“The fixtures are coming thick and fast but these are the moments that we prepare for. It has taken nine months of hard work to get to this point in the season in this condition and in this position in the league. Players live for periods like this and we want to put on a show until the end of the campaign.
“Now we have the chance to reap what we have sown in the past few months. If we were offered this situation – going strongly in the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia - in July I think we would have all taken it.
“We’ve met expectations so far and we can be proud of what we have done but now we need to be as ruthless and committed as ever as this is the time where trophies are won and lost.
Double header in Naples
“We’ll be heading to Napoli in great shape, on the back of some great results. They are a top side that plays good football and have always caused us trouble.
“Credit for that should go to the coach (Maurizio Sarri) who has instilled an identifiable and unique philosophy which is being executed very well by the players.
“Whoever says that games like this don’t make them nervous is either a liar or doesn’t understand top-level sport because they don’t get the emotions involved.
"As I’ve always said, the most important thing isn’t to approach challenges like this without fear but to find the courage you need to overcome it."
“Special” Champions League emotions
“I am an emotional player but ultimately Champions League matches have given me something that no other game in any other competition has.
"I love being a part of it: being on the frontline and putting myself to the test, what else do you need from life? I’d be privileged to win it but if I don’t, I will look back on it as a competition that has given me some amazing moments.”
Secrets to longevity
“I was blessed with some natural goalkeeping gifts but the key ingredient has been my mental strength and focus. My family has been so important throughout my career, teaching me how to manage success and instilling the right values in me from early on.
"My parents were both elite athletes so that made things easier, teaching me to keep my feet on the ground when things were going well and to pick up myself and go again when they weren’t.
“The second factor in my longevity has been my own personal desire to improve, a mantra that is just as valid away from football as it is on the pitch.
“The third would have to be teamwork; a group can only grow and be successful if it is built on a base of mutual respect and admiration.”
1000 and counting…
“I’d like to add a few more yet. The quality of your performances are what count the most even if, in terms of quantity, I’ve done a fair bit! The only thing I really want is to play my best in the games we have coming up.”