Fresh challenges always excite me. I have been that way since birth; always ready for something new. The transition from one team to the next is always difficult, especially when you have such fond memories with them. My time in Bremen was one that I will never forget. It's a truly beautiful city - it very much reminded me of home, in that sense - and I enjoyed plenty of success, capturing my very first piece of silverware, doing so in style by taking home the greatest prize in German football, alongside the DFB-Pokal.
I worked with some incredibly talented players and under a manager who continued to put faith in me. Together, we worked hard to continue to enjoy success together. Whilst we never added to the trophy cabinet after our double in 2004, I never had any regrets about my time there and I had full faith that Thomas would continue to lead Bremen to exciting new heights.
However, I knew that it was time to move on in the summer of 2006. Interest was rampant across Europe once again, but after showing my talents on a much-higher stage, including within the biggest club competition in the world - the UEFA Champions League - the calibre of teams interested grew. I wanted to challenge myself and therefore I knew that it meant moving across the border once again.
The interest of one team immediately excited me - as did the prospect of working under an exciting, highly-valued manager. Bremen received a monumental offer of €40,000,000 from Italian champions Inter Milan, a side I had previously met in the Champions League. The offer was accepted and I immediately flew to Milan to conduct talks. I was instantly in love with the Northern city. Talks went well and within a few days I was officially signed to their ranks.
My new home: The beautiful city of Milan
Working under Roberto Mancini was something that I was excited by. He joined Inter in 2004, having enjoyed spells with Fiorentina and Lazio, respectively, and within his first full season in charge, led the Nerazzurri
to the Serie A title. My signing was used as a statement of intent, signalling that Inter were planning on dominating Italian football.
Additionally, the prospect of working with players such as Luis Figo, Patrick Viera and Hernan Crespo dazzled me. The side continued to go from strength-to-strength and I formed a strong partnership with attackers like Adriano and Zlatan Ibrahimović - players of similar age, who both went on to enjoy fantastic careers, alongside myself, in my first couple of seasons in Italy.
We asserted dominance upon Italian football by winning five consecutive titles, leading up to 2010. Roberto left the club in 2008 - which prompted the arrival of The Special One,
José Mourinho. Again, working under a coach - in whom won the biggest prize there was to win, the Champions League, with Porto, as well as the Premier League title with Chelsea, was a prospect I enjoyed.
He brought the very best out of me, allowing me to thrive in his system - working effectively behind Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o and Argentinian Diego Milito, in our last campaign together. We finished two points ahead of our nearest rivals, Roma, in Serie A and defeated them in the Coppa Italia final at the Stadio Olimpico. However, it bared no candle to the pinnacle of our success that season.
Our UEFA Champions League adventure began in the group stages with Barcelona, Rubin Kazan and Dynamo Kyiv. We drew all three of our opening games in the group, which left us in a precarious position - however, we recovered to defeat Kyiv 2-1 in Ukraine, before losing to Barcelona at the Camp Nou. A 2-0 victory at the San Siro - a truly magnificent stadium to play in - against Russian side Rubin Kazan narrowly put us through at their expense, behind Pep Guardiola's Barcelona, the reigning champions.
In the round of sixteen, we were paired from José's former side, Chelsea. It was to be a triumphant return for him, as we defeated them 2-1 in Italy, before a 1-0 win in the away leg at Stamford Bridge, allowing us to go through 3-1 on aggregate. CSKA Moscow awaited, in whom we defeated 1-0 in either leg - meaning we would face Guardiola's Barcelona, who we met in the group stages, in the semi-finals.
An important 3-1 victory at the San Siro put us in a fantastic position going to Catalonia. A 1-0 loss followed, but it was enough to see us progress to the Champions League final in Madrid to face recently crowned German champions Bayern Munich, managed by Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal.
Jose was composed in the dressing-room beforehand. He had great experience in fixtures such as these and had reigned victorious in a 3-0 win in Gelsenkirchen in 2004 with FC Porto against Monaco, which gave him a winning mentality in this competition - he was determined to add to his previous success in this competition, to further cement his legacy as one of the greatest coaches within world football.
The pressure was immense, but he knew how to settle our nerves and prepare us. When we went out onto the pitch,we had absolutely no doubts in our mind - we were to reign supreme. In front of over 80,000 spectators at the Santiago Bernabéu, Diego Milito gave us the lead after thirty-five minutes. It was now about managing the game effectively, in order to preserve our lead. We did so, to great effect.
Our chance came with about twenty minutes to go to kill the game off. I received the ball on the edge of the area - with little support, I realised that I only had the option to have a strike at goal. I wrapped my foot around the ball, whipping it perfectly into the left-hand top corner of the goal, comfortably beating Bayern keeper Hans-Jörg Butt.
It was the highlight of my club career. The celebrations were insane. I had no control of what I was doing when the ball hit the back of the net. I simply lost control. I was in utter euphoria in that moment and raced around the pitch like a man possessed. My parents were once again in attendance - I couldn't see them in that moment, but at the end of the game, there they were, in floods of tears - even my father this time. "That's my boy!"
I heard them yell, as I came over - there simply were no prouder words I could have heard.
When I lifted the trophy, a trophy that so many dream of holding aloft - the occasion just hadn't sunk in. I was still in shock and as such, it perhaps doesn't look like I know much about the whole thing, truth be told, I didn't. I didn't know how to conduct myself because the victory just simply hadn't sunk in and even to this day, it hasn't, really. To have that illustrious trophy linked with my name is an honour that I just cannot believe. The whole of Vienna celebrated, perhaps even more so than myself, when I got my hands on it.
But my season was yet to finish. I had a World Cup to prepare for with Austria - their very first World Cup appearance since France 1998 - and I was determined, as captain, to take this team to extraordinary heights...
: Appreciate it. Got to love big Ernst.
: It has only got better for the Austrian...
: That's actually quite clever for you. Well done, Justice. I look forward to future puns... (not)