Chelsea defender Paulo Ferreira says he is looking forward to getting more game time under his belt ahead of the new season.
The Blues launch the defence of their Premier League title next Saturday but first face arch rivals Manchester United in the Community Shield on Sunday.
Ferreira has been on extended leave following his involvement in the World Cup finals for Portugal and Wednesday's friendly against Hamburg represents only his second outing of pre-season.
And despite the first competitive match of the season on the horizon, Ferreira says he would rather be on the pitch in an attempt to regain full fitness.
"It is important that we get to play against Hamburg, we want to start the season well," Ferreira explained to the club's official website. "And after this game we still have a few days to work really well for Manchester United on Sunday.
"It is another important game and we want to be in good shape. The group is like it always is, everybody is happy and we are doing a good pre-season so far.
"I am feeling much better, us players who came from the World Cup started after the others but we have worked hard to catch up and after one week of work you begin to feel much better."
The 31-year-old's involvement in the World Cup means time off has been scarce for the right-back, who helped the Blues to the Premier League title last season.
But Ferreira says he is grateful to have had a holiday while his colleagues were reporting back for pre-season training early.
He added: "It was a short summer, but for the ones not involved in the World Cup it was a long break. But we cannot complain, we had 25 days of holiday, it is not bad.
"I had wonderful holidays and tried to enjoy them as much as I could, and now I am ready to start again.
"I went to the south of France and home to Portugal, and I did nothing, I just wanted to enjoy it after the Premiere League and World Cup.
"When you have a break you want to relax and be with the family, the kids, and enjoy it until the last day. Now it is time for work again."
And following his recuperation, the former Porto man is eager to be a regular fixture in Carlo Ancelotti's starting line-up.
"I will work hard all season and try to enjoy every match that I get," said Ferreira. "Of course I would like to play more than last season, and help the team to win trophies."