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'
|Colombian Primera A Review: Once Caldas go top|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Deportivo Tachira continue unbeaten run|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: Boca Juniors, River Plate hold narrow leads|
|Uruguayan Primera Division Review: Racing go clear at top|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: President, coach clash doesn´t derail Colo Colo|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Melgar, Universitario remain undefeated|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Sao Paulo beat leaders|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Nacional Asuncion win again|
|San Jose Earthquakes 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 1: Keane´s penalty miss proves costly|
|Milan progression encourages Inzaghi|
|Ligue 1 Review: Marseille revival continues as Lille stay unbeaten|
|La Liga Review: Valencia continue resurgence, Sevilla ignore goalkeeper crisis|
|Menez thrilled with Milan victory|
|Primeira Liga Review: Porto held at Guimaraes, Boavista claim first win|
|Serie A Review: Goals flow as Inter and Milan both win|
|Parma 4 Milan 5: Visitors triumph in nine-goal thriller|
|Galatasaray v Anderlecht: Unfancied pair meet in Turkey|
|Di Francesco: I would have gladly made 11 changes|
|Liga MX Review: America held by strugglers Universidad, Santos close in on leaders|
|Van Gaal focused on United trajectory|
|Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal: Familiar opponents renew rivalry|
|Championship Preview: Adams talks up Norwich, Wolves head to unbeaten Charlton|
|Bundesliga Review: Hamburg beaten again, Augsburg claim first points|
|Eredivisie Review: Cambuur humble rivals Groningen, Vitesse finally win|
|League Two Preview: Flitcroft urges Bury caution, Burton out to extend lead|
|Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg: Battle of the high-fliers|
|Redknapp expected heavy United defeat|
|United can do much better, says Van Gaal|
|Benitez at a loss to explain Napoli defeat|
|Manchester United 4 QPR 0: Di Maria steals show on Falcao debut|
|League One Preview: Cotterill demands focus, Dickov bids to ease pressure|
|Monaco v Bayer Leverkusen: Hosts eye positive amid awful start|
|Mazzarri praises ´ideal´ Inter|
|Al Qadsia v Persipura: Kuwaitis seek place in third final|
|Liverpool v Ludogorets: Five-time winners back in the Champions League|
|Real Madrid v Basel: Break from La Liga woes for Ancelotti´s men|
|Inter 7 Sassuolo 0: Icardi hits hat-trick in rout|
|Nottingham Forest 1 Derby County 1: Scrambled equaliser earns visitors a point|
|CSL Review: Henan drop into bottom two after last-gasp equaliser|
|Juventus v Malmo: Allegri´s men aiming to crack Europe|
|Olympiacos v Atletico Madrid: Simeone´s men on crest of a wave|
|K. League Review: Top two earn narrow victories, Sangju Sangmu end winless run|
|Badstuber requires surgery on thigh injury|
|Godin: Our mentality remains|
|Bruce slams ´disrespectful´ Newcastle speculation|
|Pogba confirms Juve talks|
|Gotze expecting improvement at Bayern|
|Mancini interested in Portugal role|
|I was never close to United move - Muller|
|Welbeck impresses Wenger with debut display|
|Mourinho wary of Euro group rivals|
|Rio Ferdinand will never forgive ´biggest idiot´ Terry|
|MLS Review: New England win again, New York held|
|Erbil v Kitchee: Belencoso the key for Molina´s men|
|Al Hilal v Al Ain: Dalic happy with preparation|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: In-form Red Bulls travel to Canada|
|Casillas accepts fans´ criticism|
|Primeira Liga Review: Sporting held again, Rio Ave back to summit|
|La Liga Review: Atletico claim bragging rights, Neymar inspires Barca|
|Simeone hails impact of substitutes|
|Serie A Review: Juventus and Roma win ahead of Champions League action|
|Ancelotti vows to ´fix´ Real season|
|Allegri delights in ´special´ home debut|
|Ligue 1 Review: PSG stutter, Saint-Etienne respond|
|Eredivisie Review: AZ lose amid Van Basten confusion, Zwolle halt PSV run|
|Hummels to return to training|
|Hummels to return to training|
|Rodgers to keep faith with new faces|
|Pepe: Real need fans on side|
|Juventus 2 Udinese 0: Tevez and Marchisio seal the points|
|Lambert delighted with tactically terrific Villa|
|Real Madrid 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Arda strike settles derby|
|Bundesliga Review: Kagawa nets on return, Monchengladbach put pressure on Keller|
|Rodgers points to Liverpool tempo trouble|
|Scottish Premiership Review: McIntyre loses on Ross County bow|
|Messi is the best, declare Luis Enrique and Neymar|
|Senderos and Agbonlahor revel in Villa´s Anfield resilience|
|Blanc: We should have settled for 1-0|
|Blanc: We should have settled for 1-0|
|Kagawa: I had goosebumps the entire game|
|League Two Review: Burton extend lead as trio remain winless|
|Lukaku leaves Martinez elated|
|Liverpool 0 Aston Villa 1: Agbonlahor strikes as Villa revel on Merseyside again|
|Irvine rues individual errors|
|Pearson: Cambiasso´s game management is exceptional|
|Koeman: Southampton can improve on Newcastle demolition|
|Hughes eager to restore home comforts|
|Monk positive despite Chelsea defeat|
|Pardew defiant despite heavy defeat|
|League One Review: Bristol City go top, Dons hit five|
|Mourinho tempers Costa expectations|
|Ings hamstring injury to be assessed - Dyche|
|Championship Review: Fulham lose again, Norwich move into second|
|Guardiola hopeful over Badstuber injury|
|Poyet revels in unlikely draw|
|We deserved more - Pochettino|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Ntep clinches point for hosts|
|Warnock hails Speroni after penalty save|
|Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Neymar double makes the difference|
|Southampton 4 Newcastle United 0: Pelle piles pressure on Pardew|
|West Brom 0 Everton 2: Lukaku and Mirallas fire visitors to victory|
|Sunderland 2 Tottenham 2: Kane error ensures spoils are shared|
|Stoke City 0 Leicester City 1: Ulloa continues hot streak in maiden win|
|Chelsea 4 Swansea City 2: Imperious Costa hits three as hosts come from behind|
|Crystal Palace 0 Burnley 0: Arfield miss costs visitors|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Freiburg 1: Kagawa stars on Dortmund return|
|Bayern Munich 2 Stuttgart 0: Ribery on target in Bayern win|
|Wenger laments poor defending and Debuchy injury|
|Pellegrini fumes at ref Clattenburg|
|Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2: Demichelis header rescues point for visitors|
|J.League Review: Urawa Reds stretch lead as rivals slip up|
|Hull City v West Ham: Hernandez to wait for debut|
|Hughes yet to hold Stoke talks|
|More Britons should play abroad, says Bale|
|Toronto president not expecting Defoe to return|
|I knew I had to change - Sterling|
|MLS Review: Sporting, Sounders claim wins|
|Ferdinand: United shirked farewell|
|Godin: Too difficult to leave Atletico|
|Pellegrini to rotate goalkeepers|
|Atletico not violent - Simeone|
|No Juve injury crisis - Allegri|