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'
|Grant believes Ghana getting better all the time|
|Roma v Fiorentina: Determined Garcia eyes Coppa respite|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon stalemate ends goal-shy weekend in France|
|La Liga Review: Barca and Sevilla edge thrillers|
|Serie A Review: Gabbiadini opens Napoli account on dark day for Inter|
|Barcelona 3 Villarreal 2: Messi´s fine winner settles it|
|Milan 3 Parma 1: Menez makes the difference for Milan|
|Ivory Coast 3 Algeria 1: Bony double maintains Elephants´ progress|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Bizarre Ba winner benefits Besiktas, Emenike ends goal drought|
|Koeman confident of deadline-day addition|
|Freedman named new Forest boss|
|League One Review: Bristol City return to the summit|
|Bundesliga Review: Augsburg win battle of European hopefuls|
|Monk hails tactically astute Swansea|
|Pearce sacked by Forest, offered alternative role|
|Roma complete Ibarbo deal|
|Eredivisie Review: Durdevic dents Ajax title defence|
|Koeman feels defeat was harsh|
|Wanchope takes permanent control of Costa Rica|
|Wenger: ´Arsenal not title contenders´|
|No complaints for Allegri over Juve draw|
|Ghana 3 Guinea 0: Atsu scores wondergoal as Black Stars ease into last four|
|Southampton 0 Swansea City 1: Shelvey stuns Saints|
|Lambert laments Villa´s ´acceptance´ to concede|
|Sandro nearing QPR return|
|Lille v Paris Saint-Germain: Origi confident of cup upset|
|Walcott revels in ´one-sided´ triumph|
|Bragging rights for Celtic after Old Firm win|
|Udinese 0 Juventus 0: Leaders stutter to goalless stalemate|
|Arsenal 5 Aston Villa 0: Ozil and Walcott star on their returns|
|Mancini plays down spat between Inter´s fans and players|
|Tommy Smith discharged from hospital|
|Bayern Munich v Schalke: Bayern aim to get back on track|
|Schurrle´s Wolfsburg deal not done yet|
|Kruse facing lengthy lay-off|
|Traore determined to make immediate impression|
|Sassuolo 3 Inter 1: Hosts inflict further misery on Mancini´s men|
|Iturbe adds to Roma´s injury woes|
|Palace secure Souare signing|
|Walcott confident Gabriel can handle physicality|
|Januzaj glad to get game time|
|Pellegrini positive City can close the gap|
|Martinez hopes win can be a springboard|
|Equatorial Guinea win miraculous - Becker|
|Vertonghen excited by Tottenham´s form|
|Garcia lauds Roma´s resilience|
|Sinclair wants to let his football do the talking|
|Luis Enrique aiming to halt Villarreal progress|
|Costa: ´I’m no angel´|
|La Liga Review: Real, Atletico cruise to wins|
|Primeira Liga Review: Leaders Benfica bounce back with win, Vitoria held|
|Serie A Review: Roma drop more points, Genoa and Fiorentina draw|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille return to second, Montpellier held|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV go nine points clear, Twente steal last-gasp win|
|Tunisia 1 Equatorial Guinea 2 (aet): Balboa brace sends hosts through|
|Klopp encouraged by Leverkusen stalemate, as Dortmund hit bottom|
|No-show again from Mourinho after City draw|
|Pellegrini suggests different styles shown by City and Chelsea|
|Le Roy dejected following Congo´s Africa Cup of Nations exit|
|Bundesliga Review: Dortmund bottom, Paderborn thumped|
|Simeone marvels at Griezmann improvement|
|Emulating Messi will be tough for Neymar - Luis Enrique|
|Ibenge revels in DR Congo fightback|
|Reception delights Lampard on Stamford Bridge homecoming|
|Milan to downsize from San Siro|
|League Two Review: Luton claim Cambridge double, Shrewsbury stay top|
|Matic feels the effects of Liverpool match in City draw|
|West Brom lacked tempo, says Pulis|
|Pochettino remains grounded|
|Lukaku can inspire Everton - Martinez|
|Bayer Leverkusen 0 Borussia Dortmund 0: Frustrating draw leaves BVB bottom|
|Chelsea 1 Manchester City 1: Advantage Mourinho as top two share the spoils|
|Pardew laments lack of guile in Everton defeat|
|Poyet hoping to build on Burnley victory|
|Ancelotti lauds ´fantastic´ Benzema|
|Dyche backs Ings to bounce back after ´off-day´|
|Pearson brushes off ´bonus game´ defeat|
|Eibar 1 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann and Mandzukic inspire champions´ response|
|Rodgers delighted with Sturridge´s goalscoring return|
|QPR not as bad as scoreline suggests - Redknapp|
|League One Review: Bradford pushed hard as MK Dons go top|
|United killed the game too much - Van Gaal|
|Hughes hails hat-trick hero Walters|
|Congo 2 Democratic Republic of Congo 4: Mbokani strikes twice in remarkable fightback|
|Talks break down over Fletcher´s West Ham switch|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Highland derby all square|
|Championship Review: Derby and Boro stay in touch with leaders|
|Good enough for Real Madrid or Barcelona? - Luongo is Socceroos´ next superstar|
|Bruce backs Elmohamady after ´horrible afternoon´|
|Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1: Lukaku ends Palace run|
|Stoke City 3 QPR 1: Walters hat-trick seals win for hosts|
|Liverpool 2 West Ham 0: Sturridge on target in long-awaited return|
|West Brom 0 Tottenham 3: Kane at the double to down Albion|
|Manchester United 3 Leicester City 1: Van Gaal´s hosts avenge humiliating defeat|
|Real Madrid 4 Real Sociedad 1: Benzema stars in Ronaldo´s absence|
|Sunderland 2 Burnley 0: Defoe nets in routine victory|
|Roma snap up Doumbia|
|Huddersfield defender Smith stable after being airlifted to hospital|
|Carver: More to come from Cabella|
|Ivory Coast v Algeria: Renard demands success|
|Match winner Troisi hails Socceroo colleagues|
|Ghana v Guinea: Grant´s men tackle team happy with their lot|
|Australia deserved victory - Ki|
|Inzaghi ready to unleash duo against Parma|
|Cahill: Socceroos triumph to super-charge football in Oz|
|Hull City 0 Newcastle United 3: Carver up and running after routine win|
|Stielike: South Korea still champions|
|Recruitment proving difficult for Mancini|
|Postecoglou targets World Cup impact|
|Allegri dismisses talk of Vidal rift|
|Australia 2 South Korea 1 (aet): Troisi seals Socceroos´ maiden Asian Cup title|
|Ibrahimovic questions PSG fans|
|Azpilicueta anticipating ´weird´ Lampard return|
|Sinclair: Milner praise for Villa made my decision easy|
|Van Gaal fumes at questions on Herrera´s future|
|Cork excited about new challenge|
|Arsenal still gunning for glory - Gibbs|
|Quinteros named Ecuador coach|
|Sturridge eager to prove fitness|
|Blanc: ´We were expecting better´|
|Hecking proud of Wolfsburg|
|Boateng urges Bayern to learn from Wolfsburg thrashing|
|Sporting Braga 1 Moreirense 0: Santos the hero for hosts|
|Cordoba complete triple swoop, Levante bring in two|