“I can’t say whether I am physically stronger now than four years ago or whether I am weaker,”

“We all have pains and aches, but I am convinced that, for every player in the Premier League, it is a struggle to keep fit for a full year.

“The intensity in England cannot be compared to any other football country in the world.

“We have double cup competitions and, if your team is in Europe and you play international games, the workload is incredible.

“I can never stroll through a game. I play – it’s that kind of intensity.

“After 99 out of 100 matches, I am totally exhausted because I want to give everything I have.

“I will never moan about it. I have to handle it like all the other players, but I can tell you that top-level sport is not really healthy.”