Chelsea captain John Terry hailed Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba as 'virtually unplayable' after his two-goals helped the Blues to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 4-0 demolition of Rosenborg.
Drogba struck twice in the first half to help sink the Norwegians last night and his all-round display was applauded by coach Avram Grant and Terry.
The former Marseille frontman caused a storm at Stamford Bridge following coach Jose Mourinho's abrupt departure from the club in September when he admitted that he wanted to follow him out of the club in a French magazine article.
Drogba later regretted making his remarks public and pledged his continuing commitment to the club under new coach Grant.
The striker took his tally to nine for the season with his brace against Rosenborg, and Terry was full of admiration for a player who will quit Chelsea temporarily for the African Nations Cup in January - along with Salomon Kalou, Mikel John Obi and Michael Essien.
Terry said: 'We are playing quick football. The two wide men were great and Didier was magnificent.
'When he plays like that he is virtually unplayable. If we can keep him fit and some of the others, we have a very good chance.
'That result was one of the better examples of what Avram wants but we will miss Didier.
'He is a fantastic player and probably one of the best in the world. He scores, brings people into play and is very difficult to mark. Any team would miss him.'
Drogba played down his role even though he tormented the Rosenborg defence all night until he was eventually replaced in the second half.
But the striker, who recovered from a knee injury sustained on international duty to line-up against the Norwegian side, insists the best is yet to come.
Drogba said: 'It was very important to win and go through. The attacking play was full of variety and we passed the ball at the right times. We need to improve this even more and score more goals and play better football.
'It was important for us to win the group and we have worked hard. I am not at my best yet but I am a lot better and I will always give everything for the team.
'It would be hard to play better but there is always something you can improve. Maybe we could have scored more goals. Everybody is happy with the impact we made.
'I was not unstoppable. Sometimes you can be in good shape and not score and then feel bad and get goals. Football is about being there at the right moment even if you are not 100%. I am okay.'
Drogba believes the Blues are starting to show their true colours under the new regime at Stamford Bridge.
'This team is full of big players and have the character to recover after a difficult time. We were a bit down and the confidence was not top, but we know what we can do and we are playing better now than a few weeks ago,' he said.
'We have worked hard and the confidence is back. The best answer is always on the pitch. Sometimes it is difficult because you face difficult opponents .
'Everybody saw our performance. I am not talking about the result, but the way we played and people can talk about that.'