Rangers striker Antonio Colak has his eyes on going to the World Cup with Croatia and hopes success in his club games can seal a “dream come true” call-up.
The forward, who has been named SPFL Premiership player of the month after a prolific spell for the Ibrox club, has been included on a 34-man long list ahead of the tournament.
Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic is set to make a call next week on the final 26-player squad he’ll take to Qatar , and Colak is desperate to be on the list.
The 29-year-old has three caps to his name already, but of the forwards in the preliminary squad, he has the least international experience and hasn’t scored for his country.
However, Dalic will have seen the forward’s importance to Rangers this season, with Colak hitting 14 goals since making the move from PAOK in the summer.
The player admitted he had thought about his international prospects before making the move, and would be making a final push to show his credentials.
“This was a big target,” he said. “Before I came to Rangers I knew that only through games for my club could I reach a big target.
“It’s really close. I’m in the preliminary squad and next week we’ll know if I go or not.
“It’s already a big honour to be there. I’ll try to give everything in every game and I hope then that the national team coach will recognise me.”
Colak said that travelling to Qatar and being part of the squad as they face Belgium, Canada and Morocco in the group stage would be a huge career goal.
“To represent your country in such a big tournament is one of the biggest things you can achieve as a footballer,” he said.
“Throughout my career as a young boy I had targets like playing in the Champions League, hearing the anthem before the game, playing for the national team.
“One of them was playing in a big tournament. Now I am really close. I don’t know if it’s going to be or not but the coach will decide what’s the best for Croatia and the team.
“I hope I can be a part of it because it would be a dream come true.”
Now, he hopes to push his case for inclusion by starring for his club against St Johnstone this weekend.
He added: “We have three games left before the World Cup and we want to get the maximum points. We have three trophies we want to win this season.
“The way we played against Aberdeen has to be our standard to perform in every game. That’s what we focus on now.”