Didier Deschamps says that he cannot wait to return to Chelsea as his side, French champions Marseille, travel to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Deschamps played for the Blues for a season in 1999-2000 and won the FA Cup, while he also has experience of current Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti as he played under the Italian for six months at Juventus before moving to England.
Marseille have stuttered in Ligue 1 so far this season with only two wins from their opening six games - in contrast to Chelsea who have a 100% record in the Premier League - but Deschamps had success against his old side as a coach with Monaco in the 2004 Champions League and is now keen to soak up the atmosphere of the game upon his return.
"Returning to Stamford Bridge will give me great pleasure. Although the stadium itself is renovated and much bigger, the wonderful ambience which I experienced remains," Deschamps told the UEFA website.
"English grounds always seemed full and at the Bridge there were always families in the stadium and a great match atmosphere. But Chelsea now have a very competitive European team with something like 20 internationals - a great compensation if you have injured or suspended players.
"Without hesitation, the Champions League is the best of all competitions. Not only do Chelsea want to win this trophy, they are among four or five teams which can legitimately expect to do so.
"They won the Premier League title last season and are already performing really well. I know their manager Carlo Ancelotti well. He was my coach for six months at Juventus and I also often played against him. I like his style of football and I'll also be pleased to see Carlo again."