Roma right-back Alessandro Florenzi says a gruelling 11-month road back from injury has only served to strengthen his love for the game.
Florenzi completed 90 minutes in Saturday's 3-0 win over Verona to cap an emotional comeback from consecutive anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
The Italy international marked his first competitive appearance in almost a year with a classy assist for Edin Dzeko's 30th-minute goal.
And Florenzi revealed his resolve to stay at the top level is now stronger than ever.
"Everything that has happened has happened to me, not because of me," he wrote on social media.
Alessandro #Florenzi is back and we're delighted!
Check out what he had to say after his #ASRoma comeback...https://t.co/2yiTe1ipti pic.twitter.com/cyyZIjs5Jb — AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 16, 2017
"It has made me grow, made me become stronger. Made me be who I am, made me appreciate every second of life. Just like [I did as a kid], now a man, who kept believing in his dream with the strength that helps you overcome any obstacle.
"That kid wants to keep doing what he loves most in the world: playing football."
Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco welcomed Florenzi's recovery and hinted at a return to midfield for the 26-year-old.
"Florenzi gives us something extra and I am convinced he will do so in various roles, not just where he played today," the Giallorossi manager said.