Women's Football World Cup: FIFA women's boss Sarai Bareman keen to capitalise on Rugby World Cup success in New Zealand

Amidst all the madness, mayhem and medals of the Rugby World Cup final, Sarai Bareman has let her mind drift and allowed herself to wonder what Eden Park will be like in eight months.

"It was special, because it's my home country, right?" Bareman told Newshub in a sit-down interview at the stadium.

As FIFA's chief women's football officer, or put more simply, the most powerful woman in world football, she's at the forefront of preparations for next year's Football World Cup to be held in New Zealand and Australia.

She concedes that many here perhaps don't realise the magnitude of the event that will grace these shores.

"It's the single biggest female sporting event in the world, it far outstrips the men's Rugby World Cup - it's big," Bareman said.

The numbers show it. In France four years ago, 1.1 million people attended games, while for next year's tournament, the broadcast numbers alone are expected to exceed two billion people.

She has now witnessed first-hand exactly what's required to grow those numbers. Bareman spent last Saturday watching the Black Ferns become world champions, and is already eyeing up how she can capitalise on it.

"The players as ambassadors were an incredible part of it," she said. "I also think the way that they've wrapped the Māori culture into is as well. Incredible. The pois - that's such a unique amazing thing that is only in New Zealand. I thought they did that really well, as well."

The poi are likely to make a return next year.

"I have said to my colleagues in World Rugby, 'You know we're going steal that idea, right?'" Bareman said. "We're going steal it and might even do it better."

But rugby's boom and record-breaking attendance was built off the success of the home side.

It's unlikely organisers will be able to lean on the local teams to carry this World Cup - for the Football Ferns in particular to go deep would be a surprise.

They believe other teams will engage Kiwis though.

A big reason for that is the all-conquering US boasting some of the biggest names in world football.

"We're talking Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe," Bareman said. "There are some incredible players that are going to be here on our shores. That in itself is just a big drawcard." 

"But also it's about being part of a moment. Going to a Football World Cup is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Community engagement will also be key - they want to take teams to the regions, even if it's just to train.

Bareman laughs at the suggestion that could mean seeing the likes of Rapinoe walking through Palmerston North. 

"Absolutely she could be," she said. "You never know."

Wouldn't that be a sight to see.