Scotland are set to get their European Championship qualifying campaign under way this afternoon against Kazakhstan.
And Aberdeen star Lewis Ferguson hopes one day he can be part of such occasions.
The 19-year-old has been one of the stand-out players in the Scottish Premiership this term, after joining the Dons from Hamilton last summer.
He has delivered a number of top displays and netted against Burnley in the Europa League and Rangers in the League Cup semi-final, as well as plundering late winners in the Premiership against Kilmarnock and Livingston.
Ferguson signed a four-year contract with the Reds when he joined, but after making such a big impression boss Derek McInnes moved to tie him down on an extension until 2024.
After penning that new deal last month, Ferguson – who is away with Scot Gemmill’s Scotland Under-21 squad – was backed to win senior international caps by McInnes.
The Pittodrie gaffer told the Evening Express: “I want him to be a key player for us over the forthcoming years and eventually I think he can play in the national team and be a key player for them.
“That is the aim for Lewis. I say that without putting too much pressure on Lewis, not that I think it would bother him. There is still loads of improvements to come from him.”
Ferguson agrees with his manager and hopes he can be a full senior international.
He said: “It is something I’d like to do in the future.
“It’s not something I’m looking at just now because I never look too far ahead.
“I just take every game as it comes and every training session as it comes and try to take it all in my stride.
“I’m not looking for a Scotland call-up, but if it does come in the future I would be really proud and delighted.”
Talk of a call-up to Alex McLeish’s Dark Blues squad is a sign of the progress Ferguson has made since his switch to Pittodrie. Although Ferguson is aware of the talk about Scotland, he says it is not something that will affect him.
He added: “You could say it shows progress that a call-up has been spoken about.
“But it’s not something I get affected by. I am just thinking about myself and how I can get better by playing for Aberdeen.
“I want to keep playing week-in, week-out and giving good performances for the team that are also hopefully winning performances.”
Ferguson is in Marbella with Scotland U21s, gearing up for their friendlies against Mexico tomorrow and Sweden on Monday.
He has already won three caps at that level. They came in wins against Andorra and the Netherlands in September and in a defeat to England the following month. In November last year, Ferguson was also part of an U20 squad Gemmill put together for a friendly against Turkey.
During his time with Hamilton, the son of former Rangers and Hearts midfielder Derek Ferguson also won seven caps for the U19s. He started in matches against Germany, the Netherlands and Norway during the U19 European Championships last March.
Ferguson believes the experience he is gaining at age group international level can benefit him in the future for Aberdeen, as he continues to strive to develop as an important player for both the Reds and Scotland U21s.
He said: “I played for the U19s in the Euros last year, then, towards the end of the year, I played for the U21s as well.
“So I’ve had a bit of experience at international level. It has been a good experience for me and hopefully it will help me get better.”