Frank Lampard has heaped praises on his former team-mate, Didier Drogba, and says the Ivorian played on the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, because he always scored in big games and finals.
The Chelsea midfielder confirmed that when Chelsea will host Galatasaray in the second-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, Drogba will return as a ‘hero’ to Stamford Bridge
“I texted him after the draw because we still keep in touch,” the England midfielder said.
“He was delighted and nervous actually because he said it would be difficult for him to come here to Stamford Bridge. He still sees it as his home and his love.
“I said to him that once he gets back and has the reaction from the fans, he will absolutely love it, both games. I’m sure he will. The draw did have an air of inevitability. It is amazing how often these things happen in football.”
The Ivorian striker scored the equalizer for the Blues against Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final, and Chelsea took the trophy after winning the following penalty shot-out, where Drogba scored with his last kick for the club.
“You will see a return of a hero and rightly so with what he did with his last kick for us," Lampard continued.
"It was the best two days of my life in football terms by a million miles. It was just incredible from start to finish and every fan you talk to is a ‘where were you when you saw it’ moment.
“But it wasn’t just that (with Drogba). There were finals galore, big games.
“In the dressing room behind the scenes he was a real leader and people didn’t see that. One that we have certainly missed - he was so complete.
“I love him as a bloke as well actually and other people saw that too.”
The 35-year-old insisted Drogba is the best player he has played with, and believes his former team-mate played on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“He is the best I have played with solely for that fact of doing it in big, big games. There are a lot of good players out there, but he consistently scored in finals and popped up at the right time,” Lampard added.
“I have played against great players and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are probably the best but he is right up there without a doubt.”
Can Drogba kick Chelsea out of the Champions League on his return to Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comment section below.