South Canterbury futsal player Peter Rae will be chasing World Cup glory and a lucrative professional contract, in Colombia next month.
The 21-year-old will be apart of a 14-man New Zealand side which will compete at the 16-team World Cup.
He will be looking to turn heads and earn a contract which could see him playing professionally in places like Brazil and Italy.
New Zealand qualified for the World Cup, after beating Australia for the first time, in a penalty shootout last year.
Rae, who studies in Dunedin, has had a steady diet of the indoor football sport in the past five months.
He attended the Futsal World Championships in October, where the Kiwis were knocked-out in the semi-finals, to eventual champions Malaysia.
He also had the national championships last weekend and numerous training camps with the national squad in Christchurch.
He said none of the teams at the world championships would be at the World Cup, so it made preparation difficult.
Rae plays his outdoor football for Dunedin side Roslyn, which made it to the fifth round of the Chatham Cup, last year.
He said if the team could play with more confidence, there was no reason why they could not make it beyond the group stages.
One match had Rae’s attention.
“Playing Colombia in front of a packed stadium which seats 8000 people, that’s a bit scary.”
Paraguay is ranked the world’s best futsal nation. Brazil are also heavyweights and it is there where Rae could ply his trade on a short-term professional basis.
“It will be contract city (at the World Cup).
“Even a three month or six month contract I’d be over there quick.
“In Brazil, two of our teammates went over on a six month contract, and the good players were getting NZ$2000 or NZ$3000 a week.”
Rae said improved self-belief would see New Zealand do well in the tournament.
The 12-day trip will cost Rae up to $3500.
To help fundraise, Rae will hold a futsal tournament on February 19 and 20, where anyone can enter a team to compete.
Rae will fly-out on March 11 for a five-day training camp to acclimatise to conditions in Colombia.