Lyon striker Tino Kadewere is hoping Zimbabwe can qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for the first time in their history after 21 failed attempts.
The Warriors are already in line to achieve the feat after progressing past the first round of the African qualifiers of the global tournament.
Zdravko Logarusic’s men will now compete with Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia in Group G for a chance to realise their long-term ambition.
Kadewere made his debut for the national team against Comoros in 2015 after starring for the Warriors’ U17, U20 and U23 sides.
The 24-year-old striker, who now has 14 appearances for Zimbabwe, revealed the country’s target is to break their World Cup jinx.
“It’s a huge honour to be able to play for your country and I’ll never tire of seeing my name on the squad lists,” Kadewere told the Fifa website.
“Of course, every national team goes through ups and downs, but I’m convinced that the day will come when we will make the whole country smile.
“We all know that the road leading to the World Cup is long and winding, but that’s the goal that we’ve set ourselves.
“Obviously, we’re going to need to work hard to achieve it but we’ve got some solid foundations to build on. We’ve got real talent in the team and we’re a well-oiled unit that’s been playing together for few years now. That’s a definite asset for us.
“The main objective is the World Cup, though. That’s my biggest wish. That and for my family to be proud of me.”
Kadewere’s father has a football academy in Zimbabwe, where the forward started his career along with his three siblings, who also went on to become professional footballers.
The striker revealed his father, who died just before he left for Europe to continue his career, contributed immensely to where he is now.
“Growing up in that environment has had a big part to play in my career being a success. My father had a huge role in particular. He always looked after me and his advice and support were vital. It’s all helped me become who I am today,” he continued.
“Playing in Europe was a dream that came true for me and it was a real pity I couldn’t share it with him but wherever he is, I know that he’s proud of me and I can feel that he’s still watching over me.”
Since he left the Zimbabwe Premier League where he featured for Harare City, the forward has played for Swedish side Djurgardens and Le Havre, where he scored 23 goals in 43 league games for the French club.
His fine performances earned him a move to Lyon in January 2020 for a fee of around $2,5 million and he looks forward to continuing his development with the side.