I have come down with a mysterious illness. My temperature is skyrocketing, I am shaking at all times, and I am having strange outbursts of chanting, singing and extreme excitement. I have tested negative for covid-19 but positive for something else. I have a bad case of… Scotland at the Euros Fever. And let me tell you this - it feels amazing.

I was born in 1991, so have no recollection of Scotland being at Euro ’92, can barely remember Euro ’96 (although I do still have a wee commemorative Colin Hendry figurine from then who watches me work from my bookshelf, a grimace painted on to his plastic face), I remember some of the buzz around the World Cup in France ’98, watching the games with my granda but no really grasping the importance of it all and certainly not thinking this would be the last time I’d be doing this until I was almost 30, and of course the pride and excitement in watching the women’s side getting to the World Cup in 2019.

It’s become something of a cliché now, the fact that we’ve all been conditioned to expect glorious failure over the last twenty years or so. From our time under Berti Vogts, watching us toil to a draw against the Faroe Islands then daring to dream in our play off against Holland. Beating France under Alex McLeish thanks to James McFadden’s obscenely, almost disgustingly good strike from what felt like a mile from the goalmouth, but ultimately failing to qualify again.

We watched Craig Levein set us up to play using an idea so crazy it just might’ve worked. No striker, no problem. But of course it didn’t work. It was never going to work. It felt like nothing ever would work. We were doomed to the international footballing hinterlands forever. Doomed to savour victory only in meaningless friendlies.

Glasgow Times: James McFadden's goal against France gave us reason to believe James McFadden's goal against France gave us reason to believe

For twenty years, we’ve ‘did our best’, we’ve come so tantalisingly close to reaching the promised land of a major international tournament but failed either early on in our quest or right at the death. Qualifying for these tournaments has felt, for Scotland fans, like trying to catch smoke in our hands. A prize that’s always been there, seemed almost easy at times to get, but we’ve just not been able capture it.

Until of course, that night in Belgrade. David Marshall watched Aleksandar Mitrović step up to take his side’s fifth penalty, knowing that if he could just stop the ball from crossing the line, we’d be going to the Euros. And he did just that. But so conditioned was he to expect bad luck while wearing a Scotland jersey, or perhaps it’s just part of being Scottish in general, he couldn’t believe it. He wouldn’t believe it.

He turned to the ref after saving the penalty as if to say, ‘Is this right? Is this really happening? Are you going to take this away from us?’ I thought the same, I think we all did. Too good to be true. This isn’t the kind of thing Scotland did.

But it was true. We had done it. We were going to the Euros.

There’s been a real buzz about the whole country ever since. That night restored our pride, gave us something to believe in and brought us together after a miserable year. I’m sure there was a buzz around the build-up to our previous tournament appearances, but this feels like it’s on another level.

I’m not one for fervent displays of emotion myself, but I’ve even found myself, after a few cans, exclaiming loudly to anyone in the immediate vicinity, ‘Here, we’re gonnae beat England.’ After a few more cans, that turns into, ‘We’re gonnae win the Euros.’ Watching Scotland qualify, seeing the players sing, dance and celebrate, it’s made me feel invincible. Like anything’s possible now.

Glasgow Times: David Marshall's penalty save sent Scotland to Euro 2020 David Marshall's penalty save sent Scotland to Euro 2020

It feels like something of a cultural awakening. For too long we’ve put ourselves down, we’ve let ourselves accept mediocrity, refusing to believe we’re capable of doing better.

Not just on thefootball pitch, but in life. As a nation, we don’t like to put our heads above the parapet, don’t like to rock the boat too much, don’t like to draw too much attention to ourselves. But now it feels like the Scotland team have finally let us believe that we really are an amazing country.

There’s no one saying anything like, ‘Och, we’re just glad to be involved,’ we’re all thinking that we’ve got this far, so why not go further? Why should we not let ourselves believe? We’ve got our confidence back so go further and maybe even deploy a little bit of arrogance now, like those across the border do? We’ve got our swagger back, we’re all feeling gallus again, so let’s go out there show it to the rest of the world.