Warsaw: Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has issued a rallying cry ahead of Thursday`s Euro 2012 semi-final showdown with Germany.
On the eve of the country`s biggest game since the 2006 World Cup final, the Juventus goalkeeper took to Facebook to remind both his team-mates and the nation that nothing is impossible for those who dare to dream.
"There comes a time in life when there remains nothing to do other than take your own path and follow your dreams; this is a duty of every single individual," Buffon wrote.
"Too often we are addicted to and left numb by the negativity that surrounds us; too often we are resigned to a fate that others want to assign us, and almost always stop dreaming once we reach the age of maturity or upon reaching a certain position and a job that gives us independence but does not stimulate our imagination and our senses."
"As a child I dreamed of becoming a footballer; as a young boy I dreamed of becoming the goalkeeper of the national team and Juventus; at around 20 I wanted to win the Scudetto; when I arrived at 25, the Champions League and the World Cup; at 30, to win back the league titles with Juventus and the European Championship."
"The majority of these fixed targets I have achieved, even if something is still missing. I never know if I will realise them, but I have the firm conviction that the only way to do it is to want them; live them intensely even when they seem like Utopian dreams. Without dreams one is not living, one is surviving. Without dreams you are not the driving force in your life, but you are only a faded figure who has accepted your existence, without alarms, without surprises, without life."
"Coming here to Poland and thinking of playing a semi-final was unthinkable, at least in warm-up, but we believed in ourselves; we really wanted it; we desired it, and every sacrifice was made with a view to achieving our goal!"
"Now the obstacle seems insurmountable - it probably will be - but now that we have come so far we must dare to go a little further ... towards the DREAM ... towards the JOY ..."