Kosovare Asllani cannot wait for Sweden to stage UEFA Women's EURO 2013 – but first has the little matter of next summer's FIFA Women's World Cup to attend to.
The 21-year-old Linköpings FC forward put in the cross for Charlotte Rohlin to force extra time in their World Cup play-off with Denmark in September, Sweden eventually knocking out their neighbours. The following month there was more good news when Sweden were named hosts of the next continental finals in July 2013.
"I'm really excited," Asllani told UEFA.com. "I think Sweden is a great host country and I think they proved it by hosting the Under-21s for men last year. They did a great job with that so I'm really excited. As long as there's beautiful weather, Sweden has a lot to offer. Hopefully it's going to be a great tournament."
Before that, though, Asllani hopes to go to her first World Cup in Germany, and Sweden will discover their group opposition when the draw is made on Monday. Asllani, part of the Sweden squad that reached the UEFA Women's EURO 2009 quarter-finals, said: "It's a dream come true, I'm looking forward to it a lot.
I'm so excited to be playing in my first World Cup because I think that everyone, when they start playing football, wants to play in a World Cup. I feel lucky and I'm really excited."
Asllani, who returned to Linköping from Chicago Red Stars in the autumn and has helped her club to a UEFA Women's Champions League last-eight tie with Arsenal LFC in March, has come into a Sweden set-up still trying to emulate their run to the 2003 World Cup final, going out in the group stage last time in China. Asllani is determined to put that right.
"I think we need to trust in our ability and just be more comfortable with each other and relax a little bit more and not try to pressure ourselves too much because we know we have got good players, we have a lot of world-class players," Asllani said. "We should just trust in our ability and perform, so I hope we are going to do better next time around."
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