Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho paid credit to Didier Drogba ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tie against Galatasaray.
Mourinho and his side will come up against former Chelsea striker Drogba at Stamford Bridge with the last-16 clash evenly poised after a 1-1 first-leg draw in Turkey.
The Ivorian is Chelsea's fourth highest scorer in the club's history and he is expected to receive an excellent reception in west London.
Mourinho said the forward is one of the greatest players ever to play for Chelsea and that he still has plenty to offer, despite being 36 years old.
"Undoubtedly (Didier Drogba) is one of the most important players in the history of this club," he said.
"That is not a doubt. We all, as Chelsea supporters, agree with that. We don't say the most important one because that is not fair.
"Is he the same level as when he was 26? Nobody is. But he is one of the best strikers in the world, that's for sure."
Galatasaray came from behind to salvage a draw in the first leg, but will need to raise their game if they are to beat last year's UEFA Europa League winners.
Mourinho feels that the likes of Drogba and Wesley Sneijder will make life tough for Chelsea ahead of what he predicts will be an even encounter.
"If you look at the (first leg) one team was better in the first half, another was better in the second half," he added.
"I believe the result will go until the end. I don't believe one of the teams is going to make a result where everyone knows at half-time who is going to win.
"For me (Sneijder) is one of the two or three best number tens in the world. It is as simple as that."
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is confident his side will progress but joined the queue of Drogba admirers.
"The game will be tough in general but we're playing at home, we'll be on the front foot and hopefully it goes well," Cahill said.
"I admire Drogba as a guy, he's a fantastic players and playing against him is going to be tough. He has a lot of quality."
|Coach: José Mourinho|
for Oscar 81'
for S. Eto'o 85'
for Willian 90+2'
|Deschamps praise for beautiful France|
|Fekir ruptures knee ligaments|
|Italy v Bulgaria: Conte warns against complacency|
|Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Germany top Group D, Northern Ireland edge closer|
|Low: Three points most important|
|Northern Ireland on the verge of a ´magnificent achievement´ - O´Neill|
|Scotland need something against Germany - Strachan|
|Portugal 0 France 1: Late Valbuena set-piece clinches deserved win|
|Faroe Islands 1 Northern Ireland 3: O´Neill´s men edge closer|
|Germany 3 Poland 1: Gotze sends world champions top|
|Gibraltar 0 Republic of Ireland 4: Irish hopes reignited|
|Djibouti 0 Togo 2: Saintfiet´s side make it two wins from two|
|Cyprus v Belgium: Benteke boost for Wilmots´ men|
|Roma youngster faces lengthy lay-off|
|United hit back at Perez barb over De Gea saga|
|Georgia 1 Scotland 0: Strachan´s men succumb to Tbilisi hoodoo|
|Hodgson prepared to blood new players|
|Porto invite Euro elite to help raise millions for migrants|
|Dortmund legend Dede backs Tuchel to succeed|
|Robben out for four weeks|
|Turkey v Netherlands: Terim expecting hostile atmosphere for crunch clash|
|Portugal 0-1 France: Valbuena strikes late to sink Ronaldo & Co|
|Wales v Israel: Euro 2016 beckons for Coleman´s history boys|
|Gala: No extra payment for Grosskreutz|
|Increase Bundesliga´s TV rights or be left behind - Rummenigge|
|Kane: I´m no flash in the pan|
|Perez: United showed inexperience in De Gea saga|
|Milligan: Socceroos wary of Tajikistan|
|Conte wants more players like Pelle|
|OFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Samoa to meet Tahiti in next round|
|Krychowiak stayed at Sevilla because of Emery|
|I never considered Bayern exit - Gotze|
|Balotelli ´not in good condition´, Milan must improve - Mihajlovic|
|Robben slams ´stupid´ Martins Indi|
|Robben laments injury blow|
|Euro 2016 Qualifiers Review: Bale edges Wales closer, Iceland dent Netherlands´ qualification hopes|
|De Bruyne relieved to ´boss´ Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Blind furious after nightmare debut|
|Coleman sees shades of Charles in Bale winner|
|Conte only concerned about Italy winning|
|Mauritania v South Africa: SAFA to investigate Masilela no-show|
|AFC World Cup Qualifying Review: Qatar hit 15 in Bhutan rout|
|Belgium 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1: De Bruyne shines in straightforward victory|
|Cyprus 0 Wales 1: Bale winner takes Wales one step closer|
|Netherlands 0 Iceland 1: Sigurdsson winner caps difficult first game for Blind|
|Italy 1 Malta 0: Pelle spares wasteful Azzurri|
|Balotelli stars in Milan friendly win|
|Bhutan thrashed 15-0 by Qatar in qualifier|
|Rwanda v Ghana: Gyan doubt gives hosts hope|
|Tanzania v Nigeria: Enyeama out of AFCON qualifier|
|Valdes and Berahino included in Premier League squads|
|Costa Rica v Brazil: Dunga´s men return after Copa disappointment|
|Spain v Slovakia: Azpilicueta eyeing important revenge|
|Adebayor left out of Tottenham squad list for league and Europe|
|San Marino v England: Place in history books beckons for Rooney|
|Germany can cope with Reus absence - Low|
|Bayern offer aid to refugees in ´training camp´|
|BREAKING NEWS: Welbeck ruled out for months after knee surgery|
|South Korea 8 Laos 0: Son leads the way in rout|
|Australia 5 Bangladesh 0: Socceroos surge to emphatic win|
|Japan 3 Cambodia 0: Hosts pick up first qualifying win|
|Rudiger aiming to nail down Euros spot after Roma move|
|Melo happy to join Inter at last|
|Hernandez thanks Ferguson after United departure|
|Chung: AFC has compromised FIFA election|
|Wales the new best of British|
|Reus out of Germany qualifiers|
|Chile v Paraguay: Vidal missing for Copa champions|
|Ghedin: Anything is possible for Malta|
|Pogba will be worth €100m - Marotta|
|England can win Euro 2016 - Hodgson tells players|
|Conte unsure over Balotelli future|
|Argentina - Bolivia Preview: Mascherano backs 'very special' Messi|
|Portugal - France Preview: Deschamps aiming to correct mistakes|