Elijf Elmas was in buoyant mood during an interview with Radio Kiss Kiss two days before the clash with Udinese in the team’s final fixture before the World Cup in Qatar.

“We’re playing fantastic football and want to keep it up,” he began.

“We know we’re performing at a very high level and it’s brilliant to watch this team play. Our togetherness is our real strength. We’re all very happy together and that also goes for off the pitch.

“There are 25 of us here, all of whom have the same ambition and are all pulling in the same direction. Regardless of who we’re up against, we have a very precise idea and a feeling of strength underpinning the whole squad. Whoever plays is at their team-mates’ disposal and whoever comes on has the same determination to have a positive impact on the game.

“We all want to show how much this jersey means to us. We train intensively every day and follow the coach’s instructions. What matters isn’t how much we play but what we manage to do when we do play, even if it’s just for a few minutes.”

You scored the winner in Bergamo at the weekend.

“When [Luciano] Spalletti told me that I was starting, I was just focused on not making any mistakes. I listened to what the coach said to me and put everything possible into it. I was thrilled with the goal afterwards, particularly because it helped the team get three key points.”

Now you face Udinese before the break.

“They’re a very tough side to take on. They started the season brilliantly and have some brilliant players on the counter-attack. We need to keep giving our all to finish the first part of the season on a high.”

Are you worried about the break?

“No, it doesn’t hurt to have a breather. Even though the break comes after months and months of wonderful football, we know we can recharge our batteries and come back after the break with the same team spirit and togetherness in order to continue down our path.”

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