Scotland penalty shoot-out hero Kenny McLean believes qualifying for Euro 2020 would be the pinnacle of every player in the squad’s career.
Such is the magnitude of ending a 23-year major tournament drought, the former Aberdeen midfielder includes captain Andy Robertson on that list.
Robertson has won the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Liverpool.
On as a substitute, McLean netted the winning spot-kick in the 5-3 penalty shoot-out defeat of Israel to book a Euro 2020 play-off final spot away to Serbia on November 12.
He said: “It is a one-off game and we have given ourselves the chance to get to a major tournament.
“For everybody in our changing room, reaching the Euros would be a high right up there in their career.
“Even players like Robbo, who has won the Champions League, if we go to a major tournament, that will be up there for players like him as well.
“We are in a fortunate position where we can take the country very far, all the way to the Euros.
“We are going to give this chance everything we can.”
Some of the Scotland squad were not even born when the nation last graced a major tournament at the World Cup in France in 1998.
There may have been no supporters at Hampden for the semi-final with Israel, but McLean is under no illusions how much qualification for the European Championships will mean to the long-suffering Tartan Army.
He said: “We know everybody is behind us.
“We are exactly the same. At the end of the day, we are fans.
“It’s just a shame the fans weren’t there to see it, but I’m sure they were over the moon.
“We just want to give them that opportunity and will work so hard to do all we can for them.”
Serbia booked their final slot with a 2-1 extra-time defeat of Norway in Oslo.
The Serbs are a formidable force with midfielder Nemanja Gudelj a Europa League title winner with Sevilla in August.
Serbia are captained by former Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov, now at Italian side Inter Milan.
Real Madrid’s £54 million striker Juka Lovic was an unused substitute in their victory over Norway.
Norwich City’s McLean, who starred for the Dons from 2015 to 2018, believes the lack of home supporters at the 53,000 capacity Rajko Mitic Stadium next month could benefit Scotland’s Euro bid.
He said: “No supporters will affect Serbia, because there is no doubt, if we had the fans in against Israel, it would have given us another couple of per cent.
“Later in games like that, when there is extra time, Hampden would have been electric.”
Scotland will welcome back Stuart Armstrong, Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie for the Euro 2020 play-off final in Serbia.
The trio were ruled out of the Israel game, as well as tomorrow’s Nations League clash with Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
All had to self-isolate after Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19 and the other two were identified as close contacts.
The players were in regular contact with the three in self-isolation.
McLean, 28, said: “We’ve got group chat.
“They were on that before, wishing us all the best.
“It’s a shame that that’s the way it worked for them, but they are as over the moon as we are.
“Everybody is pulling in the one direction.
“I sat on the bench for most of the Israel game, but I wouldn’t want to be sitting at home in their position.
“With everybody pulling in the right direction, we give ourselves a right good chance.”
Unbeaten in six games, the Scots’ focus immediately switches to the Nations League with two ties at Hampden looming over a congested four-day period.
First they face a Slovakian side tomorrow that is fresh from defeating the Republic of Ireland in a penalty shoot-out to book their own Euro 2020 play-off final.
Then Scotland play Czech Republic at home on Wednesday.
McLean said: “We’ve got a couple of games to look forward to which we will focus on.
“But at the back of our minds we know how much this Serbia game is going to mean.”