiti’s participation is one of the feel-good stories of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, but Spain has no time for sentiment. The world and European champion has come to Brazil to take care of business.
The two countries’ men’s national soccer teams met on the field Thursday. The matchup produced the most lopsided result in the history of FIFA men’s senior tournaments. Fernando Torres led the way with four goals, as Spain demolished Tahiti 10-0.
Spain fielded a second-string lineup, but that made little difference in the end. It is the top-ranked team in the world, and its squad boasts some of the biggest names in the game who have won its biggest prizes in recent years. Tahiti, on the other hand, is ranked 138th, and all but one of its players are amateurs.
The gulf in quality between the two teams was evident from the start, as Torres struck after just five minutes. Instead of attempting to play an overly defensive game, Tahiti took a positive approach in search of another chance to perform the lovable paddle-boat goal celebration. That strategy contributed to the one-sided outcome, but it earned Tahiti more goodwill and admirers than it already has.
While Tahiti isn’t the worst team in the world, it is among the worst to ever appear at a major international tournament. With prize money, prestige and a place in next year’s World Cup squad on the line, no one would expect Spain’s battle-hardened players to do anything other than what they did: play to win.
See all 10 of Spain’s goals in the video below.