Sebastian Larsson has set his sights on reaching this summer's European Championships, but he knows only finding his best form and helping Birmingham City avoid relegation will help his cause.
The 22-year-old made his full debut for Sweden earlier this month in the friendly against Turkey in Istanbul and has enjoyed his first taste of full international football.
However, he is fully aware he must produce the goods for Blues in their crucial final 12 Barclays Premier League games if he is to impress national coach Lars Lagerback.
"It was fantastic I have to say," Larsson said of his debut. "It's been a dream of mine to play for Sweden for as long as I can remember so to pull on the jersey and represent my country was a great feeling. It came at a very good stage because Sweden have qualified for the Euro 2008 finals and that is another aim, to try and get into that squad for Austria and Switzerland.
"There are only a couple of games left and a couple of months to go before they are going to announce the squad and the manager gave me my chance.
"I was pleased myself with my overall performance and the game, it was a tough one, Turkey away. I thought I did okay and hopefully I have taken one step closer to the Euros.
"I think I could possibly make the squad and it's a goal that I have to reach at the end of the season, but my biggest chance of doing that is by performing well week in and week out for Birmingham, which is my bread and butter and the only thing I am concentrating on at the moment."
Larsson has rediscovered the goalscoring touch from midfield that he displayed during last season's promotion winning campaign and has scored three vital goals since Alex McLeish replaced Steve Bruce as manager.
He scored a sensational winner at Tottenham Hotspur to give McLeish a fantastic start to his reign as Blues boss and then scored the equaliser as Birmingham were held at home by relegation rivals Fulham. He was also on target as Blues finally broke the deadlock against Derby County a few weeks ago.
Now he is hoping he can find the net once more against his former side Arsenal on Saturday.
"I didn't get my first goal of the season until December . . . I definitely want to get a few more goals and if I can chip in every now and then with one then hopefully that will help the team."
Larsson's team-mate Radhi Jiadi believes the next three games could decide Blues' fate.
After the visit of Arsenal on Saturday, Blues entertain Spurs and Newcastle United, and the Tunisian international is looking for maximum points to alleviate some of the pressure mounting at St Andrew's.
Blues sit just outside the relegation places on goal difference only and Jaidi, who lost his place in the starting line-up to Martin Taylor while he was away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, said it is a crucial period.
"This is a very important run of games for us," the former Bolton Wanderers defender said. "If we win all three games it will give our chances a massive boost. The fans will support us until the end but it would be nice to give them some victories to cheer."
* Birmingham City will pay tribute to former captain Len Boyd ahead of Saturday's clash with Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal at St Andrew's on Saturday.
The club has been granted permission to hold a minute's applause before the game to mark the contribution of the last man to lead Blues in an FA Cup final. The players will also wear black armbands.
Right-half Boyd led the side to the Second Division Championship in 1954-55 before leading Birmingham out at Wembley the following season to face Manchester City in the FA Cup final.