“There was a bit of disappointment immediately after the Real Madrid match but then we were looking forward to Chelsea, so I haven’t thought about it,” he explains. “I was obviously proud [of my 1,000th match] and would’ve liked better circumstances to celebrate it, but I just get on with it and hope for a good end to the season.
“I think as you enter your thirties you are just trying to play for as long as possible and to get as much out of the game as you can. Luckily, I’ve managed to stay injury free and I’ve had the continuity of the manager being here. So many things have gone for me and I’ve looked after myself, but nobody ever envisages getting to 1,000 games.”