We’ll be playing at the International Stadium Yokohama where we won the Club World Cup in 2008 – what are your memories of the stadium and your stay in Yokohama and how proud were you to win the tournament?
It doesn’t really get spoken about much but, for me, it was massive. Chelsea missed out on winning it at the end of last year and you could see how devastated the players were. To get to that stage anyway, you’ve got to win the Champions League and not many people do that. It’s the second step after that to win it and it meant an awful lot, as much as everything else, if not more. I have special memories of going there and achieving what we did.
From a player’s perspective, what are the aims of a pre-season tour? What do you hope to get out of it?
A good pre-season gives you that base you need to keep going throughout the season. If you miss pre-season, you have to play catch-up. Every player is different - some can come back [from the summer break] and get straight back into it but others take a bit more time. I think it’s a vital part of the year – it’s important to get through pre-season and steer clear of injuries and be ready for the games at the start of the campaign.