You can always expect football officials to make you smile.
NZF chief executive Glading told Sunday News his exact expectation for the national team is "the tough but achievable challenge" of a top 30 Fifa ranking by 2020, and has personally researched and drafted a plan to make it happen.
Source: Sunday News.
Since the introduction of the revised FIFA Ranking method of calculation, there have been 45 rankings. Countries ranked 30th have needed an average of 792.35 points (739 minimum, 850 maximum).
New Zealand have had a high of 584 points in October 2008. Let's work from here.
Out of those 584 points, 546.975 were from the last 12 months (5 wins in World Cup qualifiers against (Fiji, Vanuatu twice and New Caledonia twice).
In order to reach the minimum needed (739 points), New Zealand would have needed 191.625 points from the other three time frames. Within 10.000 km (as the crow flies) of Wellington, only 6 teams would bring New Zealand at least 191.625 points for a win: Australia, Japan, Chile, Thailand, Vietnam and Argentina.
The safest bets would be Thailand (244.8 points) and Vietnam (206.55 points). I guess they would fly to New Zealand for the right price and in combination with some wins against OFC minnows, New Zealand could get the 191.625 points needed.
However, New Zealand high point was due to the burst of World Cup qualifiers in quick succession. That only happens once every four years. They don't have other competitive games. Well, there's the Confederations Cup, but New Zealand haven't exactly getting points there.
With teams unwilling to travel to New Zealand for friendly matches, the top 30 is nothing but a dream, I'm afraid. The only chance of playing more competitive games and climbing in the rankings would be to follow Australia's example and move to AFC. However, that would limit the opportunities for youth teams that have an easy access to various FIFA tournaments.